Extreme Times Call For Extreme Measures
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 NKJV
What kind of faith do we need today? Using an often quoted citation which says, “Extreme times call for extreme measures,” well, we need some extreme faith. How do we build up extreme faith? Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Strong, overcoming, mountain moving faith comes from reading, memorizing, listening to preaching about, and confessing of God’s Word. What does this entail? It is going to be some discipline and hard work on our part. Instead of watching TV, listening to the radio, or just goofing off, we are going to have to feed our spirits with positive life changing messages. So, lets get started today feeding our faith with God’s Words.
This fall we are going to have many small group offerings at Heritage. One of them I am especially excited about is “Learning to be an Effective Parent of a Teen.” The reason for this is that I have three teens. I have found that raising teens have been quite complicated. We are going to help each other to raise champion kids in a crazy world. Some of the topics we will cover are:
- Making the Teen Years the Best Years
- Helping Teens Leave Home in Honor
- Finding the Best Solution to Any Conflict
- Keeping Anger Levels Low
- Preparing Teens to Stay Connected to Their Christian Values
If these interest you, please sign up at church or on the website at yesheritage.com.
Churches are organized in a lot of different ways. One criticism of long running churches is that they are loaded down with rules and regulations to control past abuses by pastors and church leaders. Much of the time these layers of rules burden creative people from even attempting to accomplish great things for God. On the other hand, there must be integrity in the church. Our church for example, is an independent, non-denominational church, but we still have some great checks and balances to provide integrity for our congregation. Although far from perfect, we have chosen a model (not new to us) that is as stream lined as possible with enough checks and balances to ensure integrity.
Our Layers of Leadership
- Pastor – Oversees the overall operations of the church both spiritual and physical.
- Elders – Mature Christians chosen by the pastor to advise the pastor in spiritual matters in the church and handle conflicts between church members.
- Deacons – Christians who volunteer within the church for various positions that facilitate the everyday operations of the church. Although not all volunteers meet the full qualification of a biblical deacon, all Christians should be in training to meet those qualifications.
- Trustees – Trustees are men and women who are skilled in the business matters of a church. They do things such as set the pastor’s salary, review the financials and make sure the church is run ethically and with good business practices.
- Staff – Most staff are hired by the pastor to assist him in the day to day administrating the local church body.
- Overseer – Overseers are pastors or full-time ministers who volunteer to be called on by anyone in the church who might have a spiritual, moral, or physical complaint against the pastor. Heritage has one Overseer who is a full time pastor of New Life Church in Orange City, Florida. John Gryglewicz has over 20 years of experience as a pastor and is available for any church member to talk to in case they have a serious complaint. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why do we send our kid’s to camp? In one word…Inspiration. The world we live in does absolutely everything to suck the life out of the youth of America. Everyone can use someone to put some life back into us. That is what happens at camp.
What does it entail to go to camp?
- Volunteer intensive
- Time consuming
- Scheduling nightmare
- Worth every bit
One of the best camps in Florida is Camp Decision — check it out @ http://www.campdecision.org/
I knew this guy one time that kept talking about how the devil attacks strong Christians but seems to leave mediocre Christians alone. From the very first time I heard that I disagreed. The reason for this comes from the Bible, but also from the Discovery Channel. I love to watch the shows about lions. I Peter says that our enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lions looking for someone to devour. When I would watch the shows on lions, the narrator would always point out who the lions went after. They didn’t go after the strongest gazelle in the herd. They would go after the young, the sick, or the old. In other words, they looked for weakness. When I saw that, it just rang a bell with me. I knew from that point I would teach Christians to be strong, and when the devil came prowling around, they could outrun, outmaneuver, out power even the strongest lion.
1 Peter 5:8 “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
So, read your Bible, pray, go to church, confess God’s Word over yourselves, and know who you are in Christ Jesus. Then you will become a less desirable target for our enemy.
Does it seem our kids are too connected. This is brand new ground for parents of the 2000’s. Everyone in the family has their own phone and can get calls at all times of the day or night. Have you every heard a 13 year old’s phone ring at 2am in the morning. One recent text asked my child if they were mad at them because they were not answering. I guess the person on the other end couldn’t sleep and wanted company. This time my child slept through the beeping –but I couldn’t. I texted them back. I reported that my child was not mad, only asleep. Signed, dad, of coarse.
So, my new rule is to have all cell phones on the counter by a reasonable time during the school week and on weekends. As you know with rules, you have to enforce them every night because they so conveniently forget them. But, until we come up with a better plan, I want those cell phones on the kitchen counter – or else.
For those who love lists of “Stuff” I am going to list items that go towards a better life. For my first one here is “Things to be successful in 2009.”
1. Lead by Serving
2. Worship Passionately
3. Pray Unceasingly
4. Love Unconditionally
5. Make Disciples — Not Churchgoers
Hebrews 10:25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
I hear all the time how some Christians feel they can be “a good Christian” even if they aren’t a member of a local church. They feel that they can hear God just as good from a deer stand in nature or watching Christian television. Although you can experience God in nature, and some Christian television is wonderful, neither is a substitute for being hooked up with a local church.
The benefits of attending a great church are too numerous to mention, let alone the biblical command that God expects his believers to obey. Here are but a few of the great paybacks of going to a good church.
First of all, church is a perfect family activity. Even in the smallest of churches have groups or classes for everyone. For example, godly teachers make it their pleasure to input God’s Word into children. They mentor kids and supplement what parents are teaching from home. Youth groups attend summer camps, go on mission trips, and promote all sorts of activities with other believing kids, and so on. The miscellaneous picnics, programs, and practical Bible centered events are extremely valuable. Adults can learn, serve, and enjoy interaction with others all in the same place. I could go on and on about the great music, useful Bible teaching, and opportunities to network with others, but the point is reasonably made.
Last, but not at all least is the fact that God promises to bless those who diligently seek Him. Most people I know that stay at home on weekend services are sleeping in or watching way too much television. So, lets all get out of our comfortable homes and seek God together.
Seven Days of Sex? That is what Pastor Ed Young of Dallas Texas is asking his parishioners to do. People have been asking me what I thought about that. Well, I think sex in marriage is like a credit score for borrowing money. As your credit score is a mathematical snapshot of your ability to repay money, so is sex a snapshot of how well your marriage is faring. It is one of the benchmarks.
Sexual intercourse for married couples is more than just the act; it is two people coming in agreement over sharing themselves with each other. I don’t know if sex for seven days will fix your marital woes, but the process of getting in the position to have sex seven days in a row will. Also, make sure you check with your doctor if you are well enough to perform in this manor.
Hebrews 13:4 (NIV) Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
Click here for video of Ed Young challenging the married people in his church to have sex for seven days straight. This is probably a great challenge for our church too!