Thursday, February 26, 2015


In a Pickle: Don’t Get Angry and Don’t Run from God

Still think the Bible is just a bunch of old stories that no longer apply to modern humans? Despite human advances in science and technology, arts, communication and most other areas, our base behavior has not changed over the centuries. No one knows this better than our Creator. That is why the example of Moses that we read about in Exodus 2:11-15 can still teach us lessons in the 21st Century.

11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?” 14 The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.” 15 When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well.

Obviously, there is a great lesson here about anger and controlling your anger. The Bible has a lot to say about anger and this may be the best advice: "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." (James 1:19-20 NIV) God wants you to control your temper and seek His way to solve your problem.

Acting in anger will not solve a problem; it will only make it worse. Getting revenge is not your job. God will take care of the wrongdoing Himself (Romans 12:19). God is always fair and right. He is perfect, so He is the only One who can perfectly judge someone else. He might not do it the way you think He should, or even when you think He should, but He wants you to control your temper and let Him work things out in His time and in His way. Moses needed to let God take care of this situation in His own way and time, but instead Moses lashed out in anger, killing the Egyptian.

This example also gives us another reminder, sometimes we mistakenly think we can get away with doing wrong if no one sees or catches us. Sooner or later, however, doing wrong will catch up with us as it did with Moses. Even if we are not caught in this life, we will still have to face God and His judgment in the life to come.

Do you have a secret sin you think is hidden from friends or from God? It can't stay hidden forever but you can be forgiven if you repent! Do you think you can sin without God seeing it? Trust me, God knows. We fragile humans fool ourselves in to thinking we can hide from God (ie Adam and Eve).  Is your secret sin negatively impacting your witness or your relationship with God?  If you know the rest of the story regarding Moses, you also know this is a story of redemption and God using an imperfect man as part of Gods perfect plan. There is still hope!

Moses reacted in a very human way to the cruelty and injustice he saw. But his way did not accomplish anything. It even made him a murderer in the eyes of the people he was trying to protect. God's ways are not like ours, but they work. We must submit to his ways of doing things.Moses looked like someone in the perfect position to help the Israelites. But he threw it away by taking revenge himself. God was still able to use him, but had to give Moses time to grow out of his anger, pride, and lack of dependence on God.

If you find yourself in a pickle, don’t take matters in to your own hands or even try to run away from the problem. Instead, turn to God for answers.

Got questions about your relationship with God? Send me and email and I’d be glad to discuss:

Monday, February 16, 2015


A Church Strategy You Can Take Part in: Friendliness

When it comes to picking a church to call home, one friendly person can make a difference.

That is a statement of fact. Not a guess, not even a question. How do I know? According to a Barna Research national survey of people looking for a church, the “friendliness to visitors” is “extremely important” for 71%. If you factor in the 21% that say it is “important,” then friendliness in the congregation is the most important factor!

There is another way I know the reported impact of friendliness is not over-stated. Because a friendly person helped my wife and I when we were church visitors 15-plus years ago.

We were close to giving up. We were visiting big churches and simply not connecting. One smiling face made the difference for us. That one man showed us to a small group, remembered our names, helped us connect, called us in the middle of the week and then greeted us again the next week.

My wife and I were blessed by his kindness and effort. He always said he was the one that received the blessing, to know that his kindness kept us in a church and helped us connect.  Research nationwide proves friendliness is an essential factor that every church desires to have – but many do not.

A quick search of Google for the exact phrase “friendly church” turned up 546,000 results just a few weeks ago. That is a big number, but in my own experience, most churches are pretty friendly with themselves. They meet and greet their members and their invited friends but other folks are on their own.

Every church needs to develop a strategy to be friendly, without being smothering.

To succeed at “friendliness,” every church needs the involvement of its members. What can you do to aid the church in its hospitality ministry? What can you do to help create a culture of friendliness at a church? Try these three ideas on for size.

The 10 most important minutes in church friendliness happens after the service. Yes, you read that correctly. Do you simply leave the church when service is over or can you seek out the visitors you shook hands with and get to know them better? Invite those visitors to your small group, or even lunch.

First time visitors often show up right on time or early. They use the front entrance and generally sit in their seat looking at their bulletin, waiting for the service to begin. In churches with large buildings, the visitors may look bewildered and lost in the halls. When you spot those signs, the least you can do is offer your assistance or offer a greeting.

When you spot a visitor, either before or after the service, try this for an introduction: “Hello, my name is David. I don’t think I’ve met you yet.” Usually, they will volunteer that they are visiting. Learn to avoid asking, “Is this your first time here?” It may not be or they may have been members at the church longer than you!

Hospitality (which is what our friendliness effort really needs to be) is not evangelism. Hospitality is a way to help the local church body demonstrate a caring Christian community. Hospitality helps prepare the way for hearing the joyful proclamation of the good news in a service. Hospitality covers more than just group gatherings in worship. It extends to Sunday school classes, passing in the hallway and even Wednesday night meetings.

Would you like to have the lasting impact on a family that one man had on our family 15-plus years ago? Truth is, you have that type of potential right now. Hospitality and friendliness needs to be part of our focus every time we step our foot in the church.

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