The Danger of Drifting

I preached tonight on the Danger of Drifting, taking Hebrews 2:1-3  as my text and using the example of Lot.  Once we are saved, we can never again be lost.  Our standing with God is eternally secure, because it depends solely on the righteousness of Christ imputed to us.  However, our fellowship with God can diminish, and if it does, it is because we have drifted from walking close to Him.

Drifting is slow; it happens one small compromise at a time.  Drifting is also easy; you don’t have to work to drift.  In fact, the easiest way to drift is to just do nothing.  Don’t pursue Christ, don’t follow hard after Him – just do nothing.

Drifting is also costly, as Lot discovered.  At one time, he was blessed so abundantly that he had to separate from his uncle, Abram, because the land could not support both of them.  He went from this to barely escaping the wrath of God on Sodom with just himself, his wife and two daughters – and lost his wife to his lack of influence and her disobedience.

We drift because we have chosen to pursue other things for our joy and contentment, and move away from the One Who is Himself pure joy.  These other things we tend to run after may be good, positive things; the problem is, they can never be the best thing, which is Christ. To look to anyone or anything other than Him is foolish, hopeless, and always carries the promise of disappointment, and if we refuse to repent, can even bring destruction.

How do we keep from drifting?  Know God’s Word, and live in obedience to it.  An anchored ship does not drift; in the same way, we must anchor our lives to God’s Word, living by it’s principles and precepts.  It is the only way to keep from drifting.

What A Difference A Year Can Make

Tonight, I was called to be the Youth and Education Director at Sharon Baptist Church in Shawnee, Oklahoma.  The people there have been so very friendly and welcoming, and we feel our hearts already connected to theirs.  We feel very privileged, and very humbled, to have been called to serve them.

One year ago today, Nola and I drove back to Austin, after being in Oklahoma City for 3 weeks over the holidays.  It was not like going home for us; those days in Austin were over.  We knew that we would, at some point, be saying good-bye to very dear friends we had known for nearly 8 years, and that it would be very hard.  It was, and we still miss them every day.  We did not know what the future held.  There was so much that, from our perspective, was uncertain.

This has, without question, been the most difficult year we’ve ever experienced.  We’ve learned valuable lessons, about the danger of putting too much trust in man, and of not putting all of our hope in God alone.  Yet, during the last 13 months, God has proven Himself faithful over and over again.  We’ve been abundantly showered with His grace and goodness, and are thankful for each lesson learned.  We consider them preparation for the trials that He has ahead for us, which are part of His conforming us into the image of Christ, for our good and His glory.

Please continue to pray for Nola and me as we look for a place to live, and for a job for Nola.  Our desire is that she will be able to find employment that would be Monday through Friday, 9 to 5, unlike the retail hours she has been working.  This would “free up” her evenings and weekends, making it possible for her to be more involved and available in the life of the church.

And please pray that our work there would strengthen the church, and that many would come to know Christ through the ministry of Sharon Baptist Church.

What’s Going On * 08.01.09

Most of you already know that Nola and I moved back to Oklahoma City the first week in June.  Since then, we have been looking for jobs and rejoining Graceway Baptist Church, where we met, and where I served in the Youth Ministry for 11 years before moving to Georgia.  Nola has joined the choir, I’m teaching the Middle School Guy’s Sunday School class and playing bass in the services.  God was gracious and allowed me to go to camp with the youth group 2 weeks ago, back to Camp Buckner near Marble Falls, Texas.  My nephew Taylor led the worship music, and I played guitar and sang backup, as well as being the official camp videographer/photographer.  This is the same campground we did 2 Spring Break Retreats at when I was at High Pointe in Austin,

Nola worked part-time for a few weeks at Chico’s, a women’s clothing boutique, before being offered a full-time position to be trained as an Assistant Manager at Dress Barn (for all you Tim Hawkins fans: yes, THAT Dress Barn!)  She started there on July 27th, and is doing an incredible job.  The next day, I started with Lifetouch Church Directories.  I’ll be traveling with a team to various churches in Oklahoma, doing the church directory photography and selling portraits.

I am continuing to send out my resume to churches, and have been in contact with a few.  But, that is typically a slow process, and some churches take resumes for as long as 2 to 3 months before beginning their search in earnest.  So, while I wait, I’m serving where I can and really enjoying it, and resting in the knowledge that God will move me where He wants, when He wants, and that it will bring Him the most glory and us the most joy.

What’s Going On * 05.09.09

I want to thank all of you that have prayed for us as we’ve started our new ministry.  Our training was intense, to say the very least.  Lots of good information, all of it very helpful and necessary; but having it all crammed into 2-1/2 weeks, along with our time “shadowing” in the 2 cottages we will be serving in, made it very physically and emotionally draining.  But, we’ve also had our first 10-day break, which has been wonderful.  We visited family in Oklahoma City last weekend, and have had several days back in here Austin to get more settled into our apartment and just relax.

When asked how we like it so far, I’ve answered that we don’t really know, because we haven’t done it “for real” yet.  Our time last month was full of training, classes, videos, getting to know the houseparents and kids in each house, and trying to learn how each house is run.  This next time will be very different, and Nola and I are really looking forward to going back on duty tomorrow at 2 p.m. and just doing the job.  We are literally surrounded by ministry opportunities, and are excited and eager to be used by God.  So again, thank you for praying for us, and for the encouraging emails, texts, and “tweets”, and please pray for us this month as the Lord brings us to mind.

Surprise Painting

Where Swine Flu Started

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What Calvary Is

Christ was all anguish
that I might be all joy,

cast off
that I might be brought in,

trodden down as an enemy
that I might be welcomed as a friend,

surrendered to hell’s worst
that I might attain heaven’s best,

stripped
that I might be clothed,

wounded
that I might be healed,

athirst
that I might drink,

tormented
that I might be comforted,

made a shame
that I might inherit glory,

entered darkness
that I might have eternal light.

My Saviour wept
that all tears might be wiped from my eyes,

groaned
that I might have endless song,

endured all pain
that I might have unfading health,

bore a thorny crown
that I might have a glory-diadem,

bowed his head
that I might uplift mine,

experienced reproach
that I might receive welcome,

closed his eyes in death
that I might gaze on unclouded brightness,

expired
that I might for ever live.

O Father, who spared not thine only Son that thou mightest spare me,
All this transfer thy love designed and accomplished;
Help me to adore thee by lips and life.
O that my every breath might be ecstatic praise, my every step buoyant with delight.

From The Valley of Vision

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