Friday, December 21, 2007

Where's Demas?

Remember the "Where's Waldo?" books that came out several years ago?

They would put Waldo in with a bunch of other people on different pages and you had to spot him amongst all the other people. It was harder than it looked. My kids and I would search and search, and then one of them would shout and point Waldo out when they found him. It was a lot of fun.

I thought of that when I read in the scriptures about Demas.

2 Timothy 4:10
For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

Demas was a faithful companion of the apostle, mentioned along with Luke and others in these passages:

Colossians 4:14
Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.

Philemon 1:24
Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellow labourers.

Demas was one of the followers of Jesus. A missionary and fellow traveller with Paul. Oh the things he must have seen! The miracles he must have witnessed! The souls he saw saved!

And yet....he left.



What do Waldo and Demas have in common?

Well, I'm thinking that if you took Demas and put him in a church of a hundred people or so, he would not stand out. He would be like everyone else. If someone had said, "Find the one person here who will one day leave the Lord?", you wouldn't choose wouldn't pick him....because he would have just blended in, like Waldo does.

But sadly, later on Demas was gone.

I have known many who followed the way of Demas. Believers that I thought for sure would be faithful until the day of the Lord....and now.....they are gone.

But to be honest, I too have been Demas.

At the age of 15 I made a decision in my heart and mind that as soon as I was out of my parents house, I would also be "outta this church." I spent the next several years pretending to be a follower of Jesus, while in my heart I was a Demas.

Ten years later, the prodigal came home.

And yet, I have still had my Demas days, or maybe even a Demas week, or a Demas month. I have certainly had a Demas hour, or minute, or second.

Have you ever been a Demas?

In the title of this post I asked "Where's Demas?". When you go to church this Sunday, look around, Demas is probably there, in the building, singing praises, or praying out loud. Maybe he is teaching a Sunday School class, or leading worship, or even preaching a sermon.

Or maybe, Demas is sitting in your seat, reading your Bible, and when Demas looks in the bathroom mirror at church, he sees you.

If you are a Demas, or know one, don't give up hope. We don't know what became of Demas, but there is a story that Jesus tells of the prodigal son. I'm not going to repeat the story of the prodigal son here. If you are not familiar with the story, go to the book of Luke, chapter 15:11 - 32, and read it. Most of the time we focus on the father, who took the prodigal son back, and the good son, who was jealous of the father's acceptance of the prodigal son. But we forget, there is a third son in this story, the Son of God who left His Father to die for both of them.

So if you have a Demas in your life, or if you are a Demas, I can only say this:

Come home.

The Father is waiting, as we all are, to welcome you back with open arms.

And for the rest, who have struggled with our Demas moments, join me in praying for these that have left their first love, for the love of the world.

Laura D.
Jonathan D.
Steve H.
Gene G.
Katrina D.

and the one closest to me,

Tori P.

I close with the lyrics from a song by Michael W. Smith.Photobucket

I Miss The Way

Once a true believer
Once there was a fire in your soul
You were the epitome of blessed faith astir
With thirst for holiness
And hunger for the Word
Now you move in other circles
To the beat of different drums
And I see only glimpses of the one you used to be
The inspiration that you were to me

I miss the way His love would dance within your eyes
I miss the way His heart was the soul of your life
And somewhere in the saddest part of heaven's room
Our Father sheds a tear for you
He's missing you, too

Some are calling you a prodigal
Some aren't calling you at all
But far away someone is calling you back home
Do you hear it anymore out there on your own


Once a true believer...

Hungering and thirsting for His righteousness,
Pastor Dave

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Got Revival?

I have been reading a book by Leonard Ravenhill called “Revival God’s Way : A Message For The Church”.

This book was first published in 1983, and was reprinted in 2006.

I want to share just a bit of what he says in the first chapter, in reference to the joy that Jesus talks about, that we as His followers, should have.

“This joy was not a passing emotion such as happiness may create. It was not to be partial but complete-“may be full.” Happiness depends on happening. I have seen men in the pulpit seemingly filled with glory. I have seen the same men an hour afterwards filled with gloom. The joy Jesus gives is not effervescent, not a high emotion riding the crest of a fatuous wave. This joy is as real at the graveside as at the fireside. It does not evaporate under the heat of adversity. It does not wither at the onslaught of calamity. It does not sour under the test of poverty. It does not die at the cruel hand of tragedy. It does not falter in the presence of misery.”

He continues:

“Joy is not created by possessions, or by positions, but by a Person – HIM! Let me add, however, that joy is not an inflexible, unvariable thing. It is not a deposit placed in the soul after salvation without any chance of deterioration. It can stand all the pressures Satan or circumstances bring against it; but, and ponder this well, the sun of joy in the soul can be eclipsed by our own disobedience.”

Now this really made me think about joy in my own life. I began to realize that he was right. The times when my joy is full is always when I am being obedient, even in the face of difficulties, my joy would remain strong. But Leonard was not done with me yet. Here’s the rest of what caused me to think:

“Joy requires at least two conditions: submission and service. “If ye abide” – submission – means staying put when it might seem smart to quit. It means “having done all to stand” when there is only a toehold. It means believing God when it appears far wiser to believe everybody else. It means defying one’s feeling and fears and saying triumphantly, “Thy will be done! Joy comes through service. Most Christians are activists; they get caught up in some kind of church work. But not all of it is good. Not all of it is essential. Even missionaries find themselves tangled in lesser things than winning the lost. Un-prayerful souls soon get diverted from the supreme task He appointed for them. This is why submission is also necessary.”

And then he closes with:

“Let me summarize it this way. The way to enjoy indestructible peace and joy is to determine:

1. To do whatever God commands, however difficult.
2. To endure whatever God appoints, however severe.
3. To obtain whatever God promises, however seemingly unattainable.
4. To die daily, however costly the crucifixion.
5. To love my enemies, however misunderstood in this.
6. To pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks.”

Myself, I think he has hit on something here.

I think we have a lot of believers running around with stress, sour faces and worry written all over their faces because we want an “easy” fix.

Nobody said living the Christian life was easy. Nobody said it would not be difficult. Salvation is free…discipleship cost.

There’s an old saying that goes: “Everyone wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.”

The Christian version of that might go something like this: “Everyone wants to get out of hell, but few want to die to themselves.”

I often here of Christians calling for revival in America again. As I read this book by Leonard Ravenhill, I think what we need is revival in the church again, or better yet, I need revival in my life.

I close with a song from one of my top three favorite Jesus music artists: Keith Green


My Eyes Are Dry
by Keith Green

My eyes are dry, my faith is old,
My heart is hard, my prayers are cold,
And I know how I ought to be,
Alive to you, and dead to me.

Oh what can be done, for an old heart like mine,
Soften it up, with oil and wine.
The oil is You, Your Spirit of love,
Please wash me anew, in the wine of Your blood.

My eyes are dry, my faith is old,
My heart is hard, my prayers are cold,
And I know how I ought to be,
Alive to you, and dead to me.

Praying for revival.....for me,
Pastor Dave

Thursday, December 13, 2007



Today at lunch I was reading a book by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins called, “The Jesus Chronicles: Mark’s Story”.
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It is the second in a series of four novels that they are writing about the authors of the four gospels. I have been taking my time, going through the book at a leisurely pace, enjoying the novelization of the days of Jesus and the early church. Often I have found myself smiling, laughing and amazed. Sometimes I have just let my imagination wonder to what it must have been like to be there walking and talking with Jesus, and to witness or be a part of the birth of the church.

Today I read where Saul, now called Paul, came to the disciples and told of his conversion. It captured the disciples’ disbelief that this man, their former enemy, now wanted to join them in spreading the gospel of Christ. Saul described his blindness on the road to Damascus , and his conversion and of course, they finally came around and embraced Paul as a brother in the Lord.

It got me to wondering about my blindness.

You see, Saul couldn’t see the forest for the trees.

He was so blinded by the laws, the traditions and the religion that he had embraced, that he could not see the one whom they were all supposed to be about: Jesus. He had to be literally blinded before he could truly see.

Which brings me back to my blindness.

I pastor a Southern Baptist Church. Now, I like to tell people that it “ain’t your Daddy’s Southern Baptist Church.”, but we are a Baptist church nonetheless. I am proud to be a Baptist, and to belong to the Southern Baptist Convention (not that I agree with everything they do, heck, I don’t even agree with everything I do).

But first and foremost I am a Christian.

I am a Christian first, and a Baptist second.

Which brings me back to my blindness.

You see, I wonder if some of my “Baptist traditions”, my “Baptist laws” & my “Baptist religion” blinds me to see things the way God does. I think sometimes all the “Baptist stuff” can get in the way and block my vision so that I can’t see all the “Jesus stuff” that I need to see.

What about you?

What blinds you? Do you have to have church “this way” or “that way” in order for it to be church?

Do you think every Christian must abide by your traditions, your rules and your religious ceremonies, or they are just not “Christian” enough?

This is nothing new, it is a problem that ha been going on since the church began. The early church had a difficult time accepting Gentiles (non-Jews) as fellow believers. There was debate, there was dissension, there was arguing, but in the end, the Gentiles were accepted. Some blinded eyes were open. The church grew. And God was honored.

Maybe it’s not a particular thing, but a particular people that blinds us. What would many of us do if a tattooed, pierced guy with a Mohawk hair cut that was dyed purple, came to church and felt that God was calling him to be a missionary to the disenfranchised youth sub-culture, or the biker sub-culture? How would we react? Would we have eyes to see…..or be blinded?

In John 7:24 Jesus said, "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."

Can we see with spiritual eyes, or do our physical eyes get in the way? Does what we see with our eyes blind us to the spiritual vision that God has for us?

In Mark 7:8 he says to the Pharisees "You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men."

There is nothing wrong with traditions, until the traditions get in the way of someone seeing Jesus. When our traditions, rules or Christian measuring stick gets in the way of people who need Jesus, then they need to go.

I'll leave you with the lyrics to a song by Casting Crowns off of their latest cd: The Altar And The Door.
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The song is called, "What This World Needs".

What This World Needs
by Mark Hall & Hector Cervantes

What this world needs is not another one hit wonder with an axe to grind
Another two bit politician peddling lies
Another three ring circus society
What this world needs is not another sign waving super saint that's better than you
Another ear pleasing candy man afraid of the truth
Another prophet in an Armani suit

What this world needs is a Savior who will rescue
A Spirit who will lead
A Father who will love them in their time of need
A Savior who will rescue
A Spirit who will lead
A Father who will love
That's what this world needs

What this world needs is for us to care more about the inside than the outside
Have we become so blind that we can't see
God's gotta change her heart before He changes her shirt
What this world needs is for us to stop hiding behind our relevance
Blending in so well that people can't see the difference
And it's the difference that sets the world free

Jesus is our Savior, that's what this world needs
Father's arms around you, that's what this world needs
That's what this world needs

Ok, I have an appointment with The Eye Doctor now,
Pastor Dave

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Too Busy?

Too Busy?

Ever feel like you are in a whirlwind of activity and you can’t stop spinning?

Being a bi-vocational pastor, my days are often filled to the gills with activity.

My days ususally begin about 5:00 am, and ends between 10:00 and 11:00 pm.

My work schedule is Mon thru Thurs, 7:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Monday evenings I am preparing for the coming Sunday sermon.

Tuesday evenings I finalize the Wednesday night Bible study.

Wednesday evenings I have ½ hour between the time I get off work until I have to leave for Wed. Bible study.

Thursday evenings I am preparing for next Wednesday Bible study.

Fridays I start putting together the sermon for Sunday morning, plus try and get my errands done, and yard work, and deal with any other meetings or church business that has to be done.

Saturdays I finish the Sunday morning sermon.

Sundays are spent up early in prayer, and then it is Sunday School, Church, and home to rest.

Of course that doesn’t include any special meetings, which last week was a budget committee meeting, this week is a church Christmas party, and there are phone calls, church business, my own daily quiet time, and much time spent in prayer for people, places and things.

Add to that time spent with the family, time alone with my beautiful wife and it can begin to feel like the candle is burning at both ends.

Whew! Tires me out just reading it.

Some days I do better than others, and the reason for that is that some days I make sure God and I spend some quality time together.

Sadly, sometimes I put in my quiet time as just something to check off my “to do” list. Those are the days that I get flustered, lose my temper (you haven’t seen it running around anywhere have you?), frustration sets in, and I am exhausted.

Taking time out to rest is important too. Even God rested on the seventh day. Why, because He was tired, exhausted from creating the universe? No. God doesn't get tired. He rested because He CHOSE TO REST. I figure if it's a good choice for God to make, it's a good choice for me and you to make.

I can really relate to these two scriptures these days:

I Kings 19:11-12

The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by."
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.

You see, God is not usually found in our "busyness"....but in our quiet time. He is not in the whirlwind of activity, but in the stillness of the day.

Isaiah 40:31
New King James Version (NKJV)
But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

To be strong, we must wait, rest and trust in Him.

I leave you with the lyrics to a song my an early Jesus music pioneer, Chuck Girard.

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Slow Down
by Chuck Girard

In the midst of my confusion
In the time of desperate need
When I am thinking not too clearly
A gentle voice does intercede

Slow down, slow down, be still
Be still and wait, on the Spirit of the Lord
Slow down and hear His voice
And know that He is God

In the time of tribulation
When I'm feeling so unsure
When things are pressing in about me
Comes a gentle voice so still, so pure

Slow down, slow down, be still
Be still and wait, on the Spirit of the Lord
Slow down and hear His voice
And know that He is God
And know that He is God

Ok, so now I'm off to take a nap :)
Pastor Dave

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bigger or Better?

I pastor a small church.

Not as small a it used to be, but still small by most standards.

In October 2004 I accepted the position of Pastor at Loma Rica Baptist Church . There were 12 people there at the time, and two of those would be moving out of state within a few weeks. Our attendance hovered around the mid teens to low twenties for the first year or so.

Somewhere around the end of 2005 I began to notice that we had grown. We were now running in the low thirties. We slowly continued to grow.

When 2006 came and went the high thirties was the norm, with the forties being the occasional surprise.

Then came 2007.

Except for an Easter service we had never had more than 42 or 43. One Easter service we had 50 and we were ecstatic!

2007 changed everything.

Sometime in the first part of this year we went over 50 in attendance, and except for two Sundays since then, we have never had less than 50. Last Sunday we had 65.

Again, 65 may not seem like much to you, but for a church that only seats about 80, and three years ago had 12 people in attendance, 65 is a big deal.

But there have been issues. Two families have left. Last week, due to a misunderstanding on my part and due to me assuming something without clarification I hurt a family (not physically of course). Now I’m sure this is not the first time I have hurt someone, but this time it was brought to my attention, and I felt terrible. I love the people at our church and I never would intentionally hurt any of them. After some conversation things were ok, but the damage was done. The scars will always be there. But I did learn a few lessons.

Lesson One: Make sure when you communicate, and when others communicate to you, that you are both clear on what is being said.

Lesson Two: I’m a human being and I make mistakes ( I already knew this, but I think God wanted to remind me).

Lesson Three: The more people coming to church, the more likely someone is going to get hurt.

Lesson Four: Big does not necessarily mean better.

The first three lessons are ones that most people in churches are aware of. The last one would be called heresy in some circles.

But I stand by it. Big does not necessarily mean better.

I believe the reason I hurt the people I did (and I will take the full responsibility here, they were the innocent party), is that I had focused more on the growth than what God has called me to do. God has called me to shepherd the people under me. I can’t shepherd the ones that leave. I can’t shepherd the ones who don’t come. Getting bigger got in the way of shepherding. Don’t misunderstand me. I still want Loma Rica Baptist to grow even more. With that will come space issues, job issues, building issues, conflict issues and issues with issues. But through it all I must remember I am not called to focus on issues. My focus must be on God, His word, and the people. If I do this, the issues will be dealt with, but not as the focal point, instead they will be dealt with as the by product of a healthy ministry.

I need to focus my time and energy on being a better Pastor, not on Pastoring an bigger church. If I will concentrate on the better and leave the bigger up to the Lord the results will be, well, better. I don't want to give the people I pastor just numbers to talk about during the week, I want to give them something life changing to talk about.

I have a job to do.

I am a shepherd.

I desire to draw people closer to God.

I close with lyrics to a song from Steve Taylor. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I Just Wanna Know
by Steve Taylor

Life's too short for small talk
so don't be talking trivia now
excess baggage fills this plane
there's more than we should ever allow
there's engines stalling and good men falling
but I ain't crawling away

I just wanna know--
am I pulling people closer?
I just wanna be pulling them to You
I just wanna stay angry at the evil
I just wanna be hungry for the true

Folks play follow the leader
but who's the leader gonna obey?
will his head get big when the toes get tapping?
I just wanna know are they catching what I say?
I'm a little too young to introspect
and I surely haven't paid all my dues
but there's bear trap lying in those woods
most of 'em already been used


Search me, Father, and know my heart
try me and know my mind
and if there be any wicked way in me
pull me to the rock that is higher than I


Ok, so there's that
Pastor Dave

Monday, December 10, 2007

It Is Finished

Tonight I was paying bills.

Write a check, tear it out of the checkbook, put it in the envelope....ooops...that one is going to be late, have to run it down to Home Depot tomorrow.

And on and on and on.

I started thinking, I am so glad that God is not up in heaven, having to pay for each one of my sins as I commit them, one by one. I'm glad that none of my sins "sneak up" on God and He has to rush to do something to make a quick payment.

I'm glad that all my sins were paid for at calvary.

John 19:29-30 (New International Version):
A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit

It is finished.

Paid in full.

Thank you Jesus.

I leave you with the lyrics to one of my favorite songs by the group Petra.

It Is Finished

John 19:1-30
Words & Music by Bob Hartman

In the heat of early morning on a hill they call the Skull
The roaring of the angry mob had settled to a lull
All eyes were cast upon the man whose hands and feet were bound
They saw him cry in anguish when they heard the hammer pound
They saw the bloody woven thorns with which his head was crowned
They watched the bloody cross of wood be dropped into the ground
The soldiers gambled for his clothes, they watched them win and lose
They saw the sign above his head that said "King of the Jews"
(It is finished) And the sky grew black as the night
(It is finished) And the people scattered in fright
The work had been done, redemption had been won
The war was over without a fight
It is finished
They searched his face for anger for vengeance in his stare
Instead of eyes that burned with hate a look of love was there
He prayed for their forgiveness and bowed his battered head
And no one knew the meaning of the final words he said
It is finished, the provision has been made
It is finished, the foundation has been laid
He paid the ransom due and tore the temple veil in two
And opened up the way for me and you

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Really debt free,
Pastor Dave


Last Sunday I preached a message titled "Unfaithful Worship" from Malachai the 2nd chapter. Before the message was over, the Holy Spirit had convicted me from my own sermon! Truthfully, it had started earlier in the week during preparation of the sermon, and like the energizer bunny, only better, the Holy Spirit kept convicting, and convicting and convicting.

So, what does that mean?

Well, since it has been almost three months since my last post, this is one of the things that i feel I have neglected for far too long. So, I am back. I pray for good, but I know how easy the flesh can creep up and take control.

If anyone is still checking out this blog, please let me know, but even if I don't hear from anyone, I will continue to press on, being obedient to what He has called me to do.

And so, after this, I will be posting the first of what I pray will be a long series of posts.

Stumbling towards the cross,
Pastor Dave

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Turning 50

Ok, it's been "forever" since I've last posted...but I've been thinking lately about my upcoming birthday. Tomorrow I turn 50. Half a century. How much time do I have left to accomplish what God has for me to do? I don't know. But it has inspired me to post more often. So, by the grace of God, I hope to do just that. Starting with lyrics inspired by an old tune.

(with apologies to Uncle Rand)

Now I've got a house here in Marysville
And the rent is not too high
Even though it may not all be mine
For now it's enough to get me by
And lately I've been taking stock
Of all that I've been through
Oh tomorrow is my birthday
Feels funny, but it's true
I'm turning 50

Now I've got a wife who really loves me
And she makes my life so sweet
Six kids that I love so much
Who make it all complete
And my world is very different
From those crazy younger years
But if I had the chance to go back
I'd rather stay right here
Turning 50
I'm turning 50

And I have friends who care about me
They're the best I've ever had
And they always stand beside me
Whenever things get bad
And I still love to preach the gospel
Though pastoring sometimes can be a trial
But every time I step into the pulpit
My soul begins to smile
Turning 50

Well now 50 ain't like 30
And it's not like 45
My back's a little stiff
And there's a bunch of lines around my eyes
But I've still got my Jesus
And I've got most of my hair
I'll keep on praying for Tori to come home
And I'm not really scared
Of turning 50

This new century looks like tough times
The world is turning sour
So I'll keep on serving Jesus
And await the final hour
Even though I've often failed Him
In these 50 rocky years
His mercy brought me this far
And His love has dried my tears
I'm turning 50

I'll treasure these years
I'm turning 50
And that's all right
I'm turning 50

The past behind me, and the cross before me,
Pastor Dave

Monday, August 13, 2007

What Is Your Treasure?

Just a quick post while I am home for lunch. These are the lyrics to song I have recently found from a guy named Ross King. These lyrics drove me to my knees in my heart. Let me know what you think. I'll post more later.

I have bowed at the altar
Of the world and its lies
Now I long to return to you
You alone can satisfy

I have wasted affections
On the things You despise
Now I long to return to you
You alone can satisfy


My bread of life
You’re my provider
You fill my soul with living water
Beneath Your wing
There is a shelter
Where I hide
You alone can satisfy

There’s no fortune or pleasure
That this world can provide
They have failed and they always will
You alone can satisfy

You’re the treasure that I found
You’re the meaning of life
You’re my deepest desires fulfilled
You alone can satisfy

Repeat chorus twice

Ok, so there's that.
Pastor Dave

Friday, August 3, 2007

Help Is On The Way

Have you ever gotten really, really, really angry at sin? I mean to where you really hate sin? Where it just totally ticks you off?

If so, good.

We should hate sin. Our problem is seperating the sin from the sinner. Some people enjoy their sin, they revell in it. The celebrate it. But others, well, others are trapped by it. Held prisoner. Shackled.

Regardles of their position in sin....whether self-indulgent, or seemingly prisoner, we should love those who don't know the Lord. We need to show them the love of Jesus. I'm not talking about going soft on sin, but loving the sinner.

I realized I was in need of this when I was reading the book, "The Character Of A Man...Reflecting The Image Of Jesus" by Bruce Marchiano.

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In this book, Bruce talks about a guy who went and witnessed to a "house of prostitues" in Africa. One of the "working ladies" had passed away, and they could not find any preacher willing to conduct the funeral. Bruce tells the story of how this young preacher went and conducted the service....and then began to hold Bible studies with the women. Right about now my "Woah" factor is at high alert. I'm thinking, what in the world is this guy doing. Anyway, while Bruce is speaking at some churches, this guy asks Bruce to come and speak to these women. Bruce, thinks about what Jesus would do, and so he goes. He goes and shares the love of Christ. He finds some broken, hurting women. He ministers to them in the name of Jesus.

Now I'm do you do that? How do you share the love of Christ to someone who is kneck deep in sin? The same way Jesus did. He gave of Himself to those who did not deserve it. He showed them His love, His life, and they saw their sin.

As time goes on, this preacher continues to visit the women. He holds a church service right where they work! If you're thinking like me, you're going..."wait a minute....a church service in a whore house?" But, you see, the women were not welcome in the churches in the town. Everyone knew who they were & what they did...and some of their "customers" were members of the local churches. Anyway, to make a long story short, that paticular "brothel" is now closed. All of the "working women" have become children of God. They have all embraced Jesus as their Lord and Savior. He changed their hearts, their minds, and their lives. Some are now married, others are in Bible College....but all are set free.

You see, I realized even while reading a book about reflecting the image of Jesus, I was judging the sinner, not the sin. I saw these women as hookers, whores & prostitutes. I didn't see them as people made in the image of God. I didn't see them as people that Jesus bled and died for. I didn't see them as people in need of a savior.

Which brings me to the last song I'm going to share by Steve Camp.

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It's called "Help Is On The Way".

When I saw you, you were staring
I could see the clouds that covered your eyes
And the look of desperation
If somebody loved you, it could have changed your life
Made day from night
Well I can't help you, but I can show you the One
Who can take your tears away

Help is on the way
Love is coming to you
All you need to say
Is you need Him today
Help is on the way

When there's nothing to keep you going
Every day's a fight, and you never win
How the world can work you over
You run for cover trying to shade your eyes
From the pain and the lies
There's no where to hide, but in God's love
Oh don't you hear Him calling you

Help is on the way
Love is coming to you
All you need to say
Is you need Him today
Help is on the way

You want to change your life
And make day from night
Only Jesus's love will free your soul
And He's reaching out to you

Help is on the way
Love is coming to you
All you need to say
Is you need him too
Help is on the way

But the question I have to ask myself is this: Is help really on the way? When I see people caught up in sin do I offer them help, or judgement? Do I reach out to those that are less fortunate to me? Do I think that some are beyond the reach of Jesus and what He did on the cross? Do I think that salvation is best shared in the confines of a sanctified, cleaned up , neat little church building?

I need to remember the words of Jesus in Luke 5:31-32 "Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

Join me in praying that the Lord will open our eyes and see those that need the help that only a relationship with Jesus can provide. Let's pray, not just that help will be on the way to those in need, but that by the grace of God, we will be the ones He uses to bring the help to those in need.

Following Jesus, one step at a time,
Pastor Dave

Monday, July 30, 2007

Going Thru The Motions

Have you ever been driving to work, or maybe driving home, and as you pull into the parking lot or the driveway of your house you realize, you don't remember anything about the drive! You don't remember if you stopped at that light before making the right hand turn (you know, the one with the camera....that knows if you made a complete stop). You don't remember anything about the were just going thru the motions.

Or maybe someone will ask you "How's it going?" And your response, no matter what the truth is, goes something like this, "Oh, it's good."

These thoughts and more crossed my mind while listening to "Going Thru The Motions" by Steve Camp.

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Here's the lyrics:

"Going Thru The Motions:

Why don't we take a stand against the fear the rules the hearts of men.
They're crushed and broken, by the weight of sin.
Do our lives point the way to Him.

We're full of knowledge
We're so well fed
Our churches are crowded
But our witness is dead

We say that we're livin' and pointin' the way
But if you look around you'll see nothin's really changed

We're just goin' thru the motions
Goin' thru the motions
Where is the devotion
We're goin' thru the motions

Where oh where are the tears in the night
The cries of repentance for a holier life
Our hearts are hardened and our worship is cold
Our faith is weak becaues our prayers our old

We need a fire
To fall from above
And set us aflame
With a passionate love

That burns for our Father
And cares for the lost
But I don't really think we've ever counted the cost

We're still going thru the motions
Going thru the motions
Where is the devotion
Oh, we're going thru the motions

I don't know about you, but I have found myself in this place before. I get up on Sunday morning, head off to church, put in my time, and go home. By the time I get home, I can't even remember what the message was about (of course, now I'm talking about before I became a pastor). And by Monday, it is ancient history.

Even as a pastor I'm afraid I sometimes just go through the motions. Time to prepare another sermon. Time to read another lesson. Get up. Show up. Speak up. Shut up.....for cryin' out loud, I feel like throwin' up.

Now don't get me wrong. Even if you're going thru the motions, going to church is better than staying at home, but don't we want more out of our worship and fellowship than a step above what is better than staying at home?

Don't we want more out of christian life than just a step above not going to hell?

What has happened to the passionate life for Christ? What has happened to prayer meetings where the Spirit poured out His power on the church? What has happened to times of prayer and worship where you could feel the very presence of God in your midst? What happened to christians weeping for the lost?

I don't know what happened.....but I want it back.

I don't want wimpy, just barely getting by worship.

Join me in prayer this week for revival in the church. For revival in my church. For revival in your church. For revival in HIS church.

My prayer for the church today is that we might here them say about us what they said about Paul and his companions in Acts 17:6 "...These who have turned the world upside down have come here too."

Come on, let's quit going thru the motions, and let's turn the world upside down for Jesus!

Ok, so there's that.
Pastor Dave

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Stranger To Holiness

Ok, I'm really trying to blog more here goes.

I've been listening to some old christian music recently. Most of the new stuff just leaves me cold, so I've dug out some oldies, got them on cd, and put them in my ipod, and have been reaquaining myself to some good tunes. Lately I've been listening to an album called "Shake Me To Wake Me" by Steve Camp.

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So the next few posts are going to be about the songs that have really been hitting home off of this classic album.

I want to start with the song, "Stranger To Your Holiness". I'm going to print the lyrics, and then add a comment or two.

Stranger To Holiness

Looks like the boy's in trouble again
Living much too close to the edge of sin
Now he finds himself where he should not have been
Oh God, why is Your peace so hard to find
And the answer to the questions that haunt my mind
Oh Lord, Your ways are not like mine

And it pounds like thunder within in my breast
All the anger of my humanness
And though I call You "Lord" I must confess
I'm a stranger to Your holiness, a stranger to Your holiness

Can we really be what we were meant to be
Jesus' people, living by the Spirit and living free
My heart longs to serve, but wanders so aimlessly
Oh Lord You deserve every part of me

Hear my cry of desperation as I see the wickedness of my ways
You alone are my salvation, and Lord I've learned this one thing to be true
Is that the closer I get to You, I see I'm a stranger (to Your holiness)
Don't wanna be no stranger, and it burns like a fire…

Wow.....too bad a blog cannot convey the passion and conviction that Steve puts into this song. I see myself all over these lyrics.

I want so bad to be a man of God, a man after God's own heart. But I know the sin that lives in me. I know the wickedness of my ways. More than anything else.....I want to live by the Spirit....but my flesh keeps getting in the way. My heart wanders....and like Steve sings, it wanders aimlessly....just everywhere but where it should be....focused on my Lord and Savior.
As the song ends, and the lyric "..and it burns like a fire...." strikes at the center of my heart. I want to stoke that turn it into a blazing inferno to be more and more like Jesus.

Ok, so there's that.
Pastor Dave

Monday, July 23, 2007

Who Would You Trade Places With?

I know, I know, it's been forever since I posted....ok, maybe not forever, but since May, which in the blog world is almost the same as forever. So, no excuses or anything, let's just jump back into it, shall we?

Have you ever wished you could trade places with someone else? Ever looked at someone else's life and thought, "Man, I wish I had their life."

Believe it or not, the apostle Paul wished he could trade places with someone else. In Romans 9:3 Pauls says, "I wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people" In essence, what Paul is saying is that he would trade places with his fellow jews, and he would go to hell without Jesus, if it meant that they would come to faith in Jesus.

Wow! What love and passion for people who don't know Jesus! Have you ever had that type of love and passion for the lost? I know I haven't. I read this verse tonight and repented of my lack of concern for those who don't know Jesus as their savior. I repented of my lack of love for the ones who are bound for an eternity without Jesus. I repented of my lack of passion to see souls come to salvation.

What would happen if the church would pursue the salvation of the lost with the kind of passion that Paul has here? What would happen if I would pursue the salvation of the lost with the kind of passion that Paul has here?

Please, join me tonight in praying to God for a passion to know Him and to make Him known.

Ok, so there's that.
Pastor Dave

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Who's In Charge Here?

Yesterday I was reading I Kings chapters 1 thru 4. It's about the death of David and Solomon becoming King. But it's also about one of the biggest mistakes that I think a lot of believers make, myself included.

The book starts our with Adonijah, another son of David, setting himself up as king while David was still alive. In a nutshell, he thought, well, one of David's sons will be king, might as well be me. He met with some of David's spiritual, political and military advisors and friends. They all agreed with him. And so away he went. Planning and moving ahead with his idea of what he should do, what only seemed right to him, and after all, he had the "go-ahead" from some very important people.

Only one little mistake.

He neglected to check with the one who was in charge.

He didn't check with David.

In the end, this mistake would cost him his life.

How different his life might have turned out if he had gone to David first. If he had sought the advice and direction from his father. He then might have had a place in the kingdom, under his brother Solomon and lived a long life.

But he forgot who was in charge.

Don't we do the same thing? We seek counsel from friends, from family, and from our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Don't get me wrong....this is good and we should do this......but......

Don't forget to go to the one who is in charge.

Don't forget to go to God and His Word for the final "say-so".

Al counsel and advice from outside God and His Word needs to match up to what God & His Word says. Even brothers and sisters in Christ can give us wrong/bad advice.

For example, years ago, when my wife and I were experiencing rough times in our marriage, one sister in Christ reccomended to my wife that she leave me. Man, I'm glad my wife listened to the Lord and His Word instead of that sister!

So, the next time we have a decision to make....let's remember to take it to the One who is in charge.

Ok, so there's that.
Pastor Dave

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades

Anyone else remember that one hit wonder from the group Timbuk 3?

I thought of that song when I read this in the Word today:

Exodus 34:29-30 (New International Version)
29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD. 30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant...

I thought this was sooooo cool!

Here Moses had spent time with the Lord and people could tell it just by looking at him!

I couldn't help but wonder if that ever happens today. I thought of a few people in our church, and I realized that every time I see them, the love of the Lord shines through them. I'm sure they have their "off" times and "down" times, but every time I see them, I can see the Lord in their their their laugh.

Then I wonder, does anyone see the Lord when they look at me.

Do they see the Lord in me when I am:

Driving down the freeway.
Working on cases at work.
Talking with my children.
Being a customer at a store (where the clerk cares more about talking on the phone to their friends than waiting on the person who ultimately is responsible for paying their salary and allowing them to keep their little minimum wage job!.....ooops....guess we know the answer to that one don't we)

I want people to see the Lord when they look at me.
Not for me. But for Him.

I have received my fair share of compliments and criticisms as a preacher, but one of the ones that has meant the most to me was when someone came up to me afterwards and said, "You know what I enjoy about your sermons? I can tell you have spent time with God."


That moved me.

But as a preacher that should be the norm for every message I preach.

But is it the norm for me once I leave the pulpit and walk out the church doors?

I don't know. But I do know that I am going to strive for that.

Exodus 34:29-30 (New International Version)
29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD. 30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant...

How cool is that!

Ok, so there's that.
Pastor Dave

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mothers Day's been over a month since I posted a blog!

I wonder if anyone will even read this one, considering it has been so long.

I have a lot of reasons why I have gone so long.

Here's a partial list:

Not enough time; felt like I had nothing to say; didn't think it made any difference anyway; and on and on and on.

But the biggest reason when I faced it today was this.

My daughter.

My oldest daughter that my wife and I have.

My oldest daughter that is in the middle of rebellion against God.

My oldest daughter that is in the middle of rebellion against God and had me feeling like a complete failure as a Dad, christian, and a human being.

But today, on Mothers Day, I thought about my Mom in the middle of my sermon this morning.

While preaching the "traditional" Mothers Day message (which if you don't know me, is unusual in itself), I thought of what my Mom must have thought all during my years of rebellion. You see my Mom went to be with the Lord 13 years ago. She never got to see my youngest child (he was born the day after she passed away), and she never saw me become the pastor of the biggest little church there ever was (Loma Rica Baptist Church). She never saw just what all her years of prayer and commitment to the Lord finally brought about in her oldest son.

I told the church this morning, "When you pray to God, ask Him to tell your Mom, "I love you." Ask Him to tell her, "Yes, it took. I know you must have wondered, but the commitment I made to Jesus was real. I'm living for Jesus now. Thanks for praying for me all those years."

So, I will not focus on what I often think of as my failure in the life of my daughter. I wondered away from God and spent a good ten years in the wilderness before I crossed over into the promised land of a life lived for Jesus.

I don't know how long my daughter will be where she is.

But I do know that God answers prayers.

I will keep praying for her.

I will never stop praying for her.

And I will focus on Jesus and what He has done for me.

In the process, I just might blog a bit more.

If anyone is reading this blog still....let me know what you think.

Ok, so there's that.
Pastor Dave

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I Have Met The Enemy....

I was listening to a song by Sean Smith on my ipod at work today, and part of the lyrics go like this:

"trust Me now and make My glory known, bring to Me the heart that you have hidden, bring to Me what you don't understand, follow as you should, you weren't called because you could, you were called because I can"

As a preacher & a pastor, often I feel very inadequate at what I do. Often I don't feel as though I connect with anyone....and yet God shows me time and time again, that it is not about me, it is about Him.

This song just reminded me that I need to remember that in all things, the goal is to draw myself and others closer to Christ. I am scared every time I get in the pulpit. I am a shy individual, and yet I have no doubt that God has called me to do what I am doing.

From these thoughts I started to to think about our country and the church. It seems that the country is sinking spiritually. Every time I turn around there is another whacked out religious nut ( the latest, some guy in Flordia who claims to be Jesus and has a satellite ministry, huge church, etc), or the church is pointing fingers at the gays, or the democrats, or the feminists.

If we will be obedient to all that God has told us to do in the Word, then these issues would not be issues. It's not about what we can do, but what He can and will do if we will get out of the way and let Him.

The people who claim to be christians too often act no different from the rest of the world....and so we have no saltiness.

The problem with the spiritual condition in the world is not the fault of the liberal media, the gay movement, the feminist movement, the public school system, the democarts or Darth Vader (ok, just threw that last one in to see if you are paying attention).

The problem with the spiritual condition of the world is the church.

I have met the enemy, and he is us.

Lord, help us to be what we claim to be.

Help us to live as we know we should live.

Enable us to love as you love.

Bring revival to your people Lord, and then we can take the living water to a dry and thristy world.

I encourage you to do a google search and check out some of the great revivials that this country has experienced. I guarntee that you will be amazed. Hopefully I can post some links later this week.

Ok, so there's that.
Pastor Dave

Sunday, April 8, 2007


How was your Easter?

We had a good crowd at church this morning....40 plus people. That may not seem like a lot to you, but less than three years ago, when I first came to Loma Rica Baptist Church there was less than a dozen people....God has been good!

The whole Easter holiday though, strikes me as odd.

My wife and I have had more than one person ask us, "So, what are you (or what is your church) doing for Easter?

I get a puzzled look and think, "I'm doing what I do every Sunday, I'm going to church."

For beleivers, every Sunday is Easter Sunday...because we celebrate the resurrection every Sunday! Heck...every day is Easter day, because I celebrate the risen Savior every day!

Our faith should not be compartmentalized, and put into a package that can be marketed and sold at Wal-mart in a Hallmark card!

So tomorrow, when you wake up to go to work, or to school, or if you are a stay-at-home Mom who is taking care of a family, or if you're know what scratch all of that....if you know Jesus as your Savior, and you wake up tomorrow...Celebrate Easter tomorrow!

Ok, so there's that.
Pastor Dave

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Grace & the "L" word

Sometimes when I preach, or teach on living the christian life I have been accused of the "L" word: legalism.

Truth is, I beleive it is a fine line that separates grace from legalism. Because of grace, we should be obedient to the instruction we find in the Word, but if obedience out of love turns into nothing more than rules to live by, then legalism creeps in.

I don't recall who said it, but recently I heard (or read) someone say, "Legalism is when we want people to be like us, grace is when we want them to be like Jesus."

I think that's a pretty good definition.

I'm going to close with a song lyric from one of my favorite artists...maybe in my next blog I'll explain why this song means so much to me.

by Keith Green

Lord, the feelings are not the same,
I guess I'm older, I guess I've changed.
And how I wish it had been explained, that as you're growing you must remember,
That nothing lasts, except the grace of God, by which I stand, in Jesus.
I know that I would surely fall away, except for grace, by which I'm saved.
Lord, I remember that special way,
I vowed to serve You, when it was brand new.
But like Peter, I can't even watch and pray, one hour with You,
And I bet, I could deny You too.
But nothing lasts, except the grace of God, by which I stand, in Jesus.
I'm sure that my whole life would waste away, except for grace, by which I'm saved.
But nothing lasts, except the grace of God, by which I stand, in Jesus.
I know that I would surely fall away, except for grace, by which I'm saved.

Ok, so there's that.
Pastor Dave

Sunday, April 1, 2007


As I go over my notes for this mornings sermon, I am once again convicted by my own message. It is hard to convey to someone who has not felt compelled by the Lord to prepare a message just what emotions and thoughts you go through in the process

Contrary to popular belief it is not, or should not be, just like preparing for a speech.

This is the Word of God that we are preaching from and about. It has the power to change lives for eternity.

The message this morning has to do with Ephesians 3:1.

Paul writes that he is a prisoner of Jesus. This is not some flip comment from Paul. It is a statement that he repeats at least five other times in his letters.

Being a prisoner is not something I have strived to be. I like my freedom. I like my independence. I like to be able to call the shots in my life. I like to be in charge.

And that is why I need to remember, that I am to be a prisoner of Jesus.

For too long I have be an "escaped convict" of Jesus. I have the prison clothes on. I mingle with the crowd, but something about me causes me to stand out because I don't belong with the crowd. God has called me to be a prisoner.

If anyone happens to read this before I preach this morning, please remember me in your prayers. This is going to be a hard message to preach, but I beleive it is a needed one. I know I need it.

Ok, so there's that.
Pastor Dave

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


It's late, but I want to post a bit about our first Downpour study at church. We watched the dvd lesson last week, and went over the study this week. I appreciated all of the people who shared.
One person talked about "hasty repentance" and I thought that was so very much how we often repent. It's like we just want to get it out of the way.
Another high point for me was hearing the testimonies of salvation from several differnet people.
Testimonies always get to me.....because it's the grace and mercy of God in action, each and every time. And no matter when, where, or how it happens, it always comes down to realizing our need for Jesus.
It's appropriate.
I'm anticipating not just a downpour, but a flood.
If you're anywhere in the vicinity....come and join us.

Ok, so there's that.
Pastor Dave

Monday, March 26, 2007 we go again!

It's been some time since I have blogged.

If you were to ask me why it has taken so long, I would have to say, I don't really know.

It seems as if the past couple of weeks have been like walking in a spiritual swamp.

Since I have called this blog, "Pastor Dave Lets His Hair Down", please allow me to indulge myself on this post, by sharing some thoughts and feelings I have had over the past couple of weeks.

As a pastor, I wear a lot of hats (teacher, preacher, counselor, administrator, comedian, and a few others). Of all of these, my favorite is when I get to preach. I love to study the Word, pick it apart, dissect it, put it back together, and then share it with the congregation. There is something extra-special when you are preaching the Word of God, and you feel "the connection"! I'm talking about that special moment when you know that you are connecting with the congregation and with the Holy Spirit, and it comes back to you. It is the most awesome of moments, that I cannot even begin to describe to you, and unless you have experienced it yourself, there is no way I can adequately describe it to you.

Having said all that, let me just say that the last couple of weeks in the pulpit I have felt like I was riding a tricycle with one wheel about to come off, or like I was driving a four cylinder car that was only running on three cylinders! I was getting somewhere, but it wasn't working like it was supposed to.

I didn't know what was wrong....but I knew something was wrong.

Now, our church has begun doing the DOWNPOUR study by James MacDonald. As I began to do my daily lesson each day, I began to sense something happening to me. I can only describe it as a "shifting" of sorts spiritually.

Then my wife called me at work, just as I was finishing the last lesson for this week. After talking with her, I went outside in my car and broke down and cried. I can't even tell you why I was crying...I just was. But with the tears there was a cleansing, a washing, a renewing in my heart.

Just as I couldn't tell you what was wrong before, I can't tell you what is "right" now, just that I know it is right, that all is well with my soul.

It's at this point that I'm supposed to tie this all up in a neat little biblical/spiritual package with a couple of handy, dandy verses for future use. Only problem is, I don't have any cute little sayings, or clever, catchy phrases, or any verses to use, either in, or out of context.

So I leave you with this.

It was dark, and it was dry, and it was muddy, and it was mucky.

Then it rained.

And it is now, fresh, and clean, and clear and free.

Please pray for me, as I continue to live this life, one step at a time, following in the footsteps of Jesus.

Ok, so there's that.
Pastor Dave

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Prayer Request Update

Thank you for all your prayers.

The surgery went well, and the doctor believes he got as much of the tumor out as possible.

Henry will still have to go through chemo, and other procedures in order to ensure that the cancer is completely gone, but at this time all parties involved believe that it has been defeated and destroyed.

As I receive further updates throughout the long process of healing I will post them here.

One of the amazing things to see through all of this is the grace that God gave his family as they had to wait for the results of all of this. While we were praying for Henry and his family, his parents lifted our faith when we talked to them by the strength of their faith in God through all of this and by the outpouring of the grace of God that was evident as they shared the details of what was happening as well as the thoughts and emotions they were feeling.

Still praying,
Pastor Dave

Thursday, March 15, 2007


I have an urgent prayer request. A couple that goes to my church have a son in his 20's who is scheduled to have surgery to remove a tumor from his brain at 9:00 in the morning. They have found that the tumor is cancerous. They say that the removal should be easy, but that he will have to follow up with chemo and other treatments. He is married, but has no children. Please lift him up, his wife and his parents during this trying time. It is times like these when our faith is really put to the test. I know that God is in control of all things, but I also know that these trials can cause confusion in our heads and hearts. They need the prayers of brothers and sisters to pray for strength, peace, grace and healing. I will post an update once I know more. Thank you in advance for your prayers. The young man's name is Henry & his parents are James and Glenda.

Praying for healing,
Pastor Dave

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Pray Until It Hurts

A few weeks ago in one of my sermons I talked about little acronyms that we come up with in our christian sub-culture. Things like, FROG (Full Rely On God), or COPS (Christians Obediantly Proclaiming Salvation) and PUSH (Pray Until Something Happens). I then said that we needed to pray poo-ee prayers. Which is spelled PUIH, and stands for Pray Until It Hurts. I didn't actually have "chapter & verse" for this, but felt that we often tossed prayers out without really engaging in intense prayer.

Then last week I was reading in I Samuel and came across this:

1 Samuel 1:15 (New American Standard Bible)

15But Hannah replied, "No, my lord, I am a woman oppressed in spirit; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before the LORD.

Hannah poured out her soul before the Lord. Sounds to me like she was praying until it hurt.

How often do we really pray intense gut wrenching prayers? Too often pray is just a cut little ritualistic thing we do at meals or bedtime.

I cannot help but wonder if we would really pour our heart and soul out in our prayers that maybe we would see revival break out in our churches and in our families. I'm not saying that we can "work" harder to earn the favor of God, but I am asking the question if we approach prayer with a casual and cavalier attitude, we shouldn't be surprised when our prayers seem to lack power and we do not seem to hear an answer from God.

I have thought about this a lot this past week. I have not posted a blog for a week...and with good reason. In many ways my life has been turned upside down and inside out this week. I have felt "roasted, toasted, shaked 'n' baked and put out to dry" this week. The devil has attacked me emotionally, spiritualy and run a spear through the softest part of my heart. While I was doing well in battling outward sin and temptation this week, I have been vulnerable and weak in emotional areas, especially in the area concering one of my children. The devil attacked and I did not pray with power or conviction. Because of that, he won round one, but the battle is not over yet.

Round two is upon me.

It's time to go to the "spiritual gym".

It's time for me to pray until it hurts.

I ask for those who read this blog to pray for me as well. I need the prayers of my brothers and sisters.

Prayerfully yours,
Pastor Dave

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Celebrating Unworthiness

Today I was ordained as a minister in the Southern Baptist Denomination.

I had been ordained once before by a different denomination. That ordination was solemn and funeral like.

Today was a celebration.

Friends and family were there. Laughter was overflowing.


....I felt so very unworthy.

And then it hit me.

My ordination was a celebration of my unworthiness.

I am unworthy, but HE is worthy!

Everything that was celebrated today was because of what HE has done, is doing and is continuing to do, and will do.

God is great! God is mighty! God is awesome!

So the next time you feel like a loser, don't get down...celebrate, the Bible says "For all are losers and fall short of the glory of God." (that's the New Pastor Dave translation)

Jesus is for losers, and we were all losers.

Praise God that I said yes to Jesus and moved from the losing team to the winning team.

Tomorrow is another day, and I may post a "deeper" blog, but for today, please join me in celebrating my unworthiness!

Ok, so there's that.
Pastor Dave

Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Book Of Acts

I have been watching the first half of the DVD: The Visual Bible -The Book Of Acts.

I have moved to tears and to laughter, as I have watched the start of the early church unfold before my eyes.

I find myself longing to experience the power of the Holy Spirit in my life in a mighty way. I desire to see souls saved and lives changed. My heart aches for revival in my life, the life of my family, the life of my church and my friends.

I also realize that nothing but me stands in the way for most of this to happen. I must give all of me to God, surrender completely and hold nothing back.

Tomorrow I am to be ordained as a Southern Baptist Minister. I feel so unworthy, yet I know the Worthy One. I feel unqualified, but I know the One who qualifies me.

My hearts desire is to be a Spirit filled, on fire, child of God, drawing people to Jesus.

Pray with me and for me, as I begin to feel the flames of revival stirring in my heart.

I leave you with the lyrics from a song by Steve Camp.

The Mark of a Man of God

A godly man is such a rarity today. So many start strong and true and quickly fall away. A godly man will take a stand, he can't be bought or sold. Hand to the plow he won't look back, though other hearts grow cold. He keeps the faith and keeps his conscience clean. He lives this life of Grace through all his years.

The mark of a man of God is what he's faithful to, and what he's fleeing from, and what he's fighting for. The Heart of a man of God is what he daily pursues. His family, friends, the word, the church, and worship of the Lord. A godly man daily takes up the Cross of Christ and faithfully follows him as a living sacrifice...

He's not ashamed of the gospel. His suffiency is Christ. And the Power of integrity of the passion of his life. Instead of reckless faith, he has proven his faith works, and the ulitimate priority is the Master's plan for the church.

He's saved without a doubt, for his 1st love is the Lord. And the Gospel according to Jesus is the truth he would die for...

He lives his life to teach the word in season and in not. For he fears more than any man, the approval of his God. He lovingly and firmly leads those placed under his care, and the power of his ministry is that he is a man of prayer...

The mark of a man of God is what he's faithful to, and what he's fleeing from, and what he's fighting for. The Heart of a man of God is what he daily pursues. His family, friends, the word, the church, and worship of the Lord. A godly man daily takes up the Cross of Christ and faithfully follows him as a living sacrifice..."

Striving to be a man of God,
Pastor Dave

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Why Join A Local Church?

At the church I pastor we have several people coming who have never actually joined the church. They all have various reasons, some I know of, some I do not. Some have asked me why they should join, as they have come from a background where one does not formally "join" a local church. Since ours is a congregational run church, the reason I ususally give runs along the lines of "since we are a congregational run church, you must be a member in order to cast a vote or hold an office, so being a member means you have a "say" in the direction of the church and its ministries."

For some reason I have never felt comfortable with that reason. It's a good reason. It's the truth. But I have always felt there was more to it than that. There was something that I was missing.

Then I ran across an excerpt called, "The Importance Of Joining A Church" written by Ben Patterson, from a church leadership book.

When I read what he had written it was like getting a Holy Spirit "bullet" right between the eyes! He hit the nail on the head! I realized that this is what I had missed in answering the question, "Why should I join a local church?"

So, I took what he had written, tweaked it a bit, added a bit of my own, and then printed it up for our church bulliten tomorrow. I believe it is so important, that I thought I would share it with the blog world.

Now before someone jumps to conclusions, I just want to add this. To the many brothers and sisters who have been coming faithfully to our church, but who have not put down "membership roots", I want you to know that you are a blessing to me and to every member of the church. We do not, nor will we ever see you as second class believers just because you have not actually joined our local church. I thank God for you and pray for you every chance I get. I thank you for making the decision to worship with us and to allow us to get to know you. Of course part of my prayers include you making our church your "offical" church.

And now for the answer to the question:


Why do we emphasize joining Loma Rica Baptist Church?

Because every Christian is a member of the church, that’s why. “The same act which sets us in Christ sets us also in the society of Christ,” says P.T. Forsyth. When a Christian joins a particular congregation, he or she merely bears witness to a union that has already happened spiritually.

So if we are already spiritually joined together in the body of Christ, what’s the big deal about membership in a local congregation? What can a membership at Loma Rica Baptist Church add?

Paul’s metaphor of the church as the bride of Christ can help us here. Can you imagine a man saying to his fiancee, “Dear, we are spiritually one. Please, let’s not spoil it by having a public ceremony and moving under the same roof and making love and opening a joint checking account and getting all organized to live together. Let’s keep this lovely thing spiritual.” The fiancee might well doubt the future of their relationship.

In the New Testament, the reality of the spiritual is measured by the degree to which it becomes physical. To join a particular part of the body of Christ is not to bring something into existence that was not there before. It simply makes obvious what is spiritual to prove that the spiritual is real.

It is true that a name on a membership roll is meaningless in itself. But how seriously can we take a person who says he wants to be part of the church but doesn’t want to sign his name publicly?

It is true that the organized church has many problems, and Loma Rica Baptist is no exception, but are those who shun a commitment problem free? Yes, the church is blemished. But Christ still loves her, says Paul, not because she is without blemish but that he might one day present her so. He sees the church, warts and all, and knows that he must first love that which he would change.

Loma Rica Baptist is not the church it should be, but it is the church that will one day be all that God has called it to be. To go public and join is the first step in loving it as Jesus does.

Ok, so there's that.
Pastor Dave

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Do You Believe God.....Part 2

Ok, yesterday I talked about the difference between believing God and believing in God, and today I just want to build upon that point.

Too often we thank God for being good when our prayers are answered the way we think they should, but the truth is that God is good no matter what answer we get, and therein lies one of our biggest problems.

We think that just because we don't get the answer we want, that God has not answered our prayers, when the reality is that God has answered, but not the way we want.

Our problem actually comes down to one of idolatry. We want a God that we can predict, one that makes sense to us all the time, one that will fit neatly in our back pocket and we can whip him out whenever we need him, and then gently fold him back up and slide him back in our pocket when we want to take control of our lives again.

But God doesn't work like that.

I have had to wrestle with this in my life. I came to the conclusion that I believed in God way more than I believed God.

Now, I have come to believe God.

When I pray and feel like my prayers go no further than the ceiling, I believe God hears my prayers.

When people I love refuse the love of Christ, I believe God knows the heartache I feel.

When I have more questions than answers, I believe God knows all.

When tragedy strikes and I am hurt, confused and depressed, I believe God is in control and aware of all things.

What it comes down to is that I believe that God not only hears my prayers, and I believe that God knows my hearache, and I belive that God knows everything, and I believe that God is in control and aware of all things, but even more than that I believe that God is who He says He is.

I believe that God is loving, generous, slow to anger and abounding in love. God is good. All the time. He longs to give us good gifts, even those things that we are afraid to ask. He will not always give us what we want, but will always give us what we need.

I pray that today, you will move from belief in God, to believing God.

Ok, so there's that.
Pastor Dave

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Do You Believe God?

Do you believe God?

Let me ask you again.

Do you believe God?

You might be thinking to yourself, sure I believe in God. But that is not what I asked you. Ok, one more time.

Do you believe God?

I was reading a book the other day that posed that question. It pointed out the vast difference between believe in God and believing God.

The world is full of people who believe in God, but not nearly as many believe God. The church is not immune to this either. Take a look at the way we pray.

Too often our prayers are exercizes in being pompous, pious, and timid. Instead of boldly approaching the throne of grace we politely, cautiously clear our throats and speak as though we’re not sure anyone is really listening.

In Luke 11:9-10 Jesus says,

"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened"

Too often in our prayers, we are not knocking as desperate people seeking an audience with the King of Kings; instead of knocking until our knuckles bleed, we knock quietly once or twice, and then politely slide a note under the door.

If we believe God, then we will knock loudly, and persistently. We will knock until He answers, because if we believe Him we KNOW He will answer. We need to move from hoping God will hear us, to knowing He hears us. We need to move from hoping God will answer us to knowing He will answer us. Then we move from believing in, to believing.

Continuing in Luke 9, Jesus says, "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

God wants to give us good gifts. But we must ask. Now before someone takes this and starts praying for a 5 bedroom house, with a heated pool, Jacuzzi and 3 car garage, along with vehicles to fill it, let me say this. What we think is good and what God knows is good for us are often two different things.

While we think we know what is good for us, God knows. He knows for sure and without a doubt.

The problem we have is lining up what we think, with what God knows.

And on that note, I’m going to make this blog a two-parter. I will continue tomorrow, where I leave off today, so don’t read today’s without checking back tomorrow, ok? But it will be posted late tomorrow as tomorrow night is Bible study at church.

Ok, see ya tomorrow.
Pastor Dave

Monday, February 19, 2007



It's a word that gets tossed around a lot in churches, but do most churches really have it.

In the daily reading for yesterday my eyes locked onto this verse:

Romans 15:5-6 (New International Version)

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus,so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.


It made me think.

Does the church I pastor have unity in vision? Do we have unity of mission? Do we have a unity of calling? Do all our committees and programs work together for a common unity, or do we all have our own agenda?

What about your church? If you took a poll of all the members would they all agree on the reason that your particular church is doing what it does?

This may seem like a no-brainer for most of us, but I'm afraid that most churches are not in unity, rather most of our churches are more of an organized chaos. Pastors, deacons, teachers, worship leaders, committee members, and all other members too often have their own agenda, their own goal, their own vision, instead of one single solitary united vision.

Look at the words that Paul links with unity. He says "May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity..." Ever wonder why Paul makes mention of endurance and encouragement when he is going to be talking about unity? It's because he knows that in order for unity to happen, God is going to have to give us encouragement and endurance. We will need both for unity to take place. When our ideas, our goals, our plans, our vision get moved aside or rearranged for the goal of a unified vision, we will need encouragement to keep going, we will need encouragement so that we know that just because things aren't going the way of our vision, our goal, or our plans, doesn't mean that the vision, goal or plan was a bad one, just that it was not the right one for this time. We will need endurance because it will take a lot of work to come together as one unit....united for a common purpose. It will take endurance to "hammer" out a common goal, a common purpose, a unifying vision.

But if a church is to accomplish more than spinning it's wheels, and just staying busy for the sake of something to do, then unity is absolutely essential.

As Paul writes, when there is unity it glorifies God.

Ok, so there's that.
Pastor Dave

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Playing Chicken With God

In my Sunday School class this morning we were learning about the Lord's Prayer and when I got to this part a thought crossed my mind:

Matthew 6:9-10 (New International Version)
"This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

I zeroed in on the your will be done part, and I thought of how we play chicken with God.

You remember that game when you were teenagers don't you? Two cars heading toward one another at a high rate of speed on the same side of the road. The one who swerved out of the way of the other car first was labeled "chicken" and the other would be the winner. Of course, no one wanted to be the "chicken" so you would wait until the last moment to swerve. I don't know where to get statistics on this game, but I wonder how many kids were injured or killed playing this game.

I think a better name for the game would be called "stupid".

And yet.....

We do the same thing with God.

Two wills are traveling down the road of life heading toward each other.

One is the will of God...the other is my will (or your will).

I'm heading for a collision unless I swerve out of the way and give the will of God the right of way.

But I'm not about to be called a chicken.

I'm not about to give up my will...after all it's MY WILL!

The problem is that if I don't give it up and give God the right of way, we will crash, and God will walk away from the crash without a scratch, while I'm liable to be maimed or crippled for life! What is up with that? Why am I so stubborn?

You see, when it comes to playing chicken with God we will always lose no matter what. God is not going to change. He is not going to let us go headlong on our own path without running into us, and He will always come out of the crash in better shape than we will.

Sometimes I will even think I am doing the will of God, and then crash! It's like His car had a cloaking device (if you don't know what that is, ask someone who watches Star Trek), and wham! There I am, a casualty of another game of chicken with God.

So what do I do. The answer is really quite simple.

Romans 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

My mind needs to be renewed. And the only way it can be renewed is by reading and studying the word of God. There's no shortcuts. No cliff's notes. No readers digest version. No comic book version (well actually, my son has a comic book version of the Bible....but you really need more than that).

So I encourage you to read your Bible. Study your Bible. Call your pastor with the questions....because if you read it you will have questions.

And the next time you feel tempted to play chicken with God, you'll know it's a losing game, and you'll give up before the game even begins.

Besides, life opposing God is not a game after all, it is serious business.

Ok, so there's that.
Pastor Dave

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I'm Baaaaacck!

To everyone who has been wondering where I have been for the past week or so, well, I'm back. As to where I've been....just dealing with life.

About a week ago I came down with a flu type bug. It knocked me down, and with all the sickness at home, problems at work, and stuff in general, I just had a little pity party for awhile (I sent out invitations...didn't you get yours).

The light began to shine again when two brothers and I went to see a concert by a guy named David Crowder. Now, first let me say this. If you don't have any cds by David Crowder, go out and buy one tomorrow. He's that good.

Second, one song in particular moved me emotionally and spiritually. Some of the lyrics are:

And He set me on fire
And I am burning alive
With His breath in my lungs
I am coming undone
And I cannot hold it in and remain composed
Love’s taken over me and so
I propose the letting myself go
I am letting myself go

This began a revival in me that is burning today. I am more stoked about being a child of God than ever before! Part of me wants to shout it from the rooftops or go running down the street yelling and jumping and leaping...but I don't want the men in the nice white clothes to come and take me away.

I want to just thank all my friends and brothers and sisters for all their prayers in this past week. God is listening. I am proof.

Like Paul did in some of his letters, I want to thank a few people by name. You may not even know what you have done to help bring me to this place of personal revival, but you have been a part of it.

Deena, my wonderful wife and best friend for life. I have truly been blessed by God with you.

Steve and Bob, we are truly brothers from different mothers. I cannot think of any other brothers that I would ever want to journey on this faith road with. Thanks for walking with me.

Gail M., thanks for thinking about me at work and praying for me.

Fran, thanks for being my friend through thick and thin. What can I say but, "Nyuk, nyuk nyuk."

All at Loma Rica Baptist Church, I could not thank you all individually, even though you each in your own individual way mean so much to me, but I'm afraid I might forget someone, and so I want to thank you all for allowing me the privilidge and blessing to be your pastor. The past two plus years has been the ride of my life, and I'm hanging on, 'cause I beleive we haven't seen nothin' yet.

and last, but in no way least,

Jesus, thank you for without you I would not be.

Ok, so there's that.
Pastor Dave

(p.s. Steve, ya got your fix now)

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

How Does This Happen?

Yesterday I read this passage of scripture:

Judges 2:8-13 (New International Version)

"Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of a hundred and ten. And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath Heres in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.
After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals. They forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They provoked the LORD to anger because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths."

And I have to ask myself, "How does this happen?"

How is it that one generation can be so far removed spiritually from the previous generation? What went, or what goes wrong?

I wish I had the answer to that question.

I think my parents did a real good job of raising me in church and teaching me the things of God as best as they could, and yet I still wandered away from the Lord for about ten years.

Our oldest daughter is following the same pattern, and I constantly hear from other christian parents whose children have done the same.

I know the well meaning phrases we tell one another during these times, things like:
"They will come back." "You know the scripture says, If you train up a child in the way they should go, they will come back when they are older." and others like it.

The only problem I have with these well meaning statements is that I have seen many children grow up in good christian homes, and some don't come back. Some have died at an early age.

To watch my daughter, and others I love, live a life away from the Lord is harder than anything I have evere done, and it has made me appreciate my parents even more, as I have realized what I put them through all those years ago.

As with so many things that I find in the Bible that I don't understand, I will leave this in the hands of God.

I'm sorry if this post is not as entertaining as some, but sometimes the scriptures leave me with more questions than they do answers.

I will still hold onto Jesus and the Word, because, to paraphrase what Peter told Jesus, where else could I go, only Jesus has the words of eternal life.

Life is hard. God is good. The questions usually outnumber the answers. But God is good...all the time.

I leave you with the lyrics to two different songs, with the same title. The first one is written by Michael Been and I first heard on a Russ Taff album in the 80's. The second one is by Jeremy Camp. Both have comforted me when the questions arise.


I've been in a cave
For forty days
Only a spark
To light my way
I want to give out
I want to give in
This is our crime
This is our sin
But I still believe
I still believe
Through the pain
And through the grief
Through the lies
And through the storms
Through the cries
And through the wars
I still believe

Flat on my back
Out at sea
Hoping these waves
Don't cover me
I'm turned and tossed
Upon the waves
When the darkness comes
I feel the grave
But I still believe
I still believe
Through the cold and through the heat
through the rain
And through the tears
Through the crowds
And through the cheers
I still believe

I'll march this road
I'll climb this hill
Upon my knees If I have to
I'll take my place
Upon this stage
I'll wait till the end of time
For You
For people like us
In places like this
We need all the hope
That we can get
I still believe
I still believe
Through the shame
And through the grief
Through the heartache
And through the tears
Through the waiting
And through the years
I still believe

Words and music by Michael Been and J. Goodwin
1986 Neeb/Tarka Music/Ascap, Tileface Music (BMI)

"I Still Believe"
by Jeremy Camp

Scattered words and empty thoughts
Seem to pour from my heart
I've never felt so torn before
Seems I dont know where to start
But its now I feel Your grace fall like rain
From every fingertip washing away my pain

I still believe in Your faithfulness
I still believe in Your truth
I still believe in Your Holy word
Even when I dont see I still believe

Though the questions still fog up my mind
With promises I still seem to bear
Even when answers slowly unwind
It's my heart I see you prepare
But its now that I feel Your grace fall like rain
From every fingertip washing away my pain

The only place I can go is into Your arms
Where I throw to You my feeble prayers in brokeness
I can see that this is Your will for me
Help me to know You are near

Letting God hold me,
Pastor Dave

Monday, February 5, 2007

My Dysfunctional Family

Several years ago we all began hearing the term “dysfunctional family”. It was tossed around like it was the answer to what is wrong with many families. At the time I didn’t give it much thought. After all, these things were defined by people with lots of letters on the diplomas that hung on their walls. What did I know, I was just a regular Dad trying my best to make sure none of my kids tried to insert a peanut butter sandwich into the slot on the VCR. Dysfunctional families? Made sense to me.

However, what I have since discovered is that the idea of the dysfunctional family is nothing new. In fact, I believe that the dysfunctional family is the normal family. Now before you freak out, let’s look at the definition of the word “dysfunction”. The dictionary says it means:

1 : impaired or abnormal functioning
2 : abnormal or unhealthy interpersonal behavior or interaction within a group

Is there a family out there who doesn’t have someone in it that would fit that description?

Not only is it true in our days, but way back in the Bible times it was true also. Take a look at the chapters I read in Genesis today. In chapters 20 through 23 we find Abraham lying to someone by telling them that his wife was really his sister. This is the 2nd recorded time that Abe did that….and then he tries to make excuses by saying how it really wasn’t a lie, it was just "sorta" a lie (see /Genesis 20:12), then he sends one of his sons away from home with the boys Mother, and they would have died if God had not intervened. On top of that he then went on to offer up his son Issac as a sacrifice, which God had instructed him to do, but then God stopped him as it was only a test of Abe’s faith.

Talk about dysfunctional! Abe could have wrote the book! He was a habitual liar, an absent Father, guilty of abandonment, and the little thing with Issac would have messed up any kids head. I think of all the kids who complain about how their parents have “forced” religion on them…and then you have Issac who was almost sacrificed for the religion of his Father. Whew!

But then I think back even further…Adam and Eve had one son who killed another son…sounds a little dysfunctional to me! And let’s not forget Joseph, whose brothers wanted to kill him, but instead decided to make a profit off of him and sell him into slavery.

You see, dysfunctional families are the norm, because we are dysfunctional people! The only way for us to move from our dysfunctional state to a functional state is to put our faith and trust in Jesus to save us from our dysfunction (sins).

Even then, as long as we live on this planet the way it is, and live in these bodies, we will constantly deal with our dysfunctional lives. One day, either when we go to be with the Lord, or He comes to be with us, we will shed our dysfunctional bodies and this dysfunctional planet and be all that we were created to be.

I look forward to that day more and more as I get older. I’m tired of being dysfunctional. I’m tired of hurting the ones that I love, of arguing with those closest to me. I look forward to the day when sin is no more and our relationships with one another are full, complete and perfect. No more arguing. No more mean spirited words out of our mouths. No more spiteful comments. No more insults.

Most of all, I look forward of being face to face with my Lord and Savior, Jesus, and I look forward to not hurting Him anymore with my dysfunctional life.

Until that day though, I will continue my journey here on this dysfunctional planet, in this dysfunctional body, following Jesus and allowing Him to turn my dysfunctional life into a functional one.

Ok, so there’s that.
Pastor Dave

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Blues

Being the music lover that I am, I'm surprised it took me so long to appreciate the genre called "The Blues". Maybe I had to have a few years under my belt (I'll be 50 this year), but there are others who have appreciated this style of music that are much younger than me. Some of them even play it (Johnny Lang comes to mind), so it's not a matter of's more a matter of feeling...of life experiences. The blues conveys emotions that no other music form least to me.

As a christian, trying to find christian blues music seems like an exersize in futility. I mean, Jesus brings us abundant life, right? He brings us blessings, and a cheery outlook on all things, correct?

Well, Jesus did give me life, and life abudnantly! He has given me peace! He has given me joy! He has given me mercy! He has given me grace! He has given me Himself!

But I still live in a fallen world. And sometimes this world gives me the blues. As I type this it is 8:55 pm. I normally have bible study at our church on Weds. nights, but tonight I am home taking care of a sick wife, and two sick children. My wife has been sick all week, and so has my son. My daughter just got hit by the flu bug last night. They are all feeling yucky!

Seeing those that I love suffer from sickness, which is a result of nothing more than contracting some unknown flu virus makes me blue. It also makes me angry, not angry at them, but angry at sin and the devil, and longing for the day when Jesus comes back and makes all things right. So I guess it was great that I was reading in the Psalms today.

You're probably thinking that I'm now going to share how I read some of the Psalms and they talked of how great and mighty the Lord is and how wonderful He is, and that "picked" me up. Well, yes and no.

Actually, here is some of what I read in the Psalms today:

Psalm 12:1-4 (New International Version)

1 Help, LORD, for the godly are no more;
the faithful have vanished from among men.
2 Everyone lies to his neighbor;
their flattering lips speak with deception.

3 May the LORD cut off all flattering lips
and every boastful tongue

4 that says, "We will triumph with our tongues;
we own our lips—who is our master?"

Ummmm...not exactly uplifiting.

Then there was this one:

Psalm 13:1-4 (New International Version)

1 How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;

4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall

Ouch! Not exactly Sunday morning praise and worship time!

Today's readings reminded me that the Psalms are not all rah-rah songs for the Lord. They deal with real people, going through real issues, feeling real feelings....and not all of them are "good" feelings.

So, although the Psalms I read were not "cheery, pick-me-up and make me wanna shout" psalms, they still made me feel better about the blues I was goin' through. I felt better simply because I was reminded that I was not alone in my blues.

And then, there were these verses in the same chapters:

Psalm 12:7 O LORD, you will keep us safe
and protect us from such people forever.

and this one:

Psalm 13:5-6 (New International Version)

5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.

6 I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.

Like the psalmist, I too know that even though I'm going through the blues right now, I know that tomorrow is another day. I know that ultimately God is in control. I know that I can trust in the Lord, and my heart does rejoice in the salvation that is mine through Jesus.

So, my recomendation for the blues: Read the Psalms.

And then put on some music by Darrell Mansfield & Glenn Kaiser (and if you don't know who they are, they are some of the best, if not THE BEST Christian blues artists around...and if you want to sample some of their tunes, let me know)

Oh, and if anyone from church reads was it tonight? I missed you all, and spent some time in prayer for you.

Ok, so there's that.
Pastor Dave