Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's A Small World After All

Just a quick blog today concerning facebook.

I had the privilege and honor of praying with someone I "met" on facebook.
They live in the same area as where I grew up, and are dealing with a child that has a type of cancer. I had posted something about praying for one of my children, and in an instant message with one another, we prayed for each other and for our children.

It was an amazing thing. I felt the power of God while the prayers were being posted back and forth.

It just goes to show that although the internet (along with much of our modern technlogoy) can be used for evil, it can also be used by a Holy God and His children to lift up and encourage one another.

Honestly, I felt as if this was a little slice of what heaven will be like. People from all times and places, coming together as brothers and sisters in the Lord, worshiping and working together, as if we had known each other for years.

I can hardly wait for that day to arrive.

But until then, I will used Facebook to reach out and minister to those who I have never "met", and yet will spend eternity with.

I guess the song was right, it is a small world after all.

Ok, so there's that.
Pastor Dave

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


How many of you get frustrated?

I have been battling frustration all day long.

I am supposed to teach a lesson at church in about an hour and a half, and I don't know how I'm going to do it.

I am frustrated.

I am frustrated about my weight and my inability to lose it.

I know, it's a strange subject for this blog, but it's my blog, so I'm going to write about it.

I am making a thought out, concentrated effort to lose the weight, once and for all.

If anyone is still reading, I ask for your help. Pray for me. Send me an email of encouragement, or suggesttion.

I will hold myslef accountable to the blog and post weekly updates.

I started out weighing 256 pounds. My goal is to hit 185. Believe me, this is a good weight for me. I'm way too short to weigh what I do.

I know that my weight is unhealthy, and even more important to me, it is not pleasing to God, my Father and sustainer of my life.

I give this issue to you today Lord.

Pastor Dave

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Can Anything Good Come From San Quentin?

When Nathaniel was told by his friend Phillip that he had found the Messiah and that the Messiah was Jesus of Nazareth, Nathaniel replied, "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked. "Come and see," said Philip. (John 1:46)

I thought of this verse as I finished reading the book, "Lessons From San Quentin" by Bill Dallas. It is subtitled, "Everything I Needed To Know About Life I Learned In Prison".

How could anything good come out of San Quentin (other than a Johnny Cash song & album)?

You'll just have to read the book.

I was attracted to the book because I thought it was a biography, and I love reading biographies of men and women who share their stories of their life before and after becoming a christian.

Boy, was I in for a surprise!

Although the book contains biographical information on Bill Dallas, the book is not a biography.

What do I mean by the book!

This book has convicted me in areas of my life with Christ that I thought I already had "under control". It has made me re-evaluate just what it means to be a believer in the very prosperous United States of America.

How did it do that, you ask?

You'll have to read the book.

This book reads quick, but it does not offer a quick fix, or a lot of spiritual cliches. It will make you think, and think again. It will make you stop, or at least slow down and ponder the direction your life is going, and not just where it is going, by why it is going in that direction.

Bill became a believer in Jesus before he went to San Quentin, but he did not become the believer God wanted him to be until after he was in San Quentin prison, as prisoner number H64741.

How did that happen?

You'll have to read the book.

Lessons From San Quentin

Pick up a copy of this book, read it, absorb it, and thank God that you are able to learn the lessons that Bill Dallas learned, but without having to go to San Quentin.

Ok, so there's that.
Pastor Dave

Monday, February 23, 2009

The More Things Change....

Do you remember the saying, "The more things change, the more they stay the same"?

I have found that to be true in trying to keep up this blog. I have the best of intentions, and yet life keeps getting in the way.

So, once again I am posting after a long break. I would like to say that I will FINALLY start posting daily....but, even the best laid plans, etc. etc. etc.

Anyway, I want to share something I read online today by John Piper.

I will not add any extra comments or anything, just know that this excerpt from one of his sermons is powerful.

Let me know what you think.

And now, here's John Piper:

"But the hard truth is that most Christians don’t pray very much. They pray at meals—unless they’re still stuck in the adolescent stage of calling good habits legalism. They whisper prayers before tough meetings. They say something brief as they crawl into bed. But very few set aside set times to pray alone—and fewer still think it is worth it to meet with others to pray. And we wonder why our faith is weak. And our hope is feeble. And our passion for Christ is small.

And meanwhile the devil is whispering all over this room: “The pastor is getting legalistic now. He’s starting to use guilt now. He’s getting out the law now.” To which I say, “To hell with the devil and all of his destructive lies. Be free!” Is it true that intentional, regular, disciplined, earnest, Christ-dependent, God-glorifying, joyful prayer is a duty? . . . Is it a discipline?

You can call it that.

It’s a duty the way it’s the duty of a scuba diver to put on his air tank before he goes underwater.

It’s a duty the way pilots listen to air traffic controllers.

It’s a duty the way soldiers in combat clean their rifles and load their guns.

It’s a duty the way hungry people eat food.

It’s a duty the way thirsty people drink water.

It’s a duty the way a deaf man puts in his hearing aid.

It’s a duty the way a diabetic takes his insulin.

It’s a duty the way Pooh Bear looks for honey.

It’s a duty the way pirates look for gold.

I hate the devil, and the way he is killing some of you by persuading you it is legalistic to be as regular in your prayers as you are in your eating and sleeping and Internet use. Do you not see what a sucker he his making out of you? He is laughing up his sleeve at how easy it is to deceive Christians about the importance of prayer.

God has given us means of grace. If we do not use them to their fullest advantage, our complaints against him will not stick. If we don’t eat, we starve. If we don’t drink, we get dehydrated. If we don’t exercise a muscle, it atrophies. If we don’t breathe, we suffocate. And just as there are physical means of life, there spiritual are means of grace. Resist the lies of the devil in 2009, and get a bigger breakthrough in prayer than you’ve ever had."

Ok, so there's that.

Pastor Dave

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Job & Facebook

While reading in the book of Job this morning my mind drifted to my Facebook account. This might seem strange to some of you, but I will explain in just a minute.

In case you are unaware of what Facebook is, here is a consicse definition that I found in Wikipedia:

"Facebook, formerly The Facebook, is a free-access social networking website that is operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. Users can join networks organized by city, workplace, school, and region to connect and interact with other people. People can also add friends and send them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves."

Or, as one of my friends have said, "Facebook is MySpace for adults."

Now, on to the book of Job and the Facebook connection.

I was reading in Job chapters 7,8 & 9 and these verses jumped out at me:

Job 7:7: "Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath..."

Job 9:25: "My days are swifter than a runner..."

Job 9:26: "They skim past like boats of papyrus, like eagles swooping down on their prey."

Job has come to the conclusion here that life goes by very quickly. One day your'e young and the next you're old. One day you have a lifetime ahead of you and the next day you're reading obituaries of people who are your age, or younger.

Now, what does this have to do with Facebook?

Well, since I have been on Facebook I have reconnected to several of my childhood friends and people I knew in High School. One person I found I had first become friends with when I was six years old. Another now lives in Spain. Some have battled cancer and survived. Others have gone through painful divorces. Many are still happily married and are now grandparents!! Although some of the people I have reconected with on Facebook were not part of the crowd that I ran around with in High School, we all knew of each other, and the cliques that were so important back them seemed to have vanished. I have enjoyed getting to know some people that I only remember seeing at school back then, but never interacting with.

So while reading Job and his reflection on the brievity of life, I thought of all those years ago, with friends that I have reconected with on Facebook. We could not have imagined being grandparents, battling cancer, the hurt caused by divorce, and all the things that life throws at you as the years go by.

But one of the greatest joys has been finding the number of friends that are now believers in Christ. I knew the Lord in my High School days, but I was not really walking with the Lord back then. What a rush it has been to read of testimonies of people that I knew back then and will now be able to spend eternity with!

And this brings me to the conclusion of this blog. There is life after High School. There is life after marriage. There is life after children. There is life after divorce. There is life after cancer.

There is even life after death.

Yep. You read that right. There is life after death.

You will either live with Jesus forever, or separated from Him forever in hell.

The choice is up to you.

I will be 52 years old this year. Job was right. Life goes by fast. Soon it will be over. The time to choose is now.

Now, I'm going to go check out my facebook page and see what my friends are doing.

Pastor Dave

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pigs, Radical Faith & The Harvest

I was reading Matthew chapters 8 & 9 today in my daily quiet time....and was struck by three sections that don't really seem to connect with each other, and yet they do.

In Matthew 8:28 - 34 we read of Jesus driving out the demons from two demon posessed men. He then sends the demons into a herd of pigs and it drives the pigs crazy and they run down the steep hill, like jumping off of a cliff, into the water and they drown.

Now here is the part I want you to read for yourself: "Then those who kept them fled; and they went away into the city and told everything, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they begged Him to depart from their region."

They were told EVERYTHING, including what had happened to the demon posessed men. Were they happy about that? Did they check out these men to see how they were? Nope. Not a word about how they were big fat zero.

What did they care about? Their pigs. They were upset that Jesus had wrecked their way of making a living...they didn't care about the men that were changed and in their right mind...they wanted their pigs back and they wanted Jesus to leave, and to leave quickly, they were begging him to go.

Now jump to Matthew chapter 9 and we read where Jesus had healed two blind men and drove a demon out of a man that had caused the man to be unable to talk. The reaction was a little bit different there, the people said in verse 33, "...Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel."

And now if you will kindly jump just a few verses ahead, Jesus is talking to his disciples about the need for people to go out and take the healing message of the gospel to the world. In chapter 9, verses 37 & 38 Jesus says, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

Now let me pull these three seemingly unrelated passges of scripture together.

First, the pigs. You see I realzied I had been guilty of sometimes preferring the pigs to Jesus. I like my stuff, my time to do as I please. I don't always like the idea of having to give stuff up in order to serve Jesus, in order to share my faith so that someones life might be changed for eternity. I have stuff to do, I have stuff to enjoy, I have stuff to watch, I have stuff to take care of.

No I don't. When my stuff, my pigs come before Jesus and my love for the lost, then my stuff has me. This is wrong. This is sin.

What would happen if I would get rid of the suff/pigs in my life? Maybe someone would start saying about my walk with Christ, "Wow...we've never seen anyone like that around here?" But that is too limiting, and too easy for me to fall into the sin of pride, so better yet, what if I put the lost before my stuff/pigs (I think from here on out I'm just going to refer to them as my "stuffed pigs"), maybe people would begin to say about my church and my community, "Wow....nothing like this has ever happened here before".

I'm just foolish enough to believe that something like that could happen. I believe it could happen because according to what Jesus said in the last scriptures I read, the problem isn't that we are lacking in people that are ready to hear and respond to the life changing power of the gospel....the problem is that there aren't enough people to take the gospel to them. In fact, according to what Jesus said, the people are ripe for the harvest...they are right there...on the edge of chosing Christ.

Maybe there isn't enough people to take the gospel to them, not because of a lack of people, but a lack of willing people. A lack of people willing to get rid of the stuffed pigs in their life and to live a radical life for Christ that causes people to respond to the gospel in a way that whole communities are impacted.

Please don't misunderstand me here. I'm not pointing any fingers at anyone except myself. I know what distracts me. I know what sin easily trips me up. I know just what stuff I covet. You will have to look at your own life, your own stuff, your own heart.

But for me, I think it's time to throw some stuffed pigs off the cliff and drown them.

Ok, so there's that.

Pastor Dave