Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sickness & A New Book

I've been sick for about a week....the longest I can remember being sick. I'm on the mend now, but it knocked me out for about 6 days. I didn't blog, I didn't study, and I hardly read.

But, now that I am better, I picked up a new book, "Sitting At The Feet Of Rabbi Jesus" by Ann Sangler & Lois Tverberg.


I have only read four chapters, but I have done something while reading this book that I have never done before. I just finished reading the fourth chapter, "Following The Rabbi", which deals with discipleship, mentoring and apprenticeship. When I was done, I went back and read it again. This chapter alone makes this book a must read for everyone who wants to know what it means to be a true follower of Jesus.

We have reduced being a disciple in the western world to completing a class or keeping a list of "do's and don't's". We have not really comprehended what it means to "leave all" and follow Jesus. This chapter has shown me that it is all about following Jesus with our entire life. Discpleship is not something we do, it is something we are. To leave everything and follow Jesus is not about leaving family, jobs, or possessions, it is about leaving self. It is about leaving our wants, our desires and pouring our life out as an offering to Him. It is about living our life in such a way that everything we do points to our love of Jesus.

It is living out Romans 12:1-2(The Message)
"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you."

I think I'm going to go back and read chapter four again, and then move on from there. I'm enjoying sitting at the feet of Rabbi Jesus, and I think you will too.

Still learning,
Pastor Dave

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pastor Dave Cuts His Hair Off

Ok, when I started this blog I thought I would be real clever and title it "Pastor Dave Lets His Hair Down". This was because the majority of the people at the church I pastor had never seen me with my long hair "down" it was normally kept neat and tidy in a ponytail. It also was to let people know that these were the ramblings and thoughts of my mind and my journey with Christ and not in any way, shape or form to be taken as the general consesus of the church that I pastor or as some sort of an official church blog.

Now after seven years of letting my hair grow out I have taken the plunge and chopped it off, so I thought a new picture was in order.

So, to any of my readers I ask this question: Should the name of the blog remain "Pastor Dave Lets His Hair Down", or should I change the name to something else?

Let me know what you think, and if you think it should be changed, let me know what you think might be a good name. If I pick a new name from one that is submitted I will send the "winner" a prize.

Ok, so there's that.
Pastor Dave


If there is one word that seems to send fear (or often guilt) into the heart of a follower of Jesus it is that one word: witness.

I used to wonder why more Christians didn't share their faith. These days I have shifted that question to myslef. Why do I not share what I believe more often?

I just finished a book by Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron called "Thanks A Million".


In this book, Ray and Kirk share the adventures they have sharing their faith using a method that is called "The Way Of The Master", along with tracts that they hand out. Now our church has gone through "The Way Of The Master" series and I have to say I learned a lot about sharing my faith. Ray and Kirk have a lot of critcs when it comes to what they do, but I wonder if anyone else is spreading the gospel on such a consistent basis?

Paul said that we are to take the gospel to those who need to hear it.
Romans 10:12 "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?"

We must take the gospel to the lost...this is not for the "professionals". This is for all of us who call ourselves beleivers.

If I have any criticism of the book, it is that they don't seem to "close the deal" very often when they let people know they need the Lord. In other words they don't ask them if they want to repent and ask the Lord into their life. In their defense, they beleive if someone really wants to know the Lord after hearing that they are on their way to hell and that Jesus has paid the price so they can have a relationship with God, be forgiven and have eternal life, that the person will not need any prodding, but will be moved to do this themselves. Some in the book did just that.

Others might be critical because they seem to lead people to faith in Jesus, but don't disciple them. I beleive this is a valid point, not just in regards to Ray and Kirk, but for the Western Church as a whole. Remember what Jesus said in the great commission:

Matthew 28:18-20: "Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and MAKE DISCIPLES of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

One of the ways that the the church has dropped the ball is in the area of discipleship. I stand just as guilty as the next beleiver in this area and it is something we plan on correcting in our church very quickly.

To be fair to Ray and Kirk, this was a book on witnessing, not on discipleship. They may have a disicpleship program in place that I am not aware of.

Myself, I beleive the best way to share our faith is to build relationships with those who don't know Jesus and then speak the gospel into their lives. However, this is not always possible. Jesus did not wait until he developed a friendship with every person he came into contact with. Can you imagine standing before God and explaining to God that we did not share our faith more because we did not have more friends? Sounds kinda lame doesn't it?

I have been motivated and convicted by the testimony of this book. So much so, that I took some tracts along with a witnessing card I printed on my computer and began to pass them out yesterday. I left them at various places that I went to all day, and have decided that I would not go anywhere that I will not leave a tract and a card. The tract explains the gospel message and the card gives a phone number that they can contact. I had to go to the hospital three times yesterday to visit someone and left one in the waiting room each time. Each time I went back, the card was gone...who got it...did it do any good...only God knows the answer to that, but I don't beleive it did any harm.

We have a local coffe house here called "The Brick". I'm thinking about going down there to share the gospel next week when they have their "open mic" night. Pray for me.

And to Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron, thanks a million for what you do for the sake of the gospel.

Pastor Dave


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

True Worship

Does anyone besides me get annoyed when people refer to the music portion of a church service as the "worship" time, or the "worship" portion of the service?

As a pastor, I have always seen the whole meeting time as a time for worship. Sunday School is worship....singing is worship....praying together is of the tithes and offerings is worship...and the preaching is worship.

Then today I read a passage in Romans that I have read many, many, many times. But, as often happens when reading scripture, it hit me different today.

Here is the scripture:

Romans 12:-2: Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is TRUE WORSHIP. Do not conform 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.

Now I think the main reason is that I normally have read this out of the NIV and this time I was reading out of the TNIV. In the NIV the word "true" is not used. Instead it uses the word "spiritual act" instead. In the KJV it says it is your "resonable service", while the ESV uses the word "spiritual" like the NIV. The Amplified version translates that portion of the verse this way: "your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship", so it includes resonable, service, spiritual and worship all joined together.

I went to the original languages to try and see if it could shed any light on this for me. I found that the word for "service" in the KJV and "worship" in some of the other translations was a greek word "latreia" and that it meant "ministration of God, i.e. worship - (divine) service". It comes from the word "latreno", which means ""to minister (to God), i.e. render relgious homage: serve-do the service, worship(er)"

So I by looking at this it tells me that my whole life is to be an act of worship. That our whole life is to be an act of worship. I'm to offer up myself, I am to become worship, (don't misunderstand me here-I did not say I am to be worshipped, only God is to be worshipped). My life is to be worship. I am to serve God in all that I do.

What does that look like?

Well, I can only imagine. I think it would look something like this:

That job that I hate, those people I work with that get on my nerves, I am to present myslef in such a way that they can look at me and say, "Wow. There's something different about him. He isn't working for a paycheck, or just putting in his time. It's like he's doing this for a higher cause."

With our families, we would live as though we are a worshipper. The way we handled ourselves around them, the things we did for entertainment, the things we do for education, the things we do for each other, would all show that our purpose in life is not self pleasure, self fullfilment, self satisfaction, instead it is for an audience of ONE.

This has made me think harder about what true worship is.

Can I worship God on Sunday morning if I live a life of 'un-worship" Monday through Saturday? Can I turn worship on and off at my will? Is it a feeling? Is it an emotion? Is it Sunday morning rituals?

To answer the first question, yes I can worship God on Sunday morning if I live a life of "un-worship" Monday through Saturday, but is it true worship? I don't think so.

To answer the other questions, I beleive the answer is "no". True worship is life. It is living for Christ in all that we do. Is Sunday morning worship special? Sure it is. But so is looking up at the stars at night and giving thanks to the maker of the stars. So is going to a childs softball game and enjoying all that God has made, the weather, the food, the yelling, the celebrating, the people all around us.

The way we live our lives is to be a sacrifce to God. That is a life of worship. To tie it all together, it is to do all the things I just mentioned, but doing it with the attitude that it is all a gift from God and that you are willing to offer it all back up to him at any time, because He is worthy. Because He is God. Because He is merciful to us.

Ok, I gotta go worship God now by picking my son up from school...hope to see some of you at worship sometime soon, maybe at a church service, or maybe at Wal-mart.

Pastor Dave

Friday, March 13, 2009

What Is Your Heart's Desire

Tonight I was reading in Romans and I stopped at Romans 10:1.
Here Pauls says, "Brothers and sisters, my heqrt's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved."

It caused me to take a hard look at my life.

I asked myself, "Dave, what is your heart's desire?" For a long time it was to not have to be a bi-vocational pastor, so that I could devote myself full time to the work the Lord has given me. Now, there is nothing wrong with that. The Lord has given me a church to pastor, and I am to teach and to lead them as they journey on this road of faith.

Paul too had brothers and sisters he taught and led. He wrote letters to the churches about doctrine, about things they had right and things they had wrong. He wrote to those who he had mentored, and reccomended brothers and sisters as co-laborers in the work of the Lord.

And yet here he states that his heart's desire is to see his fellow Israelites saved.

I realized that my passion for the lost had slipped away somewhere on this journey of faith. I had misplaced it with study, teaching and preaching. All of those things are good and necessary, but they will all be done so much better once I get to glory.

Sharing my faith, leading people to the Lord is the only thing that has to be done now, before we get to eternity. I wonder how many believers will step into eternity, never having shared their faith in Jesus and never having led one person to the Lord. And then it will be too late. Too late for them to experince this, and too late for those who they did not take the time to share with.

Pray for me in this area. I am spending this weekend in prayer for the lost. For some specific friends and relatives, and for a boldness in my life to take the gospel wherever I go. I want not just boldness, but wisdom, kindness and compassion as well.

Don't get me wrong. I love pastoring. I love teaching the Word of God. I love preaching. But I have never had an experience that equals what it is like when you have the privledge and honor of leading someone to faith in Jesus.

I'ts time I get back in the battle. Maybe it is time for you too.

I close with the lyrics from a song by Steve Camp; Run To The Battle.

Run To The Battle

Some people want to live
Within the sound of chapel bells
But I want to run a mission
A yard from the gates of Hell
And with everyone you meet
I'll take them the gospel and share it well
And look around you as you hesitate
For another soul just fell

Let's run to the battle
Run to the battle

Do you have your armor on
We're in the middle of a raging war
We've been training for so long
Have we learned to use His sword?
We may not be ready
But we serve a mighty Lord
And He's made us more than conquerors
So what are you waiting for?

Let's run to the battle
We got to run, run to the battle

He has trampled down the enemy
And has given us the victory
When we pray we learn to see
That His army
We are marching on our knees

There'll be times when we grow weak
Let's keep our faith alive
Let your faces shine with glory
For He's helped us to survive
And in that final hour
When you feel like you're ready to die
Will you hear the trumpet sound
Will you hear the warrior cry

Run to the battle
We got to run, run to the battle

Ok, so there's that
Pastor Dave

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Weight Loss-2nd Week Update

Well, I'm now down a total of 6 pounds.

That's 2 pounds lost in the 2nd week.

It should have been more. It would have been more, but my flesh is so week...and my seasonal temptation was in the house...those little chocolate eggs with the hard candy shell by Cadbury!

Anyway, I refocused and put those little chocolate eggs behind me.

I've extened my workouts to include some push ups and aerobic stepping, in addition to walking for at least a half hour each day. My plans are to dust off the bike and start riding once I get in a little better shape.

Keep me in your prayers...I desire to live a long life in service to God, and the best way to do that is to be healthy.

Pastor Dave

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


As the pastor of a small, but growing church, I am constantly revaluating my walk with the Lord. Like Paul said to Timothy, I want to be able to preach the gospel "in season and out". I want to be as close to Jesus as I can. Sometimes I crave intimacy with His so badly, I can taste it!

As I draw close to Him if I am not careful I can get to feeling pretty good about myslef and my life. I can began to feel as if I'm not all that bad, and that I am a reall asset to "team Jesus".

Thankfully, it usually right about that time that I my sin smacks me upside the head and helps me to realign my thinking!

I am a sinner. A sinner saved by grace.

As I tell people all the time, my identity is not as a sinner. My identity is as a child of God, a blood bought believer in Christ Jesus.

But my nature is still that of a sinner. My flesh wants to sin. As much as I crave to be close to Jesus, my flesh craves sin. When it comes to my sinful desires I sometimes think I hear Gollum whispering, "My precious, I wants it!" and then I realize that the voice is not that of Gollum, it is mine.

These thoughts and more were going through my mind when I was readin in Mark the 14th chapteer today. I read this verse about the woman who poured the costly perfume on Jesus. In verse 3 it reads, "While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table inthe home of a man known as Simon the leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head."

The verse goes on about how the disciples thought what the woman did was a waste, and the Jesus rebukes them. This time though, I reflected on one little word in this verse.


In order for the perfume to annoint Jesus, the jar had to be broken. The perfume was still the same in or out of the jar. In order to be usefull though, the jar had to be broken.

I started crying.

I realized I needed to be broken again.

I realized I had grown complacent, a little hard, a little smug, a lot distracted, and way too lazy in my Christian life.

And so tonight, all alone in my bedroom, I became broken.

I cried out to be renewed and revived.

I recall years ago when my oldest daughter Victoria had a toy that she really loved. I don't even remember what the toy was, but somehow it got broken. It was broken beyond repair and so I told her that I had to throw it away. She began to cry and to beg me not to throw it away. I tried to tell her that it would not work, and that she might even get hurt trying to play with it the way it was. With tears running down her face she told me, "Give it to Papa. Papa can fix anything!" Now, her Papa could fix almost anything, but even this toy was beyond what he could do, and so I had to tell her so and throw the toy away.

I tell that story because in reality it is about you and I. It is about everyone.

We are all broken. Broken beyond repair. Good for nothing but the garbage pail.

But then Jesus comes along, and we trust in, rely on, and cling to Him for salvation, for grace, for mercy, for peace. By being born again, we then are children of the Father, joint heirs with Christ.

And when our lives get broken again, we can take it to our Abba, Father, Daddy, Papa. He REALLY CAN FIX ANYTHING!

You see this is the beautiful thing about where I found myself tonight. Jesus broke me, but then Papa fixed me. He healed me. He set my feet back on the right path, and renewed my heart.

And He'll do the same for you, but before you can be "fixed", you have to admit you are broken.

And if like me, you have been broken before, and now you feel far away for the Lord, your heart is hardened to the plight of the lost, the poor, the people who will go to bed tonight and wake up in hell tomorrow, ask the Lord to break's ok...Papa can fix anything.

Ok, so there's that.
Pastor Dave

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Frustration Update

A week ago I posted how I was frustated with my weight.

Well, here is the weekly update.

After some false starts, I got going with walking and with changing my diet.

The result is a drop of four pounds in a week.

At first it didn't seem like much for all the change, but then I began to think in terms of many weeks, not just one week. Over time, the pounds lost each week will add up, until I reach my goal.

I also had to remind myself that I didn't put this weight on overnight and it's certainly not going to come off overnight.

All in all, I am quite pleased with the first week of my new lifestyle change, and I want to give all the praise to Jesus...I had to turn to Him for strenght several times so that I did not give in to the old habits of yesterday.

I will continue to post the rest of this week and keep you updated each week as to my progress.

Ok, so there's that.
Pastor Dave