Wednesday, December 30, 2009


The other day my wife was reading a book. Now, that is not unusual in itself, as my wife has a blog where she reviews books. You can check it out here if you would like to:

She reads LOTS of books. I read a lot of books, and you might think you read a lot of books, and maybe you do, but my wife reads LOTS of books.

And this particular day while reading this particular book, she kept making noises. Sort of like, “Oh my”, and “Ohhhh” and “Wow”. Stuff like that.

I finally asked what she was reading. She told me. I asked if it was good. She replied that if I would read it, it would ruin my life. Ok, now I was very interested.

So, once she was done, I started to read this book that she said would “ruin my life”. She was right. It did. It has. And I’ve only read two chapters.

Here’s some snippets from the book that I have highlighted:

“…I couldn’t help but wonder if our generation has conveniently forgotten how inconvenient it can be to follow in the footsteps of Christ. I couldn’t help but wonder if we have diluted the truths of Christianity and settled for superficialities. I couldn’t help but wonder if we have accepted a form of Christianity that is more educated but less powerful, more civilized but less compassionate, more acceptable but less authentic than that which our spiritual ancestors practiced.”

“He calls us to faith on the far side of doubt, joy on the far side of sorrow, and love on the far side of anger.”

“Does your heart break for the things that break the heart of God? If it doesn’t, you need to repent.”

Those I got from chapter one. From chapter two I got these:

“…we’ve engaged our culture mind-first instead of heart-first.”

“…minds often remain closed to truth until hearts have been opened by compassion.”

“…compassion is the ultimate apologetic. There is no defense against it.”

“…compassion is always the right reaction. I’m not saying there isn’t a place fo rebuking, correcting, and exhorting. Sometimes that’s the most loving thing you can do. But even those things can be and must be done in the spirit of compassion.”

“In my experience, it’s much easier to act like a Christian than it is to react like one. Anyone can put on an act. But your reactions reveal what is really in your heart. And if you love God with all your heart, you won’t just act like it. You’ll react like it.”

“…what will kill you if you don’t do it?”

“There is something that breaks your heart because it breaks the heart of God…what are you going to do about it?”

Maybe I’m just easily impressed, but these and other statements the author made have really caused me to stop and think.

Do I really love God?

Does it show?

Does anyone else know it?

Do I really care about the lost?

Do I really care about suffering?

Do I really care about reaching out to the lost and the suffering?

If I do, then why aren’t I doing anything about it?

I’m not done reading the book, and I’m still asking questions. At this time I have more questions than I have answers, but this I know: it is time for the church, to be the church. It is time for the followers of Jesus to really follow. It is time for the light to shine…like a blazing sun!

I’m looking forward to the rest of this book…and I don’t know if I will write more about what I find…but at this point I would encourage you to get the book yourself, read it, think about it…and if you feel like it, drop me a line and let me know what you think about what the author has written.

The books is called: “PRIMAL: A quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity” by Mark Batterson.
Small primal

Ok, I'm going to try and read a bit more before Bible study tonight.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Dangers Of Being A Pastor

Being a pastor comes with it’s own unique set of problems and obstacles. It comes with it's own set of dangers.

One of those is that you can begin to read and study the Word of God because it is your “job”, and not because you desire to grow closer to God, and in your relationship with Him.

Rather than read your Bible because you are in love with Jesus and His Word, you wind up reading it only in an academic sort of way as you prepare for a message or a study each week.

While that must be done if you are going to preach and teach Biblically, if that is the ONLY time you spend in the Word you wind up with a sort of clinically sound, theologically correct religion rather than a life changing vital relationship.

The thing is, this can happen before you realize it.

I know.

It happened to me.

In October I celebrated my fifth anniversary as the pastor of Loma Rica Baptist Church. I felt a renewal in my calling and my mission. I felt a revitalization in my relationship with Christ. I was excited, passionate and on fire.

And then….it happened.

I got distracted.

I began to settle into my “job” as a pastor instead of living my life as a child of God. I worked hard on my sermons and Bible studies, but little on my relationships.

And then I hit the brick wall this week.

As I read through the text for this weeks sermon, nothing was happening. They were just words on a page. White page….black letters. I read it….but I couldn’t see how to apply it. I read it….but I couldn’t see how to LIVE it.

After a week, all I had was an introduction, but no real message. I knew what it said in my mind, but could not seem to move it from my mind to my heart.

So, I began to pray. I prayed for insight. I prayed for wisdom. I prayed for knowledge. I prayed for something…anything that would make these words more than just something from a spiritual textbook.

And after a little while, as I was reading the text for the sermon AGAIN…something happened.

The only way I can describe it is that I felt as if something that was hidden was suddenly found. I felt as Saul must have when it said in Acts 9:18 that “…something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again.” I could really SEE the passage. It came alive to me.

Of course, this is the way the Scriptures should be-alive. It says in
Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

These should never be just words on a page, or another dusty religious book….these are the WORDS OF GOD….in fact they are “God breathed” words…inspired by the Holy Spirit.

I cannot describe how this felt.

There was activity all around me, as I was doing this at my home computer, but I was absorbed in what I was discovering, in many ways oblivious to what was going on around me. I was sitting in a chair and at a desk on the outside, but on the inside I was dancing, and leaping, and shouting and rejoicing. If this has never happened to you, I suppose you cannot understand it, and maybe you think I’m a little bit crazy….but that’s ok….because once again the Word became REAL to me. It revitalized my relationship with Jesus once again.

I don’t know where this is going to take me (who knows, maybe I will start to blog more often)….but I’m going to hold onto Jesus real tight….because I have the feeling I’m about to be in for the ride of my life.

Ok, I’m done now.
Pastor Dave