Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Saturday I had a chance to go fishing in the Atlantic Ocean. Fishing is a favorite hobby of mine. I don’t think I’ve ever blogged on it. We were fishing at the Cocoa Beach Pier. It was a great deal if you have your own pole (otherwise you have to rent). Five dollars to fish from the pier for the whole day too. The good about fishing this way is that you don’t have to worry about getting any type of out-of-state fishing license or anything like that (they can be pretty salty too! J).
So, how did the fishing go? Well, it’s the ocean. You never know what you will get. I caught a stingray, two sheepshead, and a saltwater catfish (that’s right, a catfish!). It was a blast! While we were fishing NASA launched a rocket with a satellite on it. I think we were five miles away. It took several seconds for the sound to hit us, but when it did it was awesome! Here are some fishing pics for you. The black and white fish is the sheepshead. Sorry, no pic of the stingray.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
We were all given a small manila envelope at the beginning of the service and told to wait until we were told to open it. What was it? A rock with the scripture reference Joshua 3:5 on it. This passage reads,
Joshua told the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you."
From here we were challenged to go forward with our rocks if we would consecrate ourselves to the Lord and the official mission of the Church of the Nazarene (Mission = Go and make Christlike disciples of all the nations).
A good Sunday morning service. I think there were over 25,000 people in attendance (I thought there were more). It was pretty full! The Orlando Convention Center is interesting because the place where we have our services is flat. Thankfully they have giant screens up to help you see. The 11 big screens help make all the seats pretty good seats. There was quite a bit of echo where I was sitting.
Paul Cunningham, retiring G.S., gave the sermon which was followed by communion. I think this was the largest crowd I have ever taken communion with. It's a special thing to take communion with such a large body of Christians. A little later I'll post some pics of our fishing trip we took last night to the Atlantic Ocean. It was a blast, literally! I'll explain more later.
Here's a pic I forgot to put in last time. Me and my good buddy John Wesley.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Last night at the worship service I listened to our G.S. Dr. Jerry Porter share his heart about discipleship. I like him the best out of our 6 GSs. Some say he is liberal, but I have not heard or read anything by him that suggests that. I think he's just aggressive and open to new and creative ways to reach and disciple people for Christ.
He is a big advocate of each person discipling someone and being discipled by someone. The best part of his message was the ending. He had several local pastors come up and asked if they were discipling someone. They said they were, so he had their disciples stand and come up with them. This was so we could see the difference one person can make when they disciple someone. There were at least a hundred people who came up with them. It was neat to see. We also broke into small groups and prayed for one another. I was prayed for and prayed with a couple of guys from the Caribbean Region. It was an awesome service!
As I reflect on the service last night one thing sticks in my mind. Dr. Porter asserted that discipling starts at home with the family. That will be something I will be thinking more and more about as a proud dad of two daughters. I'm not sure of how good of a job I'm doing at discipling my family. My wife does an incredible job at discipling our children. She knows how to communicate and teach truths to children in a way that is exciting for them. This is something she is really passionate about (Actually, right now at my home church she has a Childrens Ministries workshop going on that deals with how to disciple your children at home). What do I do? I read our girls Bible stories using various picture books and pray before meals and bedtime. I wonder if there is more I can do?
*Updated: On a strange sidenote: We had someone drown in our pool this morning between 5-6am. Our pool is right outside our room. The person was a 21 yr old male that worked at the hotel.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Jonah ran from God because He knew God would allow the Ninevites (which are Assyrians) to live if they listened to His message and repented. Jonah couldn’t understand why God would want to save them and include them in His plan of salvation. Israel was God’s treasured possession and the Assyrians were always knuckle to knuckle with God’s treasured possession.
However, you have to keep in mind (and this just amazes me!) that God wanted to reach other nations through Israel (Genesis 12:3). This was God’s message to Abraham a few years back. Jonah had a hard time understanding God wants to bless others through Israel. Jonah struggled with that and how big God’s saving arm stretched. Even up until the end (Jonah 4:5) Jonah was hoping God would destroy the Ninevites.
It’s like God telling us he is going to completely destroy Iran/North Korea unless one of us goes and preaches to them. So, we think that if we don’t go, if they don’t hear God's message, God will wipe them off the face of the earth (and of course that would be good in our minds!).
That was what Jonah was thinking when he headed for Tarshish. He was thinking that if he didn’t go to Nineveh God would just go ahead and destroy them. To Jonah that was great! The Assyrians were enemies to the Israelites and this would be one less threat to them.
The second problem Jonah had was that...
What do I mean by too different?
Jonah couldn’t understand how God could love and show mercy to the Assyrians and decide not to destroy them. This is just what Jonah feared would happen if he came and preached at Nineveh.
To see God's love we can look at Jesus. In Luke chapter 5 Jesus calls a tax collector to come and follow him. These individuals were not liked very well, especially by their own people. They were the bottom of the barrel. Jesus takes one of these individuals and makes him one of His 12 disciples. After He calls him He is found partying and eating with Levi at his house. The Pharisees couldn’t understand why Jesus would associate with people like this. It’s because He really loves them!
Another story is found in Luke 7. Jesus enters another tax collector’s home and is sharing a meal with him and his guests and a sinful woman comes and anoints Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume. Instead of rebuking her and kicking her away, He lets her worship Him. Why? Because He loves her. He even goes so far as to tell this woman that her sins are forgiven. Why? Because He loves her.
Jonah learned a little about God’s love during his journey to Nineveh. It was not an easy lesson for him either.
Jonah 4:2 (Exodus 34:6-7), 11
God is full of compassion/or love and that was a tough lesson for Jonah to learn.
Has that been a tough lesson for you to learn? I encourage you to continue on in God’s love. We are never too old to show someone God’s love. I am so thankful we have Jesus Christ as an example. The ultimate expression of His love was His willingness to die for us on a cross. Aren’t you thankful for that?