Thursday, July 28, 2011


A change is coming!
This past Tuesday I tendered my resignation to the Bluffton First Church of the Nazarene.  It was bittersweet.  The Elkhart Northside Church of the Nazarene in Elkhart, IN has extended to us the invitation to come and be their lead pastor and we have accepted it.  You can be sure that much prayer was involved in this decision.  I have been sensing the call to preach for a little over a year now.      

I have been a part of the Bluffton Nazarene family for a little over 10 years.  I have been on staff full-time for a little over 7 years.  It has been a wonderful experience.  I started as youth pastor and 4 ½ years later made the move to discipleship/sr. adult pastor.  Kind of an interesting transition of going from teens to sr. adults.  I did discover that most of the things you can do with teens you can do with sr. adults (dodgeball not being one of them!).  It has been such a fun journey and the Bluffton Church is made up of incredible people!  We have so many good friends that we have made over these years at Bluffton.  We are very excited about their future as a church.  They are a mature bunch and will handle this transition very well.  I feel towards Bluffton the very words Paul penned in his letter to the Thessalonians,

“Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” 

We have shared our lives with Bluffton and it was a great joy.  I want to thank the Bluffton Nazarene Church for their kindness and love over these years.  You have a special place in my heart and will be greatly missed.  

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sermon Prep

I'm going to be preaching the next two weeks.  So, thought I would share a pic of my notes and let you see how I prepare my messages for the delivery.  I've developed a system where I use an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper folded in half with notes on both sides.  Amounts to 4 pages.  I have it formated so I can print both sides and just fold in half like a small booklet.  I can usually fit a whole sermon on the 1 sheet.  I've had a couple of messages that I had to add extra pages to, but try to just have the 1 sheet folded in half.  Most of what I say is on this sheet, but some things like illustrations are just mentioned (they take up a little less space if I just title them and don't write them out).  Anyways, here's a look:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Help With Waiting

I think I might have figured out my blogger troubles.  Anyways, had a post ready to go last week and had trouble getting it to show up.  Well, wanted to share a few things to help you cope with the waiting as you wait.  

  1. Prayer
Prayer is a huge help in a time of waiting.  Each time I find myself in a time of waiting I find myself praying.  Waiting has a way of forcing you to call upon the Lord.  Those times can enhance your prayer life if you let them too.  One of the things I’ve learned about myself during times of waiting when I’m praying is that I’m not a good prayer.  I admit I have much to learn.  So, what has helped me learn and grow as a prayer?  The Psalms.  I’ve come to really enjoy praying the psalms.  Psalm 27 is a great psalm to pray.  When you pray the psalms they teach you how to pray.  Their language is rich.  As Jesus was hanging on the cross waiting to die he prayed/called out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  That is a direct quote of Psalm 22.  Jesus prayed the psalms.  Jesus used the psalms as a tool of prayer while He waited.  Use the psalms as prayers.  Commit them to memory.    

  1. Stay involved in ministry
We have been commissioned by Jesus to make disciples.  We have something we can be doing right now for the Lord.  I have a sister waiting to adopt a baby.  It’s a difficult time for her and her husband.  They are just waiting and hoping for a phone call.  In the meantime they are staying involved in ministry.  They are staying connected at their church and both have sa ervant’s hearts.  Many times waiting paralyzes us.  All we can do is wait and nothing else.  Have you ever felt like that?  Do you know someone in that type of situation?  I’m glad Paul didn’t allow times of waiting to paralyze him.  While Paul was in prison he wrote and gave us Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon.    

  1. Know the Holy Spirit is helping you
A part of the fruit of the Spirit is patience.  God knew we would need patience and find ourselves waiting.  Since this is a fruit of the Spirit it means we don’t have to produce it in our lives.  God does!

Blogger will not let me post anymore...thoughts?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday, July 07, 2011

The Waiting Game (part 3)

What I meant to say in the last post is that God can use waiting to build character. This is just another example of how God can work good out of a bad situation.I don't think the waiting itself does this and felt I might have miscommunicated that. Sorry! Another way God uses waiting for good is…

2. As a testimony to others of hope in Him

Word Study
The word “wait” used in our psalm can mean to:

- Put hope in, Expect, To be eager, To put trust in

This word “wait” is sometimes used synonymously with the words “trust” and “hope.” To wait is to trust. To wait is to hope. An author I recently read said, “To wait for God is the ultimate expression of trust and hope.”

Example of This
The best example of someone who believed and lived this out is found in the life of our Savior Jesus Christ.

I was thinking of His temptation in the wilderness. He was fasting and Satan came to Him and tempted Him with food. He waited. After seeing that that didn’t work he tempted Him in regards to trust in God. "Throw yourself down" and God will save you. He waited. After that didn’t work he tried offering Him all the kingdoms of the world. What does Jesus do? Jesus waits and places His hope and trust in the Lord.

There was a lady I became close friends with several years ago. She has since gone to be with the Lord after losing her battle with cancer. She was a special and awesome lady! She was a great friend to many. She was so full of hope and trust in the Lord. Even to her last minutes on her deathbed she remained hopeful in the Lord. She had to wait upon the Lord and she did it with happiness and joy. Can you wait upon the Lord like that?

I was also thinking about Jesus in the garden the night before His death. Remember that story? Do you remember Him as He was anxiously waiting? He was in prayer and he was deeply disturbed, but He found strength to pray, “Not my will, but Thine.” Reminds me of the of the song:

Not my will, but Thine; not my will, but Thine;
Not my will, but Thy will be done, Lord, in me.
May Thy Spirit divine fill this being of mine.
Not my will, but Thy will be done, Lord, in me.

That is the testimony of someone waiting upon the Lord. Through all of this Jesus testified to trust in the Father. His disciples saw this just by His waiting upon the Lord in different situations. They learned that God is faithful and can help us in the wait.

So, reminder of 2 ways God uses waiting for good in our lives.

1. God uses waiting to build character

2. God uses waiting as a testimony to others of our hope in Him