Saturday, January 30, 2010

January 31, 2010


Week Three – “Pass The Ball”

“Each of you should not look to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4

The Michael Jordan led Bulls won six consecutive NBA championships. He was the "go to" guy in every clutch situation. Perhaps no one has hit as many game-winning baskets as he did. But in the 1997 Championship final he won the game - with a pass!

Luke Walton of the Los Angeles Lakers is a solid NBA player, but nobody would consider him a superstar by any stretch of the imagination. After all, the fifth-year small forward has never averaged more than the 11.4 points he scored per game last season.

Yet Walton may do more to help his team win than any other single player in the NBA, if you are to believe recent statistical analysis done by Brigham Young University statisticians. BYU statistics professors Gil Fellingham and Shane Reese and master's student Garritt Page compared the value of 13 box score statistics from an entire NBA season across the five player positions to see how much each contributed to winning games.

Their findings? Small forwards who assist teammates and don't turn the ball over are golden. Of all the combinations of stats and positions, the study found that assists by small forwards contribute the most to a team's likelihood of winning. Meanwhile, turnovers by small forwards do more harm than turnovers by players at other positions.

That's where Walton comes in. His combination of averaging more than six assists with fewer than three turnovers per 48 minutes played last season at the small forward position makes him incredibly valuable, according to the BYU statistics.

The statisticians actually used the 1997-98 season for their study, which was recently published in a scientific journal. That season was the second year the Chicago Bulls beat the Utah Jazz in the NBA Finals. A follow up with a later season or season, which has yet to be done, could show how things have changed in the NBA in the past decade, but Reese suspects assists would still be the biggest indicator at each position of a player's success toward helping his team win.That's because they found passing the basketball to set up a score is more important than actually making a field goal when it comes to winning, according to the analysis.

Every kid wants to be Carmelo Anthony or LaBron James or Kobe Bryant or Dewayne Wade - no kid wants to be Luke Walton. Carmelo, LaBron, Kobe or D-Wade, are winning commercials and big contracts – but Luke is winning games.

I guess it comes down to this. Are you looking to be a super star or are you looking to be on a winning team?

What makes a winning team is players who are willing to pass the ball to team mates.

So, why am I sharing this? What does this have to do with us this morning?


This month I have been leading us in a study of Philippians 2:1-11 and we have been talking about attitudes that honor God and are consistent with Christ. I have been using the analogy of an athletic team, so I entitled the series, “MAKING GOD’S A TEAM”.

The two attitudes we have talked about thus far are UNITY and HUMILITY.

Unity comes from a commitment to "being like-minded", joining with those in your fellowship to think like Jesus. It results from aiming your thoughts at God's Word and your emotions at God's will.

Humility means that you focus your thoughts and emotions at serving God by serving others.

In this message I want us to focus on verse four of chapter two:

“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”


What Is “Community”?

COMMUNITY is living “with unity” or “in unity”.

Community is God’s design for the CHURCH. It is best illustrated in the early days of the church demonstrated in ACTS 2.

THE KEY IN “UNITY” AND “HUMILITY” AND “COMMUNITY” IS “U" - how will you relate to God and relate to others? Will you think and behave in a way that honors God and builds others in their faith?

Community will create a church that is:


Community is a place where I know everyone has my back and they know I have theirs because they are totally committed to God and totally committed to your best interest. You will feel safe with your secrets, your scars, and your dreams.


“The difference between spiritual and unspiritual community is not whether conflict exists, but is rather in our attitude toward it and our approach to handling it. When conflict is seen as an opportunity to draw more fully on spiritual resources, we have the makings of spiritual community.” - LARRY CRABB – “The Safest Place On Earth”


Bill Hybels, the pastor of Willow Creek Community Church just outside of Chicago makes this statement. “If you create a loving community, first time seekers will sniff it and say “I want in.”


One of the sure signs that community has developed in a church is that the young people who come up in that community, when they leave it have a passion to go and reproduce it wherever they go.


We do what all championship teams do – we focus on assists not on scoring. We learn to pass the ball and commit to making our teammates the best players they can be!

The fact is, if there were no assist leaders there would be no scoring leaders because you can’t score if you don’t have the ball! And if the ball isn’t passed to you, you won’t have it.


The ball is everything you desire for yourself – the attention, the praise, the control, the affirmation, the prestige, the power, the ambition, the ego boost – basically- self-centeredness.


I guess I’ll let you decide!

You Have To Be Willing To Give Up The Ball– CONQUER SELFISHNESS

When I played basketball – whether it was junior high, high school, or the one year I played in college – my position was point guard. That meant it was my job to pass the ball and set up the offense.

I have to admit that I didn’t always FEEL like passing the ball. I would have been happy to shoot the ball every time I had it. I would have loved to put on a Curly Neal Globetrotter dribbling exhibition. That is human nature. BUT – if I wanted to be on the team and if I wanted to get playing time and if I wanted to help the team win, I needed to get beyond my selfish desires and pass the ball.

When I passed the ball 20 times a game we would usually win. If I would have shot the ball 20 times a game we would not have won. And when I pass the ball I want to help them get the best shot they can get.

Paul says in verse 4 – “Each of you should not look only to your own interest….”

In other words – the game is not about you! It is about Him and His Church. That means you must do what helps the Church win. That means you can’t shoot the ball every time you feel like it. You must be willing to give up the ball to help others be successful. It means that you can’t be guided by your human FEELINGS, you must be guided by His FAITH.


HOGGING THE BALL - I am going to take the shot, I am going to make the play, I am the best player so why should I pass the ball?

DROPPING THE BALL - I missed the pass but it was your fault, you threw a bad pass! If you'd have thrown it better I wouldn't have dropped it!

TAKING MY BALL AND GOING HOME - I don't like the way the game is being played. I don't like the coaching. I don't like the officiating. I am not getting enough playing time or enough shots so I am going to take the ball and go home!



Again, that is what Paul is saying to the Philippians – “concentrate on others…..”


In game 7 of the NBA Championship in 1993, with 14 seconds left and the Phoenix Suns with a 2 point lead, here’s what happened:

Jordan, double-teamed in the backcourt, fed the ball to Scottie Pippen, who drove the lane. Suns center Mark West moved over to block his path, so Pippen dished the ball to Grant in the low post. Grant, who had scored just one point in each of the previous two games but more than made up for it with tireless defense and hustle under the boards, eschewed a forced shot and instead passed the ball back out to Paxson, who was lurking in three-point land. Phoenix's Danny Ainge, who had dropped back to harass Grant, could do nothing but watch as Paxson nailed the three for the win!



Celebrate When He Scores – COMPLETE DON’T COMPETE

Perhaps this is the ultimate test of community – can you be as excited when your brother or sister gets the score as you would if you had gotten it?

I got to tell you, it is a thrill to take a shot and watch it SWISH through the net and to hear the crowd yell! That is fun! That feels good!

It doesn’t feel quite as good when I pass up the shot, pass the ball to the open man and he gets the score. He gets the thrill and he gets the cheers and I have to feel equally good about that!

Yes, that’s right! That’s unity! That’s humility! That is what creates community.

We need to be committed to completing each other and completing the mission – not on competing with each other. That’s what makes a team a team. They agree to complete each other so they can compete against the opponent.

We also need to be committed to completing each other because sometimes we give up the ball and the teammate fumbles the ball, or misses the easy shot, or the ball gets stolen – you give up and they goof it up……….You need to stay committed to that person and the next time their open - pass it again!

Here’s what can happen in a community where there is unity and humility and people pass the ball:

That's what COMMUNITY looks like! That is what COMMUNITY can feel like. It's what God desires for His Church - for our church!


What are you doing to contribute to the community of FredWes?

Have You Conquered Selfishness By Passing The Ball To Teammates?

Do you hog the ball? Do you crave all the attention and demand all the praise?

Do you drop the ball? Do you want the attention but not the responsibilities that go with it?

Do you take your ball and go home? Do you quit the game or disrupt the game when it doesn't go your way?

Are You Concentrating On Others By Looking For The Open Man?

Do you consciously look for ways to help others succeed?

Are you making as much effort to assist others as you do to make yourself look good?

Are You Celebrating When Others Score?

Do you find as much joy when others succeed as you do in your own success?

These are the keys to creating community - a winning team that creates an environment for every player to get better and make non-players want to join the team. This is what God has in mind for Fredericksburg Wesleyan Church? Is this what you have in mind?

January 30, 2010

"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:21

Shortly after I posted my article yesterday, the news came over the TV regarding the verdict in the Scott Roeder trial out in Kansas City.
Scott Roeder was the admitted killer of abortion doctor, George Tiller. Roeder admitted killing Tiller and he did it in fulll view of the congregation at Tiller's church while the Dr. was serving as an usher. Roeder stood up, stuck a gun to Tiller's forehead and killed him on the spot.
Here is an excerpt from the news release:

Roeder took the stand Thursday as the only witness called by the defense after Wilbert refused to allow former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline testify about why he filed charges against Tiller in 2006. The charges were dismissed on jurisdictional grounds.

Roeder testified Thursday that he killed Tiller, one of a handful of doctors in the country who performed late-term abortions, on May 31.

Roeder told jurors that he bought a .22-caliber handgun on May 18, went target shooting with it on May 30, and used it to shoot Tiller in the forehead while Tiller was serving as an usher in his church.

Roeder testified that over the years, he’d considered other ways to stop Tiller from performing abortions, including cutting Tiller’s hands off with a sword, ramming Tiller’s car with his own, and taking a sniper shot at Tiller outside his clinic. But he said he ended up choosing to kill Tiller in his church because “it was the only window of opportunity that I saw where he could be stopped.”
No one can argue that George Tiller was a despicable person who killed thousands of innocent unborn children. Many of those he killed were full-term babies that he destroyed using the barbaric "partial birth" methods. While the world is better off without an evil person like him, no reasonable Christian can endorse his murder. There is no way to justify what George Tiller did. But there is also no way to condone what Scott Roeder did to Dr. Tiller - although he tried to justify his actions by his testimony in court.
Paul told the Roman believers to counter Roman barbarism with loving-kindness. Christians do not respond in kind. Romans crucified them, beheaded them, fed them to lions, put them up against gladiators, and after all the innocent blood was shed the Empire fell and the Faith flourished. We are to love our enemies and pray for those who despitefully use us. I have got to guess that Scott Roeder had not been praying for George Tiller. If he had he surely would have chosen a different course of action.
Roeder chose to overcome evil with evil and everyone lost. Nothing good came of his hatred. Nothing ever does. This is the antithesis of Romans 12:21. This illustrates why Paul advises us as he does.
If we are going to overcome evil with good we must have a clear understand of what is good and what is evil. Everytime that line gets blurred trouble results. Each of us has a "Scott Roeder" piece in us that can easily lead us astray. That is the challenge behind this challenge. "Overcoming evil with good" assumes that you are walking in spiritual fellowship with the Spirit of God so you have a clear knowledge of His will. That is what this entire 12th Chapter of Romans is about.
Read the chapter. Make sure you understand the "good and perfect will of God" and then believe in its power to transform your world just as it transforms you!
Too bad Scott Roeder didn't.

Friday, January 29, 2010

January 29, 2010

"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:9-21

Have you ever thought how blessed we are to be alive in this amazing period of history? These are exciting days! Troubled days, for sure. Dangerous days, no doubt. But these are days of great opportunity. These are times that challenge you to clearly know and understand what we believe, to discipline our thoughts according to those beliefs, and most importantly - live what we believe.

We have just seen how quickly trends can turn with the results of just one state election. It seemed that our nation was headed full speed toward some ill-advised decisions that could threaten individual liberties. That should encourage you to know the power of one individual life who boldly stands for traditional conservative principles.

Romans 12:9-21 affirms the power of a life lived well.

This is one portion of Scripture that makes as much sense read backwards and it does read in order. Paul concludes this hopeful and encouraging admonition with this strong statement, "Be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good." Start there and read backward to know how to do it!

Do you hear that? Can you get your heart and mind around that? YOU CAN OVERCOME EVIL! Not only CAN you - you MUST! If you do not overcome evil you will be overcome by it. There is no moral neutral ground or DMZ. I am afraid we lose sight of that. I am afraid we drift into a shadow land of "I'm not that bad" rather than standing boldly in the bright light of "this is right"!

In this powerful 12th chapter, Paul is prescribing a powerful revolutionary plan of action for Christians who were living in one of the most corrupt cultures in history. On a good day, the Roman Empire was amoral, mostly it was grossly immoral. These Roman Christians were considered enemies of the empire and were unmercifully persecuted by the Romans in addition to being relentlessly pursued by the Jewish leaders. In that context, Paul says, "Live out what you believe and you will defeat evil." He didn't promise them comfort. He didn't promise them prosperity. He didn't promise them deliverance from suffering. He just promised them victory.

By the way, the Roman Empire crumbled and Christianity is alive and well!

Just when they must have felt like they were losing, Paul writes to remind them how to win. This might be timely advice for you and me.

Righteousness is restored one person at a time, one decision at a time and one courageous action at a time. Every time you do the right thing because you believe the right thing and think the right way - YOU OVERCOME EVIL!

It's not up to the Republicans or the Democrats or the TEA Party or the Independents or the Libertarians or any "ism". It is not the job of President Obama or Ted Cruz or Governor McAuliffe. It is not up to Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Joel Osteen, or James Dobson. Not even Dr. Phil can solve this one!

But you can! So can I! And it can begin today - right now!

You have to know what you believe. You have to believe what you believe. You have to think consistent with your beliefs and make decisions based on your convictions not your emotions. And then courageously behave according to your beliefs. If you do that and if I do that we will overcome evil today!

Have a GOOD day - world-changer!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

January 28, 2010

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:4-7
I had a couple of medical emergencies this week that could have been anxiety producing. No, not me personally, but one was a family member and one was church family. They were two very different medical issues. One was life-threatening and the other wasn't but involved a toddler, so that is emotionally loaded.
We are rejoicing for happy endings in both situations. With the toddler emergency - saying it ended well has particular significance because she passed a metal hair clip she had swallowed. There was concern that with the size of her and the size of it there might be a serious injury develop. But, this too passed!
But looking back on both emergencies I can say that even under the pressure and uncertainty of the moment, there was a spirit of hope and trust. In the back of ambulances, waiting in emergency rooms, or lying in intensive care units, there was a strong sense that God is in control and our concerns don't need to degenerate to anxiety. Unsure of the outcomes, there was certainy about Who was in control of the outcomes. Faith and hope trumped fear and panic in both instances.
I think that is what Paul is talking about in this admonition. While no one in either situation declared, "Thank you God for this medical emergency! I praise you that I get to ride in an ambulance and that my loved one's life is at risk!" That would be a little creepy! But there certainly was a strong sense of peace and assurance that God had allowed these events to transpire and He was firmly in control of each.
It is during these moments while you are doing the responsible, appropriate and necessary things in response to an emergency that you realize how much your faith means. Those moments when you start to feel like you're alone, you realize you aren't! While people around you are panicking, you become aware of a peace. At precisely the time you feel weak, you find a strength that is not your own!
We experienced all those things this week. Two unexpected emergencies brought us back in touch with the value of our faith and the reality of our God. True, we weren't rejoicing in the midst of those crises, but there was a joy! And now that both have been resolved we do rejoice in a God who is faithful, present, powerful and full of compassion!
And one more note of rejoicing is that in addition to all these aforementioned blessings of our faith we experience ourselves, we are surrounded by a community of believers who know the same things!
So, don't give way to anxiety today. Regardless of what you face today - whether planned or totally unexpected, God has it covered, He has you covered and He has you surrounded by dozens just like you! Rejoice! And I say, rejoice!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

January 27, 2010

"But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened."But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect," I Peter 3:14-15
I have been a Christian for 53 years. For 53 years I have been taught to be prepared to share my personal testimony. What that means is that I should be ready to simply tell how I became a believer in Jesus Christ. And in my experience, personal testimonies are fairly effective. Unbelievers can argue with you over Scriptures and interpretations of them, but they can't dispute your life story. Afterall, IT'S YOUR STORY!
Tim Tebow might beg to differ with that statement.
The handsome, humble, Heisman Trophy winning, All-American quarterback who led his Florida Gator football team to two BCS Championships and several SEC titles, is in trouble.
What did he do that put him in the center of a scathing controversy? He shared his personal testimony on a video clip that has been produced into a Super Bowl commercial. Say what? That's it?
Here's the story:
CBS responded to complaints over a conservative group's planned Super Bowl ad featuring football star Tim Tebow by saying that it had eased restrictions on advocacy ads and would consider “responsibly produced” ones for open spots in its Feb. 7 broadcast.

CBS Corp. said Tuesday it had received numerous e-mails — both critical and supportive — since a coalition of women's groups began a protest campaign Monday against the ad, which critics say will use Tebow and his mother to convey an anti-abortion message.

Funded by the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family, the 30-second ad recounts the story of Pam Tebow's pregnancy in 1987. After getting sick during a mission trip to the Philippines, she ignored doctors' recommendations to abort her fifth child. She later gave birth to Tim, who won the 2007 Heisman Trophy and helped his Florida team win two BCS championships.

CBS said airing the Tebow ad reflected a change in its policies toward advocacy ads that has evolved for several years.

“We have for some time moderated our approach,” said spokesman Dana McClintock. “Most media outlets have accepted advocacy ads for some time.”
Tim Tebow has never been shy about sharing his faith. He regularly inscribes Scripture references on the eye black patches he wore each game. He goes on mission trips every time he gets a break from college and he gives glory to God every time he is interviewed.
But what brought the wrath of............not God.........down upon him? He SHOULD HAVE BEEN ABORTED BUT HE WASN'T. How dare he! Hasn't he heard of political correctness?
Dare I speculate that none of this criticism or scorn came from the lips of Gator fans?
Pray for Tim Tebow. Find his Facebook page and shoot him an encouragement. Commend CBS for their stand. Send off a quick email of support. And don't back off of your testimony! It is your story of God's grace in your life and it needs to be told. Don't be intimidated by the PC police. God's love is stronger than their hatred!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January 26, 2010

"He said to them, "When you pray, say: 'Father........." Luke 11:2
Today is my Father's 79th birthday. I would love to celebrate it with him but I can't. He has been dead for 20 years. He died about three weeks short of his 59th birthday.
My greatest hope is that he somehow made to the place where he can celebrate today and forever. Unfortunately I don't have strong assurance that he did.
Since my dad left when I was still a young child I never knew him well. He sort of drifted in and out of my life after that - mostly out. As an over-the-road truck drive he was never any where very long. Literally, his life was spent coming and going. I guess when you spend your life coming and going you get good at it.
Kids are designed to need a father and dads are supposed to be designed to affirm their kids. I was willing to live up to may part of the deal. So, I spent the first 20 years of my life trying to impress him and win his approval. It's hard to know how to aim at a moving target.
But something profound happened somewhere in the quest to connect with my earthly father. I connected with my Heavenly Father. I found in Him a stability that I had not known. I discovered He wanted to connect with me even before I decided to connect with Him. He was impressed with me! He didn't care if I made the varsity or not. He didn't care if I went into a hitting slump and my batting average dropped. And He didn't care more about me when I hit the game winning hit or made the winning basket. He just wanted to be my Father! I just had to let Him! I could do that!
Here's what I know now, as an adult. If I would have been close to my earthly father, I probably would not have gotten to know my Heavenly Father. In all his coming and goings my dad never got to church and he never got around to knowing God. He had no interest and felt no need.
If you are a son who never knew your dad, I urge you to chase down your Heavenly Father. If you are a father, affirm your son (or daughter) verbally and with your presence. Spend time with him. Show up at his games and events. If he is the star player or if he never makes it off the bench - go cheer for him. Never let a day happen where he wonders if you love him. Tell him, show him, and tell him while you show him.
I was blessed that I came to know my Heavenly Father due to the lack of an earthly father. How much better it would have been if I would have come to know my Heavenly Father BECAUSE of my earthly father.
So, I pause today to think what could have been. I stop to thank my Heavenly Father for Who He is, and I ask my Heavenly Father to have mercy on my earthly father, and I ask my Heavenly Father to help me be the father I wish I'd have had.

Monday, January 25, 2010

January 24, 2010

The ultimate authority and word from God on abortion is found in the Bible and is used by both sides to claim the moral high ground. In articles dotting the Internet there are people claiming the verses popular to the Christian Pro-Life movement such as Jeremiah 1:4-5 and Psalm 139:13-16 are either taken out of context or actually support the Pro-Abortion stance. It is the smaller detail of the many verses that the critics will miss; that God’s view of life starts well before birth.

For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:13-16).

Yet You brought me out of the womb; You made me trust in You even at my mother's breast. From birth I was cast upon You; from my mother's womb You have been my God (Psalm 22:9-10).

Did not He who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers? (Job 31:15).

Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture (Psalm 100:3)

This is what the LORD says--He who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you … (Isaiah 44:2).

And now the LORD says--he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD and my God has been my strength (Isaiah 49:5).

The word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations" (Jeremiah 1:4-5)

In these verses it is brought directly to the reader that God’s view of life begins before birth. Psalm 22 shows the beginning of our relationship starting before birth. In Psalm 139 the verses specifically show our relationship with God before birth as He formed us and had already planned our days to come. Jeremiah 1 again emphasizes God’s relationship with an unborn child and Isaiah 44 comforts with the picture of God’s faithfulness during the formation before birth. God does not look at our lives from birth to death; He views us from conception onward.

These passages certainly contain separate contexts and were meant for differing audiences, but it is with their diversity that the strength of the argument is made. There is not just one verse in one situation that mentions God’s view of human life to include the before birth stage; there are many verses in many situations. The Pro-Life view stands directly on the Truth as shown through the Bible; God’s view is that life begins before birth.

We do not need to decide when life begins, but accept what God has already shown, that life begins before birth. It is impossible to take a life before birth and be justified. The beliefs and ethics of God are not situational and do not provide the exceptions. Life always begins before birth in the eyes of God even if rape, incest, or other sinful acts conceived the baby. It is only as our human self-centeredness grows that we look for exceptions or man-based rules to govern when we can take a life of a baby.

Christians must understand that supporting abortion is opposed to God and his righteousness. We must not allow the heretical views of the world a place to seep into our individual beliefs or the churches that we attend. Taking a stand on abortion in your church is easy; you have God and the Bible on your side.

So, What Should I Do?


Saturday, January 23, 2010

January 23, 2010

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:14-16

Do you recognize this pleasant, grandmotherly-looking lady? Don't you just want to hug her?

Her name is Norma Leah McCorvey. Never heard of her?

You may recognize her as "Jane Roe", as in "Roe v. Wade".

Here is her story, a little lengthy but worth the read:

In 1969 McCorvey was 22 years old, divorced and pregnant for the third time. All she wanted was to get rid of her “product of conception,” but a state law limited her options. Poor and uneducated, she needed help.

Who better to turn to than two young lawyers who were ready to conquer the world by giving women the right to control their own bodies?

Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee were seeking to overturn the Texas statue that outlawed abortion, and they needed a desperate and believable plaintiff. Pregnant McCorvey was the perfect candidate, but her story needed to be more plausible. Therefore, McCorvey and the attorneys told the court that her pregnancy was the result of a gang rape. So, she “needed” an abortion, and she deserved the right to choose – at least she thought she did.

“On March 17, 1970, I signed the affadavit that brought the holocaust of abortion into America,” McCorvey told the AFA Journal. “And I thought I was doing something right; I thought I was doing something good, and I was wrong.”

But before understanding her mistake years later, McCorvey realized Weddington and Coffee wanted her signature more than they wanted to help her. She was a tough-talking, abrasive, alcoholic drug user who worked many odd jobs. She was a bartender, carnival barker, construction worker and waitress, later living the lesbian lifestyle.

The attorneys expected McCorvey to fade away. But her signature made her a symbol of women’s rights, although her image was an embarrassment to the pro-abortion movement.

The movement’s leadership had very little to do with McCorvey. For example, she wasn’t even invited to the 20th anniversary celebration of Roe v. Wade. But there was one prominent civil rights attorney from Los Angeles who took notice of McCorvey and encouraged her to be proud that she was Jane Roe.

Gloria Allred befriended McCorvey and thrust her into the spotlight – via interviews, press conferences or public appearances – as often as she could. Allred did her best to make McCorvey shine. McCorvey’s life was consumed by abortion, although ironically, she never had an abortion herself.

Swinging to the other sideMcCorvey made a “career” out of working in abortion clinics, one of those being A Choice for Women in Dallas, Texas. She earned six dollars an hour booking appointments. She also assisted in the actual procedures by comforting the women as they had their babies’ lives sucked out of them.

“I would go in the room and hold the woman’s hand, and a lot of times they would just draw blood because they were holding on [so tightly],” McCorvey said. But it was up to McCorvey to remind the women that everything was going to be ok, knowing she was lying.

It was only a matter of time before the lies became too much for her to bear, especially after Operation Rescue (OR) set up shop right beside the abortion clinic where McCorvey worked.

OR is now the nation’s leading pro-life Christian activist organization. It was then under the leadership of director Flip Benham, who McCorvey preferred at the time to call Flip Venom.

Assisting Benham was Ronda Mackey, a fiery young mother of two girls, Chelsea and Emily. Benham, Mackey, her two girls, and a host of pro-life activists worked relentlessly to save the innocent lives of the unborn while McCorvey fought hard for the survival of her clinic and her cause. Through it all, the OR gang took every opportunity to befriend McCorvey and love her.

But it was the friendship and love of the Mackey girls that eventually gave McCorvey a new cause for which to fight.

“It was [eight-year-old] Emily who eventually led me to the Lord,” McCorvey said. “She was an evangelist. She was a counselor. She would walk up to women going into the abortion mill and hand out literature and ask them not to go in and hurt their babies.”

More than that, Emily wasn’t afraid to love a woman so unlovable as Jane Roe.

Emily showered McCorvey, whom she affectionately called “Miss Norma,” with hugs and smiles and multiple invitations to church. Having given birth to three children, placing all three for adoption and now working in an abortion clinic, McCorvey had a hard time relating to children, much less being loved by one.

But it was Emily’s Christ-like love that won her over, and McCorvey found herself loving her back. Little did McCorvey know that Emily was introducing her to the Love of her life.

In July 1995, McCorvey finally accepted Emily’s invitation and went to church with the Mackey family. Jane Roe met Jesus Christ that day.

Climbing toward ChristFrom then on, she was Roe no more. She was a new creation in Christ. But as with any new believer, sanctification is a process, and McCorvey had a lot of learning, growing and forgiving ahead of her.

“You know at first … I carried a very heavy burden,” she admitted.

But in time she realized, as she wrote in her autobiography, “God did not view me solely through the lens of what I had done or how I had been used. Now, after I had been forgiven, Jane Roe was irrelevant. The woman He loved – the woman He saved – was Norma Leah McCorvey.”

She wrote, “In the first few moments of my conversion, the thought of abortion was not a factor at all. I realized I needed God. That need, and that need alone, consumed me.”

Her need for Christ was evident as she began spending time in the Word and seeking forgiveness from those she had offended over the years.

However, many found it hard to believe that Jane Roe could be saved by grace. Leaders in the pro-abortion movement saw it as a cry for attention. Pro-lifers were skeptical, and the media was all over it.

At times, McCorvey learned the hard way as she came to terms with her new understanding of abortion and tried her best to convey it to the media. How could the woman behind Roe v. Wade now be pro-life? McCorvey wondered the same thing.

“I love the Lord with all my heart and soul … [and] it’s beyond my comprehension that He can take someone like me who was a hippy and a drug addict and a fornicator and all the other stuff that I did and forgive me,” she admitted.

“It was so hard for me to conceive that the Lord had forgiven me – especially after so many children had been killed,” she explained in her book. “But he has forgiven me and restored me,” and put a new song in McCorvey’s heart that He set to the tune of life and love.

Singing a new songAfter her conversion, McCorvey left her job at the abortion clinic and went to work next door for OR. Two years later, she felt the Lord calling her to share her personal message so she founded Roe No More Ministry in 1997. It has since been renamed Crossing Over Ministry (

The purpose of her ministry is to use her life experiences to spread the truth, specifically shedding light on the lie behind Roe v. Wade.

Throughout the last decade, McCorvey has traveled to several countries, including Portugal and Uruguay, and to over 40 states sharing her story in a variety of settings ranging from church congregations to civic organizations. She has appeared on major television news shows and has testified before different congressional committees. McCorvey supports pregnancy resource centers and is working hard to overturn Roe v. Wade in an attempt to fill America’s empty playgrounds with the song of love that her soul now sings.

Friday, January 22, 2010

January 22, 2010

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:13-16

With respect to FDR, January 22, 1973 is "a day that will live in infamy." That is the day, 37 years ago, that the Supreme Court handed down their decision on Roe vs. Wade which legalized abortion. Therefore, this moral evil was sanctioned as the law of the land by judicial fiat and not through normal legal procedures. Abortion was made legal via the Court not by the Congress. One of the reasons this law has been so divisive and contentious is because it never got to be debate on the floor of the House or the Senate. It was never drafted into a bill and passed through the channels prescribed by the Constitution. This law that has cost the life of 49,552,000 unborn Americans was decided by just 7 people! God have mercy on their souls.

I came to my first church in Princeton, Illinois on August 22, 1972, just five months to the day before this fateful and fatal decision. I opposed it then and I oppose it now. My primary reason for opposing it is not because it was implemented from the Bench. Although that does bother me. Nor is it because it is a bad ruling that ignores parts of the Constitution and distorts other parts. I oppose it because it is morally wrong. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that issues of birth, life, and death are under the jurisdiction of Almighty God. A nation who was founded on biblical Christian standards should have never been placed in the position of contradicting those principles. The Preamble of our Constitution guarantees the "right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness". What part of "right to life" do they not understand?

In addition to the nearly 50 millions of innocent Americans who never got to draw a breath or exercise their Constitutional right to "life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness", this misguided decision has seriously eroded the moral conscious of America. How long can we believe our own lie that unborn life is just an "un viable fetus"? Once we surrender to moral deception in one area, what prevents us from surrendering in another? For example, if we convince ourselves to believe that unborn life is not worth protecting, what will prevent us from deciding that other forms of life are not viable - such as physically deformed people, or elderly people or mentally challenged people? Where do we draw the line when we don't know where to draw the line? Who is safe and who is at risk in our culture? Who knows? Who decides?

Roe v. Wade is just another manifestation of the original sin - the lie that "you will be like God". Denying a clear and recognized right of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" and to replace it with an arbitrarily manufactured right of "a woman to her own body". The desire to be "god over my own body" is motivated by this inner desire to whatever I want and not have consequences for it. It is a old as Lucifer and as unoriginal as Adam and Eve. Still, it is powerful and destructive. Witness the moral and social deterioration of our country since 1973.

Bad law, implemented in a bad way, for a bad reason and driven by a bad motive is doomed to end badly.

So, on this sad 37th commemoration of Roe v. Wade, we pause to invoke God's mercy on our nation. We pray God's comfort on those millions of mothers who are haunted by guilt and regret. We mourn the 49+ millions of innocent souls who never drew a breath and wonder if among them might have been the next great inventor, the next great author, the next great ambassador, or the next great scientist.

Only God knows. And fortunately, by His great mercy, all of them are in His tender care!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

January 21, 2010

"God said to Moses, "I am who I am . This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.' " Exodus 3:14
I am reading in Exodus 3 today and there were several rich truths that grabbed my attention. One of those I will share this morning.
God called Moses to do a risky thing. He was to go before the Pharoah of Egypt and demand that he release all he Hebrew slaves. That could get someone killed! Moses knew that. And, by the way, Moses was a wanted fugitive in Egypt!
Can you understand why Moses was a little anxious? What God was telling Moses to do was absolutely suicidal. Even if you were another king you would not do what God wanted Moses to do! But that is the command that came from the burning bush.
This was an uncomfortable moment for Moses. The Almighty God of the Hebrews was ordering Moses to go before the most powerful man on earth and demand something that would make him very angry. Has God ever asked you to do something very uncomfortable? Not since yesterday?
So, Moses knew that in order for him to pull of this impossible thing that God was commanding he would need to have some impressive credentials. When he asked God for those credentials, God said, "Say I Am has sent you!"
Interesting! God identified Himself as, "I AM WHO I AM". The interpretation is - "I WILL BE WHO I WILL BE". In other words, "I am always Who I need to be."
Isn't that the definition of sovereignty? Sovereignty means that God is and will be exactly what He needs to be! Why? BECAUSE HE CAN!
That is good news!
You cannot live the Christian life without His help - NOTHING - NOT A THING! Not one step, not one thought, nothing righteous or acceptable to God.
So, without His sovereign Presence and Power, you cannot please God.
Learn from Moses. Surrender to the I AM! Let Him be what you need to be and what He needs you to be. If you do - HE WILL BE WHAT YOU NEED HIM TO BE - so you can be what He needs you to be!
The I AM is! Will you be?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

January 20, 2010

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
This is a good morning for all who are on the conservative side of the political spectrum. (I am one of them)
The race for the vacant Senate seat in Massachusetts has gained significant national attendance because of it what it may portend about the political attitudes of Americans and because of how it might impact the President's legislative agenda. Scott Brown's election changes the dynamics of the Senate.
I was pleasantly surprised that Brown won the election and that he won it by a solid margin. It was encouraging for those of us who have reservations about where the Democrats are trying to take us. Everything I have seen and heard about this fellow seems hopeful. But as I watched his acceptance speech, I found myself listening skeptically. As much as I want to buy into this fellow and believe in him, it is increasingly difficult for me to pin my hopes on any politician.
Our President was elected on a theme of "hope and change". Who isn't looking for hope? Who would deny that some change is necessary? Obviously, our citizens are ripe for such promises.
All things being equal, I would tend to hope in a politician who agrees with my values rather than one who doesn't. But I am over investing hope in elected officials. Scott Brown and all the others are going to have to earn my trust.
So, where do we look for hope! Who do we trust?
Is that a trick question?
We hope in the Lord! First, last, today, and forever we hope in Him. The more fully we hope in Him the better! He is our Hope!
Celebrate cautiously a conservative victory. Thank God that citizens still have a voice. Be happy that our system, while badly broken, still functions. Stay informed on the issues. Pray earnestly and intelligently. Watch this Scott Brown closely. BUT HOPE IN CHRIST!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

January 19, 2010

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2:3-4

Once you decide that humility is important and once you commit to humbling yourself, how do you know if you have achieved it?

Humility is a bit like your shadow, others will see it when you may not.

Someone said, "Humility is a strange thing. The minute you think you've got, you've lost it!"

Another has said, "The ulitmate test of humility is when you can say grace before you eat crow."

The purpose of this post this morning is to give you some questions by which to measure your attitude:

"Am I going to be about the team or am I going to make the team about me?"

Humility puts the interests of the team and the welfare of its teammates ahead of it's own needs. Is that you?

"Am I as happy over a teammate's success as I am my own?"

A humble attitude can celebrate the success of others as it would it's own. Are you able to do that?

"How well do I receive correction or instruction from the coach?"

The saying goes, "The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement." Anyone who cannot accept criticism, correction or instruction from the coach will not help his team. Are you willing to grow by receiving constructive criticism?

"Am I willing to to give up my rights and pick up my responsibilities?"

Humility does not demand its individual rights but is willing to serve were ever needed.

"Will I resist trying to control others and take control of my attitude?"

There is very little that you can control in life. The one thing you must control is your attitude. No one else can do it for you. You can do it for no one else. Will you take charge of your attitude?

"Do I see a team win and a personal win?"

John Maxwell once said, "Much can be accomplished when we don't worry about who gets the credit." Are you able to share the glory or allow another to receive it in order for the team to win?

Unity is a necessary attitude for a believer and a church. It allows God to move and accomplish His will. Humility is essential to preserve unity. Run your attitude past these questions and humbly see how you fare.

Monday, January 18, 2010

January 18, 2010

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." Philippians 2:3
I have been talking about how to develop Christ-like attitudes. The first one I commented on was unity. Unity is crucial because it allows God's Spirit to move among His people.
The second attitude that is important is humility. In yesterday's post I talked about what humility is. Today, I want to share some thoughts on how we get humility.

"If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realize that one is proud." - C.S. Lewis

"True humility is not an abject, groveling, self-despising spirit; it is but a right estimate of ourselves as God sees us." — Tryon Edwards

"Humility is the acceptance of the place appointed by God, whether it be in the front or in the rear."

“We get our moral bearings by looking at God. We must begin with God. We are right when, and only when, we stand in a right position relative to God, and we are wrong so far and so long as we stand in any other position.” — A. W. Tozer

James Simpson was a great scientist. Someone asked him, “What is the greatest discovery you ever made?” His humble answer was, “My greatest discovery came when I learned that I was a sinner and that Jesus Christ had become my Savior!”

"The higher a man is in grace, the lower he will be in his own esteem."

"The right manner of growth is to grow less in one’s own eyes." - Thomas Watson
Humility is the result of simply understanding who you really are. You are who God says you are. You are His child. You are a sinner by nature and He sent His Son to provide your salvation. By identifying with His atoning sacrifice you can be regenerated and redeemed.
Not only has God saved you, but He has invested gifts and talents in you so you can serve Him and build His Kingdom.
Until you understand and accept those fundamental spiritual realities, you will never have a real view of Who God is and Who you are in Him.
Jesus said, "Apart from me, you can do nothing."

Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."

Both of those statements reflect humility because they are based on a true understanding of who we are in Christ. This verse tells you not to look at yourself with vanity.


Once you have a realistic understanding of Who God is and who you are in relationship to Him, then you must adjust your relationships accordingly. You then guide your relationships with others based on your relationship with God.
This Scripture verse instructs you to "think of others more highly than yourself". Your consideration of the needs and best interests of others should guide your thoughts and actions. That is humility.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:24-26
What was Jesus talking about here?
He is telling us what humility looks like to Him? From Jesus' perspective is that humility means you volunteer to give up your rights and grab your responsibility.
Pride is demanding your rights while defaulting on your responsibilities. Pride is feeling entitled to what God has promised without measuring up to His conditions.
At FredWes, we require what I call the "Seven-Up Challenge" of those who would join our church – Give Up Your Rights, Pay Up Your Tithe, Pick Up Your Ministry, Show To Up , Listen Up God, Cheer Up Your Brothers & Back Up Your Leaders.
Why do we do that? Because we want to create a climate where unity and humility can flourish and the Spirit of God can flow!
Unity is essential to a church. Humility is necessary for unity to exist.
How do you get humble?
Be real about your prideful spirit. Understand He is God and you are not. Have a realistic view of who you are in Him.
Humbled yourself to God and let humility guide all your relationships with others.
Focus on your responsibilities to God and others and surrender your rights in order to serve.
Where unity and humility rule God reigns!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

January 17, 2010

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." Philippians 2:3
I have been dealing with the issue of attitudes during this month. Today I touched on the attitude of humility. Here are a few of the thoughts I shared:

During the days when Mohammed Ali was a great boxer, he would go around in his arrogance and say that, "He was the greatest." Humility was never his strong suit. One day, back in his prime, he was on an airplane and the plane was ready to take off and the flight attendant had repeatedly told him to put on his seat belt. He finally told her, "I'm superman and superman don't need no seatbelt." The flight attendant didn't hesitate a minute but shot back with, "Superman don't need no airplane either, now buckle up."
He buckled up!
That’s not humility – that’s pride. "Pride, the idolatrous worship of self, is the national religion of hell."
Here's the deal with humility, either you humble yourself or you will be humbled. Neither is particularly easy, but humbling yourself is preferable and more honorable.

Humility, Rick Warren reminds us, is “not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.”

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is not thinking of yourself at all.” – J. Elton Trueblood

The story is told of two goats that met each other on a narrow ledge just wide enough for one goat to pass. The two goats faced each other and wondered, What shall we do? They could not back up that would be too dangerous. They could not go around because the ledge was too narrow. Now, if the goats had no more sense than humans they would have began butting each other until one fell over the ledge. However, goats have a lot of sense, more than some people. What they did: one goat laid down and let the other walk over him.


Shane Claiborne, who spent a summer in the slums of Calcutta with Mother Teresa, wrote about her experience there. She said, “People often ask me what Mother Teresa was like. Sometimes it’s like they wonder if she glowed in the dark or had a halo. She was short, wrinkled, and precious, maybe even a little ornery — like a beautiful, wise old granny. But there is one thing I will never forget — her feet. Her feet were deformed. Each morning in Mass, I would stare at them. I wondered if she had contracted leprosy. But I wasn’t going to ask, of course. ‘Hey Mother, what’s wrong with your feet?’ One day a sister said to us, ‘Have you noticed her feet?’ We nodded, curious. She said: ‘Her feet are deformed because we get just enough donated shoes for everyone, and Mother does not want anyone to get stuck with the worst pair, so she digs through and finds them. And years of doing that have deformed her feet.’ Years of loving her neighbor as herself deformed her feet.” Humility means that our focus is away from ourselves and not on ourselves.

Humility is taking the focus of life away from ourselves and onto God and others.

A FORMULA FOR HUMILITY - H2 O - Think twice about Him – Think once about others – Then think about you! - THAT’S humility!
Don't wait to be humbled - or humiliated, humble yourself before God and honor your brothers and sisters. Start today!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

January 16, 2010

"He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give." Matthew 10:1-8
Pat Robertson's statement regarding Haiti being a cursed nation may have been ill-timed and misapplied toward a natural disaster, but it is not entirely wrong. While I doubt that the devasting earthquake was a judgment for their spiritual darkness, I do believe that much of their extreme poverty and vulnerability is do the spiritual and political oppression they suffer.
Their government has been controlled by Godless despots for several generations who have oppressed the people while empowering and enriching themselves. This greed and tyranny has improverished their people and stripped them of individual opportunity. Any government that uses its power against its people will eventually crush the spirit of its people. That is Haiti.
Most of the organizations that exist in Haiti to assist the Haitian people are American faith-based organizations. They are there to bring the hope of the Gospel and to meed the physical and spiritual needs of the people to relieve their suffering, heal their diseases, provide food and clothing to improve their quality of life. It is was Christ commissioned His Church to do. The People of God are there to do what the Haitian government will not or cannot do.
As you watch the world mobilize to respond to the overwhelming suffering wrought by this devastating natural disaster, notice which nation takes the lead and contributes the bulk of the money, supplies, expertise and manpower to the helpless Haitians. It will be us - Americans! That is how it should be since they are our neighbors and since we are so blessed.
But what is it that has given us such superior resources to allow us to meet their needs without disturbing our own? Why are we so blessed and why are they so destitute? Two words: Faith and Freedom. Our desire to help and our ability to help are both results of those two powerful and fundamental principles that empower our people.
Most of the schools, hospital, clinics, orphanages, and churches that currently exist in Haiti and provide the limited measure of hope enjoyed by Haitians exist as extensions of American faith and freedom. We are still executing the mission that Jesus gave these twelve when He sent them out.
As you pray for the Haitians. As you give generously. As you watch the hurt, hunger and hopelessness met and ministered to by American doctors, nurses, first-responders, soldiers, relief workers, and missionaries, thank God for our faith and our freedom. Think how much worse the death, disease and destitution would be if America did not have the will or the wealth to respond. And pray for America - that our time honored blessings of faith and freedom will not be lost. Both are under assault even as I write these words.
Whether Pat Robertson's claim that Haiti has been cursed because of a deal with the devil is open for debate. But it should serve as a cautionary wake up call to America that finds itself at a moral and political crossroads. Will we cling to our faith and freedom or will we make a deal with the devil?
By the way, regardless of what you think of Robertson's statement, he has put his money where is mouth is. His Operation Blessing has sent over $4 billions to needy people worldwide. If you choose to criticize him do it on your knees with your wallet open.

Friday, January 15, 2010

January 15, 2010

"The length of our days is seventy years — or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away." Psalm 90:10
The journey of life is marked by milestones and landmarks. I went speeding past one today as I marked my 60th birthday. That blur in my rearview mirror must be my life!
God has been incredibly good to me! As I look back I and review my life I see His footprints and fingerprints all over the place! I have been blessed beyond belief. And the good news is - I still am!
First, He blessed me with a godly mother. More than any single human being, she has shaped my life. She is one of my heroes. I have am thankful for the family I have. My sisters, brothers, my great children and grandchildren. As well as a large number of nieces and nephews.
Second, I was blessed to be born in a great nation. A land of freedom and opportunity and peace and goodness. It is humbling and gratifying to be an American.
Third, He put people in my path who drew me to Jesus and significantly shaped my faith journey. I am eternally grateful to Him and to them - too numerous to name.
Fourth, He placed a calling on my life and invested gifts in me. He has allowed me the privilege of preaching and teaching His Word and serving His church. I hope to leave a legacy of faith that others will want to follow.
Fifth, He miraculously provided me with a life-partner who has made me significantly better as a person and as a minister. And we aren't through yet!
Sixth, He has blessed me with incredible health, strength and energy that has allowed me to serve him well for a long time. I don't know how long I will enjoy this level of health, but either way I will use whatever strength I have to serve Him. In addition, my wife, my kids and grandkids have also enjoyed great health.
And, He has enriched my life with a host of friends whom I treasure more as the years pass. As I look over my Facebook page I have been flooded with greetings from friends I have known over the years. Some of the friends I grew up with and have known for over 50 years have checked in. Friends that I made in college have checked in. People I have been privilege to serve as pastor from the various churches I pastored, many of them have checked in. Lots of my new friends from FredWes, this amazing church I am serving now, have taken the time to send greetings.
Hitting 60 is sort of a sobering time! According to the Scriptures I am in the home stretch of my race. The Word says that 70 or 80 years is about what we can expect. Only God knows what that number is, and I am fine with that because He has been so faithful with the days He has given me so far! I have always been motivated by the attitude that my best days are still five years ahead! I see no reason to change that!
Pray for me that I will run well on this last leg of the race and run through the tape! Thanks for sharing my journey with me and making it memorable! As gratifying as it is to look back - the best is yet to come!