Let’s Go!

IMG_5748Two simple words, but words that are intended to inspire, motivate, initiate, propagate evangelism, revival, and growth. Words that are Biblically inspired from passages like Matt. 28:19 – “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” and also Mark 16:15 – “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

“Let’s” – Let us. Together. Good things happen when we get together for a common cause. A Godly cause. Good things happen (God things happen) when the people have a mind to work.  There’s power in unity.

“Go” – It’s His mandate to the church – It’s us sharing the good news of the gospel. (You don’t even have gospel without “GO.”) “To every creature” – That excludes no one. He would have all men to be saved. He’s not willing that any should perish. Social status is irrelevant. Skin tone is to be a non-issue. Age makes no difference. Everywhere to everybody with the gospel – the good news.

“Let’s go!” – These are words of action. Words that cause the scurrying of the feet, the heart beating, the blood pumping, the adrenalin flowing. Words that move one from their comfort zone. Words that move us from the padded (or non-padded) pew to the paved streets or dirt roads of Abingdon, Bristol (both Bristols), and beyond. It’s to the highways and hedges. There’s no sacred territory. If there’s a lost person, we want them. Hills, hollows, apartment complexes, trailer parks, and subdivisions.

Words that propel us to the knocking of doors, sending of text messages, and making phone calls. These two words should inspire us to peddle church tracts, church cards, and flyers of invitation. We will continue to utilize newspaper advertisement, the internet, and other mediums that could be used to propagate this life changing, soul-saving message.

These two words are to be the mantra; the buzzwords for our assembly in 2017. When we hear them or see them may they awaken us from slumber and motivate us to action. It sets the tone and tenor for The Apostolics of Abingdon. No longer status quo. No longer complacent or idle. Not with eternity in view. Not with the gospel in our hands to give. Not with the judgement looming.

We know too much. God’s been to good. His blessings are too abundant for us not to share. Hell is too hot and eternity is too long. We must act. We must accept His challenge; His charge. The night is far spent. The day is at hand. Let’s work while there’s time. Let’s reach the lost. Let’s do it today. Come on, Let’s go!

Given to Hospitality (Repost)

Shaking HandsI just wanted to share a brief recap of a Bible lesson from last year. Our text and title was taken from Romans 12:13; “Given to Hospitality”. In a world that is so cold, harsh, and unkind; certainly within the church people need to find warmth, love, and acceptance. Smith’s Bible Dictionary states that hospitality was regarded by most nations of the ancient world as one of the chief virtues.

We are blessed to live in an area where, for the most part, people are still very hospitable. Unfortunately it’s not that way everywhere. I noticed on a recent trip while riding on public transportation, mixing in large crowds, standing in line, or sitting beside strangers for extended periods of time that people can be quite unsociable and oft times just plain rude. How refreshing it was to finally sit beside an older gentleman and strike up a meaningful conversation and realize again that there are yet some friendly people in this world.

With that said, there’s a place where folks should be made to feel welcome, loved, and accepted, and that place is the church. Keep in mind, however, that the church is not merely confined to a building. The church is those who have experienced Bible salvation. They have been born again and found to be new creatures in Christ Jesus. This, by the way, is what causes us to be able to display true hospitality.

What is hospitality? A dictionary definition is this:
1. the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers.
2.the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.
Some synonyms of the word are friendliness, generosity, reception, warmth, and cordiality.

Hospitality is an important characteristic that should be innate within the church. It was one of the qualifications for a bishop. He is to be a “lover of hospitality” (Titus 1:8). He is also to be “given to hospitality” (1Tim. 3:2). It was also a qualifying factor in whether a widow was to be eligible for assistance from the church in time of need. She needed to be a woman of hospitality (1 Tim. 5:10).

Hospitality is a trait that when received, you appreciate so therefore we should administer it to others. It is also something you recognize when you receive it as well as when you do not. A lot of negatives in an individual or a group of individuals can be overshadowed by the fact that they were nice, kind, and polite. May we always be “given to hospitality.”

The phrase “given to hospitality” would actually mean to pursue hospitality. Not only embracing those that offer, but seeking opportunities to exercise it. It’s to go out of one’s way to display it.

We want to examine our own selves and make certain that we are “given to hospitality.” In other words; that’s our inclination to be warm, kind, and friendly. On good days as well as on the not so good days.

We also want to extend an invitation to experience this warmth in such a cold world. Join us Sunday at 2:00 for Word and Worship. We are located at 15540 Lee Highway in between Economy Inn and Skyland Coin and Jewelry. Parking is available on the right side of the church and also in the parking lot of Skyland Coin and Jewelry. We look forward to seeing you!

Book Quotations

Why Revival TarriesIn a previous post, which you can read here, I recommended some books. On that list was the book entitled “Why Revival Tarries” by Leonard Ravenhill. In case you have been unable to familiarize yourself with this good book, I wanted to share some quotations from it below:

  1. “There is a world of difference between knowing the Word of God and knowing the God of the Word.” (This coincides well with some thoughts conveyed in our Tuesday evening Bible Study.)
  2. “We appease sin, but do not oppose it.”
  3. “The people who are not praying are straying.”
  4. “Poverty-stricken as the Church is today in many things, she is most stricken here, in the place of prayer.”
  5. “A sinning man will stop praying, and a praying man will stop sinning.”
  6. “Prayer is profoundly simple and simply profound.”
  7. “The brutal, soul-shaking truth is that we are so earthly minded we are of no heavenly use.”
  8. “Because the church has lost Holy Ghost fire, men go to hell-fire!”
  9. “We know Elijah was a man of like passions as we are, but alas! we are not men of prayer as he was!”
  10. “Notice, we never pray for folks we gossip about, and we never gossip about folk for whom we pray!”

While there are plenty more quotes that are worthy of sharing, I will withhold for the time being. This is a mere sampling of the rich contents found in the pages of this soul-stirring book.

 

Brave the Cold

Dogs with SweatersWe are looking forward to a good time this evening in Bible Study. It’s always exciting to fellowship with God’s people and enjoy the study of God’s Word together.

The temperature may be a little on the chilly side this evening, but we are expecting the building to be warm and the fire of the Spirit to burn in our hearts. Make plans to join us tonight at 7:30 P.M. for an exciting study!

Need Help?

Inside Church PewsAre you struggling with the difficult situations and it seems there’s no way out? Are you needing some answers, but unable to find them on your own?

Everyone needs a little help on this journey of life. I’m glad to know where that help comes from. Regardless of your pre-conceived ideas, the answers to life’s dilemmas can be found in the church.

Why not give God a chance to speak to you through His Word? He is able to give you a “word in due season” (Prov. 15:23).

The Psalmist said “Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion” (Ps. 20:2). That’s right! The sanctuary is where you can find the help you need. Give it a try!

Your next opportunity will be Sunday at 2:00. We are located at 15540 Lee Highway in between Skyland Coin and Jewelry and Economy Inn. As a matter of fact, both of these neighbors are kind enough to let you park in their lots if our lot is full. We look forward to seeing you!

Fancy Ketchup and Church

mcdonalds-ketchup-packetOk so I will admit I do prefer name brand ketchup over generic, but “fancy?” When did ketchup become fancy? Especially McDonald’s ketchup! No offense, I like McDonald’s. Well, let me rephrase that. I like McDonald’s prices and their coffee isn’t bad, but let’s face it, when I go to McDonald’s it’s usually for one of two things; price or speed. It IS NOT for fancy.

This all brings me to another subject (as you figured it would). I will also begin this by making an admission. I may be a little old fashion, a little bit country, possibly naive, and maybe even a little sheltered. I’m a little hesitant to accept the latter, however having lived in travelled among various cultures. With all that said, I am struggling with what some are calling church. Maybe it’s none of my business what others do, yet I do think someone needs to say something.

I will at least take responsibility for my assignment and say when I go to church I want it to look like church, not a bar scene. I want it to sound like church, not a rock concert. I want to hear lyrics that have a message based on Biblical principles. I want to hear and sing songs that glorify God and minister to the spiritual needs of mankind. I want to hear preaching that will save me from sin not merely entertain my flesh.

I don’t have the time or space here to make all of my argument, but let me suffice it to say I like various styles of Christian music. I don’t have a problem with some of the newer songs. Neither do I have a problem with some of the older ones. As for this “relative preaching”… Well, the Bible is relative to all generations. If we just preach the Word (2 Tim. 4:2), it will touch every area of our lives regardless of age, gender, culture, etc. The Bible’s author is from everlasting to everlasting (Ps. 90:2).

The point is, if we want to be entertained, let’s admit it; the church is not in the entertainment business. We are in the business of helping people to be saved and reaching their potential in Christ. When I go to church I go to pray, worship God, fellowship with the saints so that we can strengthen each other, and to hear the preaching of the Word of God so that my soul can be saved (1 Cor. 1:21).

If I want fancy, I don’t go to McDonalds. Although I do like their ketchup, it matters not what they call it; I can still tell it’s just ketchup. While we are seeking to “win souls” and grow a church for the Lord I’m convinced people are still looking for a church. A church that will help them find the answers to the dilemmas of life. A church that will help them find the change they need in their lives. A church that will save them from their sin.

In this age of “seeker friendly churches” I submit we need some God friendly churches. We need to be extremely conscious of reaching people, but not to the extent of offending God. If we do it His way, I trust we will see the results He desires.

A final admission; I may be a bit finicky because I also prefer the word ketchup over catsup; after all that’s how it’s pronounced. You don’t say Cat-Sup or do you? Let’s just call it (church) what it is and be what we are (the church). When they come they are looking for church. One more thing; when we come let’s have church!

The Grass Is Greener Here

Grass Is Greener (Cow)Ok, so for a moment I felt like Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. In the notable children’s book, from the moment Alexander wakes up things do not seem to go his way. As he gets up, he realizes that the chewing gum that was in his mouth the night before had ended up in his hair. He then tripped on a skateboard and dropped his sweater in a sink while the water was running. At breakfast his brothers got really cool prizes out of the cereal boxes and all he got was cereal.

On the way to school he did not get a window seat. once at school, his teacher did not like his project, kids make fun of him and he did not get any dessert in his lunch! Things continue to get worse throughout the day and once at home he is served lima beans for dinner. He despises lima beans!

Well, enough about Alexander. You want to hear about my day? I didn’t think so, so here goes. I woke up (that was the toughest part about the day so far) and the sweatshirt (yes sweatshirt – we are trying to keep it simple around my house to give the Mrs. a break until the new little guy gets here) that was purchased for me as a gift last Christmas and was too large is now nearly too small. I was going to take some things to the car (which would be one of three trips) and the garage door would not open. It’s pouring the rain and all of the umbrellas are in the cars (who needs them in the house when you have a garage right? – just agree!) I will have to go the LONG way around since I can’t go through the garage. As I make my first trip to the car, I notice that my foot feels really wet. I go back in and check it out and my shoe is split all the way across and soaking in all the water. I change socks and shoes and keep telling my wife how I am running late (I really cannot stand to run late) as if she has anything to do with it (Well, not this time!).

Anyway, I get to work and see that folks are pulling in and are going to need me to unlock the door to let them in out of the rain (it used to bother me even more when I was not the first one there – not as much now – you just have to do the best you can and not stress EVERYTHING) Anyway, (enough of the parenthesis already!) I go the other way around the building to try to beat them and slam the breaks on to stop and my coffee (the first and only cup I have for the day – I usually bring some with me, but I didn’t have time today!) dumps out into the console (good thing I love the smell of coffee).

I attempt to get the mess cleaned up with the napkins I can scramble up (always ask for extra napkins ((and Starbucks has great napkins)). Meanwhile people are looking at me because I am the one that is suppose to be already there with doors unlocked, lights on, heat on, etc. So! I get out of my car (and this is where I had to make some right choices) and for a moment (a brief moment) I felt the influence of an uncle or the “old man” (the one dead in trespasses and sins) or the evil one or something whisper to me. You know what I did? I ignored the voice, old man, and influence. I gently closed the door, did my little smile and wave, ( I think I may have did the little sigh & head shake too) unlocked the door and went to work.

I choose to have a good day. I choose not to make everyone else’s day miserable because of a couple of mishaps. I choose to laugh about it (laughter is cheap medicine). I choose to give God glory. This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Alexander wanted to move to Australia to escape his problems. The deal is there are problems in Australia (and California, Florida, Canada (now if you knew my Canadian friends – you’d think that’s not true, but they’ve somehow learned a valuable lesson and they focus on the good stuff) too. It rains there too. Their garage doors mess up. Their shoes wear out. They get cereal without prizes occasionally. You get the point.

Some always think the grass is greener on the other side. It could be and it could be because they water it. If you want a better marriage – water it. If you want your job to be better – water it. If you want a relationship to improve – invest in it.

My day is already better after I stopped to breathe, say a prayer, and make some choices. I’m not gonna waste this day with negativity. I’m gonna enjoy it. I won’t get this day ever again. I’m gonna help someone else. I’m gonna water the grass here cause I sure don’t want to move to Australia. I’m gonna work on a plan to lose weight cause I sure like this sweatshirt!

 

The Art Of Listening

Man Listening #3I recently found a great sermon and lesson organizer notebook at McKay’s Books in Knoxville, TN. The first pages made the book worth the find. I want to share with you some hints for becoming an effective “active listener” as listed in the book:

  1. Sit toward the front and center of the room. Vision and hearing are better.
  2. Tune in. Listening takes energy.
  3. Avoid distractions such as doorways, window glare and people who may distract you.
  4. Have two pens in case one runs out of ink.
  5. Write the date and topic on the top of your note-page.
  6. Prepare yourself mentally. Ask God to help you listen actively.
  7. Pay attention to the speaker for verbal, postural, and visual clues as to what is important. Repetition often indicates an important point.
  8. Listen to the introduction and write down the overall theme of the talk or sermon. What challenges or questions does the speaker raise?
  9. Be selective. Some points are more important than others. Write down only the main ideas and divide the lesson into key points. Number each point. Use letters or bullet points to highlight sub-points.
  10. Don’t try to write down every word spoken. Concentrate on key words or thoughts and jot down words or phrases, not entire sentences. Write down a two or three word description of illustrations given to highlight key points. Use symbols ( +,=, &,@,w/ (“for with”), etc.
  11. Write scripture references next to key points.
  12. Instead of getting ready to leave immediately at the end of the sermon or lesson, listen carefully to the information given toward the end. Summary statements may be of particular value in highlighting main points.
  13. After the lesson, review you notes and write down applications from the lesson to your life. Learning without application is worse than no learning at all. Once we hear a word from God, we are responsible for that word.
  14. As part of your daily devotional time, re-read the scriptures used as a part of the lesson. Underline or make notations in your Bible’s margin to highlight these scriptures for later reference. Commit to memory one of the key scripture references each week.

– Taken from Family Christian Press, Sermon & Lesson Organizer

Hopefully this will assist you in the “art of listening.” We look forward to seeing you tonight at Bible Study. The church is located at 15540 Lee Highway in between Skyland Coin and Jewelry and Economy Inn. Bible Study starts at 7:30, but you are welcome to join us for pre-service prayer at 7:00.

Today Is A Special Day

Today SpecialMy son was obviously listening more that I thought he was to Sunday’s sermon. He reminded me this morning that “every day is a special day.” The Psalmist said, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps. 118:24).

What are you going to do to make this day special? One thing you could do is join us for Bible Study this evening at 7:30 P.M. We are located at 15540 Lee Highway which is between Skyland Coin and Jewelry and Economy Inn. If you want to make it extra special, come early for pre-service prayer. Why don’t you join us? Let’s rejoice together!

P.S. – My son is at his grandparents.

Something Different Sunday

Try Something Different SundayAre you tired of the same old boring Sundays? Do you waste your Sundays away and then wonder where the day went? Is it a day of dread instead of delight?

Why don’t you make plans to join us this Sunday for Word and Worship? We will have one service at 2:00 with pre-service prayer starting at 1:30. You can click on the What To Expect tab to find out what you’re getting yourself into.

It will be a good way to start your week on the right foot. We doubt you will be bored or sitting there wishing you were somewhere else. We think you will enjoy yourself and we know we will enjoy having you!

We are located at 15540 Lee Highway in between Economy Inn and Skyland Coin and Jewelry. If you are traveling via I-81, we are conveniently located just off of Exit 10. We look forward to seeing you!