Staff Devotions

 

Pastor’s Desk August 6th

Scripture Passage:  “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it?  I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”  Isaiah 43:19

Dear Friends,

     I like new things.  A new shirt or a new pair of shoes change a day of mundane activity into one of excitement.  I even like old things that are new to me.  Most of my vehicles have age and miles on them.  I take great pride in cleaning them up- and having someone say, “That looks brand new.”  Even doing maintenance on my house like cleaning the siding or staining the deck makes it feel like a new home.  The appearance makes it feel like a fresh start on another year.  Sometimes even traveling to a common destination a new way, brings adventure and new scenery to an old journey.  There is a fine line between replacing the old time tested products and ways and new ways to enhance and improve them. 


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Pastor’s Desk July 30th

Scripture Passage:  “After the number of days in which you searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall you bear your iniquities, even forty years, and you shall know my breach of promise.”   Numbers 14:34 

Dear Friends,

     Forty years is a long time.  Ask my sister.  Judy began working for the Tennessee Eastman Company on July 12, 1978.  This year marks her fortieth year.  They had a celebration at the corporate headquarters in Kingsport and invited her family to attend.  We had to obtain special passes and be cleared to enter the building.  They had a reception that included supervisors, co-workers, and family.  Many of the people in the room were younger than Judy’s daughters.  One of the supervisors read a list of all the jobs and responsibilities Judy had performed over that forty year period and all were amazed at how many changes had occurred.  Many of the divisions are no longer in existence and many new ones have taken their place.  They said the secret to Judy’s longevity with the company was her ability to adjust and adapt to change.  Her best friends and co-workers now are the age of my children.  She is an amazing woman who has seen much, and lived through much and continues to be productive.  God has had his hand upon her and protection around her for all these years.  By the way, she is fifty-eight. 


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Pastor’s Desk July 23rd

Scripture Passage:  “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office.”  Romans 12:4     Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith.”  Romans 12:6

Dear Friends,

     What are you good at?  What lights your fire and causes you to burn with passion?  God put you here for a reason.  He equipped you with certain abilities and assigned you certain tasks.  They may seem little to you and insignificant, but they are identifying marks that make you unique.  When the subject is broached your facial expression changes, your voice exudes confidence and your body suddenly radiates life.  That is your life’s purpose.  Since God gave it to you, find out how you can use it for Him and make a difference for others.  I have heard it said that if you get to do something you love, you never work a day in your life.  Even if it is not the way you support yourself it may be your reason for living.  It gives you a reason for getting out of bed each day and something to look forward to. It is a source of joy and one of the things you are passionate about. 


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Pastor’s Desk July16th

Scripture Passage:  “Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the Lord.    Jeremiah 23:1

 

Dear Friends,

      This past April marked the beginning of my twentieth-eight year in pastoral ministry. I have served two churches as pastor.  I served Shepard’s Chapel from 1990-2004 and Fairview Baptist Tabernacle from 2004 to the present. Each church was uniquely different while still being functionally the same.  Both are conservative Southern Baptist churches known for their diverse age groups, mission emphasis, and multiple ministries.  One was bi-vocational, the other fully funds my salary.  Shepard’s Chapel was an annual call.  (They voted on me every year.) Fairview is a set call.  (I am here until the church or I feel it is time for me to move on.)  Fairview has multiple funded staff members, at Shepard’s Chapel I was the staff.  Each church has thrived and flourished because of a triune relationship between the Great Shepherd, the under shepherd, and the sheep.  You cannot have church if any one of the three are missing.


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Pastor’s Desk July 9th

Scripture Passage:  “And I sought for a man among them,  that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.”  Ezekiel 22:30

Dear Friends,

     In ancient Israel every sheep fold had a small entrance way that led in to the compound of safety.  This entrance way was large enough for the sheep to pass through, but small enough for the shepherd to block it with his body.  Once the sheep had entered, the shepherd would lay down to sleep filling the gap.  If an animal or intruder tried to breach the gap the shepherd would stand,  and become a line of defense between the enemy and the helpless sheep.  The shepherd would fight until he could fight no more, willingly laying down his life for the sheep.  What would happen to the sheep if there was no one to stand in the gap?  A terrible slaughter would take place that could have been averted by the faithfulness of one person. So, who will stand in the gap? 


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Pastor’s Desk July 2nd

Scripture Passage: “Be not you afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.”  Nehemiah 4:14

 

     “Duty – Honor – Country.  Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.  They are your rallying points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith; to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.


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Worship & The Word June 27th

From 1980 to 2001 the recruiting slogan for the United States Army was “Be All You Can Be.” 


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Pastor’s Desk June 25th

 

 

Scripture Passage: “Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of my enemies.”  Psalms 27:11

Dear Friends,

     Have computers simplified or complicated life? Are we more in touch with our families and friends because of cell phones or are we less informed due to the lack of physical contact?  Does television entertain and relax or does it rob us of quality time with our family and friends?  Does the advancement of transportation serve as a catalyst to spend more time with family or does it make it easier to indulge in our selfish pleasures?  Does air-conditioning make life more comfortable or does it make being outside more uncomfortable?  Do video games actually enhance creativity and develop motor skills or are they artificial stimulus substituted for the “Real” thing?  Does pornography and immoral sexual activity satisfy a person’s sexual cravings or do they leave a person feeling empty, abused, mislead, and cheap? Is there really any substitute for a good book, or “The Good Book” for that matter? These are some of the questions I am contemplating as I observe life in the busy city of Nashville.


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Pastor’s Desk June 18th

Scripture Passage:  “And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”  Ephesians 6:4

Dear Friends,

     The celebration of Father’s Day causes us to remember and appreciate our Dads and all they have done for us.  Some will remember in the past tense because their dad has passed away.  Some will remember in the present tense because their dad is still alive.  I hope we will all take time to appreciate their contribution and sacrifice in providing for us as well as helping to make us the person we are today.  Everyone has a biological dad and a physical dad.  We also have a spiritual dad.  Sometimes they are all the same – sometimes they are not.  Some of the greatest dads have not fathered the child they are raising.  Many dads are good at teaching their children to hunt, fish and whittle, but uncomfortable addressing spiritual issues.  There are no flawless dads, but a few come pretty close. 


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