Month: October 2015

Halloween

Think_Halloween_by_Zefhar

I have been involved in a discussion with other pastors on social media concerning Halloween and should we celebrate it or even allow our families to participate in it.

The answer is NO

and

YES.

It is true that Halloween is a spiritual holiday for Satanism.  Having “some” of its roots in the night before “All Saints Day” (and other pagan places) , it is the day of the year for unholy demonic celebration and we should stay away from any of those types of rituals or activities.

Here is what the Bible says….

Lev 19:26-31 – Do not eat blood, participate in divination, soothsaying, ritual mutilation, and consulting mediums or familiar spirits

Deut 18:10-11 – Do not participate in sacrificing a child, witchcraft, soothsayings, the interpretation of omens, sorcery, conjuring or spell casting, consulting mediums or spirits and seances

Jeremiah 27:9-10 – Do not listen to false prophets, diviners, people who interpret dreams, soothsayers or sorcerers

Gal 5:20 – Do not practice sorcery, which is in a list of  other evil behaviors that we should not do because they oppose the holy spirit.

Micah 5:12-14 – Says, one day God will destroy sorcerers, soothsayers, carved images, scared pillars – and other objects of devil worship. So it would be a good idea not to mess with or have any of those items in your home.

So if your participation in Halloween includes all, some or one of these items or activities that are listed above then…

the answer is NO…

In fact, you should not do those things ANY day of the year.

However,

Everything else – dressing up, getting candy by trick or treating, going to a church’s “harvest blast”, watching “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” etc…  YES – GO and do those things and spread the gospel as you do them….

for we have the victory over these powers of darkness!

11 Reasons Why Expository Preaching Could Hinder Your Preaching Ability

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I ran across an article yesterday from Christianity Today titled….

“Preaching That Unleashes the Bible’s Power – Why expository sermons should make up your church’s main diet.

This couldn’t be further from the truth….

It is not that I do not like or am against “expository sermons” for I am all for any time someone gets up and proclaims the word of God.  Preaching the Bible is a good thing, but when expository preaching is placed as a standard for all “true” biblical messages there is something that just isn’t right with that concept and it can become a hinderance to ones preaching ability.

Here are a few reasons why…

1. The expository method has become a study method  and a specific method of delivery which may or may not be what will really communicate the text that a preacher is preaching.

2. The expository method of preaching fits a certain type of preacher.  Not everyone can pull this method off.

3. Jesus never gave an expository sermon and by today’s “standards” would not pass a preaching class in college.  His methods would be criticized. In fact he more often than not spoke to the issues of what was occurring around him and often began with a story and then made a biblical point and most of the time never gave an Old Testament reference of where he was basing the information he was proclaiming.

4. The expository method is not the way most communicators communicate.

5. The method itself puts God in a box, for it implies that – His power “will not be shown” or “unleashed” unless  the expository method of preaching is used. You are saying ” God will only work through someone if this method is used”  and that line of thinking is wrong in many ways.

6. Most preachers who use this method of preaching are not really being themselves when they use it. They do it out of a misplaced respect for another pastor’s method of communication. They preach that way out of fear of “doing it wrong”. They feel they have to change the way they “are” and become something else in order to preach correctly. In short they have been “peer pressured” into it.

7. 75% (just a random percentage to make a point) of an expository sermon is not from the heart. 75% or more is just a passing on of information we “know” about the Bible. There is nothing wrong with this but I would argue the stuff that comes from the heart not only will be what the people leave with on a given Sunday but really should have been the whole message.

8.  If you “expositorily” study the Bible to get the message you are to preach there is nothing that says biblically you must present the information in the “same” way that you found it.  Sometimes you need to organize the truth of scripture in the best way people will truly hear it and take it home with them….

In a way that will impact their lives.

That is our #1 job as preachers.

9. To say that expository preaching is the “real” way to unleash the power of the Bible is to make an Idol out of a preaching method. To not listen to a message or criticize a sermon that isn’t presented according to ones “method” of preaching is to worship that Idol.

10. Paul did not use this method, Peter did not use this method, Steven did not use this method but Philip did use it when the Ethiopian Eunch asked a question about the passage he was studying.  Think about that…

11. When we convince preachers to stay in this basic method of sermon delivery it will cause most of them to never reach their full God given communicative potential.

That said…

I do think expository preaching should be taught in college as a foundation for studying for a message and for teaching someone how to prepare a sermon.  But we need to be careful proclaiming it is the “only true way” of preaching a sermon.

After all when it comes to what a church’s spiritual diet should be we need to leave that to God and the pastor who should be praying to God each day concerning the message he will deliver.  He should have the freedom to present it as God has led him too.

So be careful of absolutes like the one this article promotes… it is a man made idea not a God inspired one…

only the Bible has those….

(I do know that some of what was said here was not said in the article I referenced)

What Ever You Ask…


Jesus says, “whatever you ask for in prayer, you will receive… if you have faith.”

Now I don’t know about you, but I have asked for plenty of things and did not get them. I have asked for outcomes to “outcome” a particular way and it didn’t happen the way I asked for it to.

Did I have faith during these times? Faith that God had the power to answer my prayers in particular way?

Yes… always.

In fact… the faith I have in God, (that He can accomplish anything we ask) is seen in conversations I have had with Him when prayers were not answered according to what I had asked.

Conversations that went somethign like this…

Lord, I know you are capable of doing/providing ___________________________ (fill in the blank). And I have asked for it, with faith knowing you can. The question I now have is why didn’t you answer the prayer in the way I asked for it? This is very disturbing to me. Please help me understand.

After all that fits the description of whatever… right?

(Now at this point if you haven’t listened to the sermon Truly 14 you may need to do that before you go any further in this post, you can down load it here)

Now I have a lot of “preacher” answers for this. In fact I am willing to bet that you have already thought of some of those “preacher” answers while reading this post.

Here’s the deal with those…

Do any of those really answer your question concerning unanswered prayer? Do they really bring you peace?

You have asked the “whatever”, your prayer was based ON faith in God, WITH faith in God, and you had NO doubt He was capable of accomplishing what you were asking… but He did not move the mountain. When He did not answer according to your “whatever” and you are left wondering why… do the “preacher” answers really square with with what you went through?

I will have to say… they don’t for me.

And I wish… deep inside… I had an answer to the why…

a real answer.

So, Here is the only thing I know.

I trust God and that is my motto.

Trust is not always knowing all the details and its not having all the answers.

In fact if you are trusting, it means you do not have all the answers, you just know that the one you are trusting will do the right thing. The one you are trusting in will come through for you. He is on your side. Even when things do not turn out the way you’ve asked them to.

I trust God,

He always does the right thing.

I think we have missed something when it comes to this verse because the “answers” we hear and read concerning it do not square with the way things happen in our lives. We may never know what it is we are missing in the interpretation of this verse and that is ok…

because here is what we know…

God is trustworthy…

and our motto needs to be

In God we trust.

Yes,

In God we Trust.

And trust exists in the realm of unanswered whys.

Dark

These are truly dark times…

but that is how it has always been.

The fact that things are geting worse is not new.

We look back and remember better days.

The ones before us look back and see days that were better before our time.

The ones before the ones before us had the same point of view.

“Things are getting worse”

Why?

Just like them..

we live in a world of death..

and death is decay…

death is darkness.

In this darkness there exist flickers of something death does not like, that shows up from time to time, resisting the progression of destruction, pushing back the veil of darkness.

Flickers that cause inward pain to those who would rather not see the death and decay of their own soul.

Powerful rays that show the condition things are in for those who choose to adjust their eyes to the brightness. For those who choose to see the world through the eyes of the One that created them.

He died so people could see what is covered by the…

dark…

…unveiling the decay, and the worsening of society.

When our eyes adjust to the light, we find that the flicker was not really in the darkness at all. The flicker has a power of its own. A power that overcomes the dark.

Light and Darkness are not “in each other”. They are as different as night and day.

There is a future a head… a future for those who have become flickers themselves…

A future where there is no darkness…

for all who believe…

for all who have chosen to adjust their eyes…

to the light.

I am looking forward to that day.

Help Me Jesus

prayer-surrender

I am half the man I think I am

One forth of the husband I should be

One tenth the pastor I should be

Five percent the leader I think I am

truth is

I’m sick

My heart dark and dirty

My mind uncontrolled and tormented

I wish my condition was better

that I could make it better

That the dirt of my everyday sinful existence would no longer cling to me like a spiderweb unexpectedly ran into.

Like superglue contacting skin

Like black mold.

Jesus, I need you

I need you

I need you

Jesus, I’m lost without you

Lost without you

lost without you.

Jesus, I need a savior

a savior

a savior

and you’re the One.

Take my nothingness

Take my nastiness

Take my stink

and wash me clean

wash me clean

wash me clean.

Help me Jesus

to be what I should be

in You

Chicken Stew Plus Contest Rules

Chicken Stew Plus Flier Print 2 version 2015

The Third Annual Farmington Baptist Pumpkin Carving Contest Guidelines 

1. Pumpkins must be carved based upon a biblical theme

Example:  The Cross, Noah’s Ark, Jonah in the belly of a whale, etc.  For more examples or ideas, check out the link below: http://www.squidoo.com/christian-pumpkin-carving-patterns

2. Pumpkins should be carved before the Chicken Stew Plus and brought to the event for judging.

3. There is one age category for this contest; therefore, there is no age limit on who is eligible to enter the contest.

4. There is no limit on the size of the pumpkin, but a larger size makes it easier for carving.

5. Judging for the pumpkin carving contest will take place at approximately 6:20 PM on October 25th.

6. Pumpkins will be judged based upon design and glow.

7. Each contestant is responsible for picking up his or her pumpkin after the event.

8. Pumpkins can be painted and/or have decorations.

9. Pumpkins must be able to stand up on its own without props.

10. Each contestant must register their pumpkin at the time of the event (forms will be supplied.)

Peanuts

The Third Annual Farmington Baptist Costume Contest Guidelines  

1. The Costumes cannot be inappropriate or scary.

2. Each Costume can either be made or purchased.

3. This Costume Contest is for any age. You must be between the ages of 0-100 and not be dead (If you appear dead, but can walk that is ok).

4. There can be no illegal weapons used.

5. The Costume contest will take place at 6 PM. Each contestant does not have to come to the chicken stew dressed in costume, but they must have their costume on by 6.

6. The Costume Contest will take place in the back parking lot by the Trunk or Treat.

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The Fifth Annual Farmington Baptist Trunk or Treat Contest Guidelines

1. The TRUNKS cannot be inappropriate or scary

2. There can be no illegal weapons used as part of decorations.

3. Trunks need be in designated area and ready by 6:30pm . Judging will take place at 6:50pm

4. Judging will be based on creativity, originality, and overall theme.