Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Engaged on 9/16/2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
LeaderMan: Reiterates his authoritative position in the home
Servant Leader: Earns with his actions and love for his wife the respect as the authority of his home
LeaderMan: Puts "the ministry of the church" at the premium in his life and family
Servant Leader: Realizes that his family is his first ministry, and is faithful at home first.
LeaderMan: Ignores his faults while focusing on his strengths
Servant Leader: Admits mistakes, and takes full responsibility for them
LeaderMan: Wants other family relatives and his church to think well of his home.
Servant Leader: Answers only to God for the direction of his home, regardless of others opinions.
LeaderMan: As part of his job, tries to make life fair and easy for his children
Servant Leader: Teaches his children the truth about life, and makes them grow up understanding concepts like unfairness, wrongdoing, forgiveness, repentance, diligence, and determination.
Just a few more thoughts about servant leadership as it relates to a home. Hope you enjoyed it.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Till next time,
Monday, May 2, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
"Perhaps it is true that Jesus never used the word ‘Messiah’ with regard to himself (although I’m not sure that he didn’t) but in John 1, 10 and 14 he identifies himself pretty definitely and more than once. Is there really any ambiguity in his words: ‘I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me?’… In John 10 he says, ‘I am in the Father and the Father in me.’ And he makes reference to being with God, ‘before the world was,’ and sitting on the ‘right hand of God.’…
"These and other statements he made about himself, foreclose in my opinion, any question as to his divinity. It doesn’t seem to me that he gave us any choice; either he was what he said he was or he was the world’s greatest liar. It is impossible for me to believe a liar or charlatan could have had the effect on mankind that he has had for 2000 years. We could ask, would even the greatest of liars carry his lie through the crucifixion, when a simple confession would have saved him? … Did he allow us the choice you say that you and others have made, to believe in his teachings but reject his statements about his own identity? [Note that Reagan is using C.S. Lewis’s famous ‘liar, lord or lunatic’ trilemma argument]
"I still can't help wondering how we can explain away what to me is the greatest miracle of all and which is recorded in history. No one denies there was such a man, that he lived and that he was put to death by crucifixion. Where … is the miracle I spoke of? Well consider this and let your imagination translate the story into our own time—possibly to your own home town. A young man whose father is a carpenter grows up working in his father's shop. One day he puts down his tools and walks out of his father’s shop. He starts preaching on street corners and in the nearby countryside, walking from place to place, preaching all the while, even though he is not an ordained minister. He never gets farther than an area perhaps 100 miles wide at the most. He does this for three years. Then he is arrested, tried and convicted. There is no court of appeal, so he is executed at age 33 along with two common thieves. Those in charge of his execution roll dice to see who gets his clothing—the only possessions he has. His family cannot afford a burial place for him so he is interred in a borrowed tomb. End of story? No, this uneducated, property-less young man has, for 2,000 years, had a greater effect on the world than all the rulers, kings, emperors; all the conquerors, generals and admirals, all the scholars, scientists and philosophers who have ever lived—all of them put together. How do we explain that—unless He really was what He said He was?"
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
A Child Of Mine (To All Parents)
I will lend you, for a little time,
A child of mine, He said.
For you to love the while he lives,
And mourn for when he's dead.
It may be six or seven years,
Or twenty-two or three.
But will you, till I call him back,
Take care of him for Me?
He'll bring his charms to gladden you,
And should his stay be brief.
You'll have his lovely memories,
As solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay,
Since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught down there,
I want this child to learn.
I've looked the wide world over,
In search for teachers true.
And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes,
I have selected you.
Now will you give him all your love,
Nor think the labour vain.
Nor hate me when I come
To take him home again?
I fancied that I heard them say,
'Dear Lord, Thy will be done!'
For all the joys Thy child shall bring,
The risk of grief we'll run.
We'll shelter him with tenderness,
We'll love him while we may,
And for the happiness we've known,
Forever grateful stay.
But should the angels call for him,
Much sooner than we've planned.
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes,
And try to understand.
I post this in memory of Silas Boaz Blackburn, who I learned more from than any 2-year old in the world. When life seems at it's worse, he lends his smile to my memory to remind me how good God is. Thanks for all you taught us, Silas...
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
It wasn't a big deal. It was something small. So I shouldn't worry about it, right? I shouldn't let it bother me?
But it does. It bothers me a lot. I said I would, and I didn't.
He says it doesn't matter, and that I shouldn't worry about it anymore. But when he says that, he focuses on the thing that I didn't do that can be taken care of anyway, rather than what I'm focused on, which is the greater issue that my word should mean a little more, regardless of the promise.
Whether he realizes it or not, this incident will cause him to doubt, however slightly, next time I give him "my word."
What is your word, and what can be said for it? If you don't have your word, then what do you have?
My Dad used to tell us that if we couldn't keep our word, then we weren't ready to be a man. Yet today, so many "men" have no interest in making sure that they keep their word, and they really can't be trusted to follow through with anything.
What kind of promises have you made? "I will never" do this or that. "I will always" be this way. Does it matter to you if you don't follow through with those promises? Those statements are made with the understanding that we are all human, you say? Are they? Or were those statements understood to mean that no matter what, you can overcome your humanity in times of weakness to be a man of your word?
"Preacher, I'll be here for you. When the fire is on, I'll be right by your side."
I start to yawn when I hear that these days. And I almost even feel like it's an indicator that they surely will not follow through.
Peter said, "I will die with you." And he denied the Lord in his darkest hour.
Somehow, in society today, a person's word doesn't mean as much as it used to. Think about when the Bible demeans "trucebreakers," which is someone who doesn't stick to an agreement that they made. In olden times, I could have shaken a man's hand, and bought his piece of land from him with that handshake. Now, we need multiple notarizations, bank papers, 14 signatures, etc.
You get the drift...
People do not mean what they say.
Here's a popular one: "Till death do us part." Wow! What about the third time you say it? Do you mean it that time, too? When I went to Technical School, I heard a guy tell his girlfriend, "I'll always be with you." That was about 4 months before they "broke up," as they say, and that was about 2 years ago now.
Talk is cheap, and actions speak louder than words. People don't want to hear what you say, they want to see what you do. The preacher wants you to be there for him, not talk about it in times of ease. Your husband or wife wants you to always be with them, not just tell them that because it's what they want to hear.
I am determined to be a man of my word.
He told me not to worry about it, so I have chosen not to beat myself up over it. But what I will do: let him know that I'd like a chance to make it right, and show him that I am not one who says, and doesn't do. People who do that aren't men.
I have been, and am determined to remain, a man of my word.
Monday, February 21, 2011
By Edgar Guest
“This is the sort of a man was he:
True when it hurt him a lot to be;
Tight in a corner an' knowin' a lie
'Would have helped him out, but he wouldn't buy
His freedom there in so cheap a way
He told the truth though he had to pay.
Honest! Not in the easy sense,
When he needn't worry about expense
We'll all play square when it doesn't count
And the sum at stake's not a large amount
But he was square when the times were bad,
And keepin' his word took all he had.
Honor is something we all profess,
But most of us cheat --- some more, some less
And the real test isn't the way we do
When there isn't a pinch in either shoe;
It's whether we're true to our best or not
When the right thing's certain to hurt a lot.
That is the sort of a man was he:
Straight when it hurt him a lot to be;
Times when a lie would have paid him well,
No matter the cost, the truth he'd tell;
An' he'd rather go down to a drab defeat
Than save himself if he had to cheat.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
I know many of those who hear of my “betrothal” wonder: “What does he mean by “courting” and “betrothal.” The most important institutions ordained by God are the most attacked institutions by the devil. As a result, there is a lot of confusion about just what the appropriate process is that leads to marriage.
Like anything else in the Christian life, the Bible is the final authority for faith and practice. Many Christians think that there is no real instruction on this issue in the Bible, leaving it to their best guess or how they were raised to determine how it should be done. Even worse, some simply allow their kids to follow their flesh, dating around and doing nothing different from the world.
On this issue, however, there are 2 clear examples in scripture. In Ephesians 5, the word of God compares a Godly relationship between man and wife to the beautiful relationship that Christ has with his church. A man is instructed to love his wife as Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it. A wife is instructed to submit herself unto her husband as the head of the home, just as the church is to be submitted to Christ as the head of the church. In Genesis 24, a relationship between Isaac and Rebekah blossomed, based on faith in God and not sight or on fleshly desires. Using Christ and the church, and Isaac and Rebekah as examples, let’s look at a few key principles about betrothal.
Very clearly, it starts with sacrifice on the part of a man. Before Christ could betroth his church, he first gave his life for it in his death on the cross. He “purchased” his church, in a sense, with his sacrifice for it. A young man who has not demonstrated sacrifice in seeking God’s will for a wife has not yet demonstrated the first and possibly most necessary step for preparation for marriage. If a young man cannot sacrifice before marriage, you might as well not expect him to after marriage. Betrothal starts with the principle of sacrifice.
Essential to the process, as well, is the response of the young lady. Just as Christ will not force anyone to accept his Salvation and be part of his church, no young lady should be forced to go anywhere she doesn’t want to go. In some cultures, their women have no choice and are practically treated like property. This is not a principle found in scripture. Rebekah, when discussing the idea of going to be with Isaac in Genesis 24, was asked personally whether she would go. “Enquire at her mouth…” were the words of Abraham’s servant. Similarly, we are the decision makers when deciding whether or not to accept the invitation of Christ to be his bride. Using this guide, a young lady should decide whether or not to “go” with a young man.
Living each day from the time we are “betrothed” to Christ till the marriage in heaven, God desires for us to draw close to Christ, knowing him better and better, learning how to be his and please him. In this process, Christ also draws close to us, and desires that we live a life that is pleasing to him so that we can be close to our Saviour. This is mirrored by a young man and woman drawing close to one another, and getting to know each other better following their betrothal as it leads to them getting married.
Young people confuse this step more than any other. They begin the process of getting to know one another as a determinate stage that helps them decide whether or not this young person is the one who they should marry. This is unscriptural. I am not trying to say that, in the real world of wickedness, that there are not some exceptions where a young person should withdraw from a courting relationship. But as a general rule, the praying about this relationship should have already occurred prior to courtship.
During the betrothal process, it is important to note that there is no physical contact between the two individuals. While this is very unpopular even in Christian circles, it is clear in I Corinthians 7 that the only exception to a no-touch policy between men and women is marriage. The first time the 2 should touch should be at the wedding. Another important thing to note: prior to the betrothal relationship, there shouldn’t be any “boyfriend/girlfriend” relationships. This is especially unpopular in modern society, but it is the truth, nonetheless. For one thing, it teaches young people that it is “ok” to maintain a laid-back attitude concerning relationships, and boyfriend/girlfriend games only teach lack of commitment. If a young person gets married who has played these boyfriend/girlfriend games, this person has to forget everything they did during their teen years and relearn how relationships work. If they don’t, it will lead to disaster. And a young person shouldn’t be involved beyond a simple friendship with the opposite gender until that young person is ready to get married. Until that time, they should remain content and uninvolved with the opposite gender. No exceptions. It will only lead to hurt and/or premature relationships.
I am currently waiting on the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. At his appointed time, he will come and get me for the wedding. This is the last principle of betrothal relationships: the young lady waits patiently until her man comes and gets her! This is mirrored in Genesis 24. Rebekah was willing to go with Abrahams servant… “Enquire at her mouth…” She went, and was married to her Godly groom. Here are two wonderful stories of successful marriages in your Bible, and they provide a wonderful guide for us to follow.
“And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord.” Hosea 2:19-20
Saturday, January 22, 2011
This song defines our relationship, as it should any betrothal relationship that is pleasing to God. And I sure enjoyed singing it with my girl. =)
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
I wonder if someone had asked them why they were leaving, what they would've said. "We are afraid of..."
Stop right there. Fear? Where fear is the fruit, doubt is the seed. This is the opposite of faith. But there they go... leaving Bethlehemjudah.
There is a tendency, in the ministry, to get hardened. It's not that the tenderness toward others is gone, or that you no longer desire to help those who need it. It's simply that you get tired of seeing those who seemed the most loyal, the most unmoveable, and the most faithful, depart in time of famine.
I am not where I am today because of the greatness of man; I am here because of the greatness of God. If I had based my loyalty, devotion, and steadfastness on the strength of a man, or the greatness of a leader, I would no longer be in the ministry today. You see, there have been many opportunities for me to get out of this fight...and tempting occasions as well. I am who I am because of the grace of God, and the day God changes will be the day that it will be right for me to go to Moab in the famine.
To quote one of my favorite lines from any hymn:
"My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name."
I say all of this because I am beginning to wonder what it is that causes people to make decisions. For instance, I go to Truth Baptist Church because I believe that is where God wants me. It is my Bethlehemjudah. One day, I will go away to Law school, and when that happens, I will do it because that's what I believe God wants me to do.
But then I see people leave our church. And rather than base it on the will of God, they base it on feelings and fear. "Well," you say, "they've been feeling like leaving for a long time." Oh yeah? SO HAVE I! But since when do our feelings have anything to do with the will of God? Since when do Christians reserve the right to make decisions as if God's will has nothing to do with their life?
Why were you at Truth Baptist Church? Because Bro. Buddy Maynard was such a great man? You're right...he was and he still is. But if you were here because of his faithfulness, I'm surprised you weren't disappointed and scared off sooner! What a sad reason to be somewhere...the strength of a mortal man.
You see, I am not here because my Pastor is perfect. I'm here because God is perfect, and he told me to be here. Only those who base their decisions on man need act in fear, out of feeling. Only someone who bases their decisions on a man need change their mind at the drop of a hat.
And only a fool would leave the "house of bread," where God is, because there is a famine in the land.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
It’s been 2 weeks and 3 days since Christmas day, when I asked Lydia for the incredible honor of courting her. Her response will be forever etched in my mind…it was the greatest honor I’ve ever been given.
Courtship life has been fun! No complaints from me. Who would even believe me if I did, right? =)
The Biblical name for this is betrothal. There is absolutely no going back. When God created man, he didn’t give him the choice between Eve, Evelyn, and Ethel. God brought the woman to the man, and that was it. One man for one woman. Period. We do not believe in “trying out” and “dating around” so that you can be sure that you are compatible. You see, when God gave me assurance that Lydia was to be my wife, I didn’t doubt his ability to put compatible people together.
Lydia is the other half of my puzzle…
She’s the dot to my “i,” the cross to my “t”
The butter to my bread, the spoon to my tea
…well, you get the point. =D
But, as I was saying before I got distracted, betrothal is a commitment between two that means that we are growing together, and are meant for one another. We refer to this as “courtship.” This term has been used frequently among Christians to describe a sort of “dating” where a young man or lady will “court” multiple young people before they even get married. This is not our definition. This type of behavior is found nowhere in scripture, and I’ve never heard of the positive effects from this philosophy. If anything, it teaches a young person to devalue commitment and is really nothing less than worldly dating with supervision. I believe your heart is similar to a cake, and that when you enter into any serious relationship with another person, you give them a piece of that heart. As you grow together, you continue to give your whole heart to that person. If you begin a relationship and end it, and then repeat this process multiple times, then you are giving a piece of your heart away. When marriage finally does happen, a young person has to re-learn commitment and put behind him/her everything that they practiced in so-called “courtship.”
Well, I don’t believe in that, and neither does my beloved. Commitment should define every relationship, especially those which lead to marriage. We have decided to do this the Bible way, and have faith that when God said go, it wasn’t to get us involved with someone who he did not intend for us. God’s way is BEST!
Lydia Joy is my betrothed…interpreted, she’s mine, and I’m loving every minute of it. =)
Till next time,
Friday, January 7, 2011
Thursday, January 6, 2011
The average Facebook user spends 18 minutes a day on Facebook
The average Christian spends less than 3 minutes a day reading the Bible.
Is it possible that a user of Facebook, without any obligation to Facebook itself, is more dedicated to Facebook than a Christian is to his/her Bible?
Is it possible that you, Christian, as a Facebook user, spend more time reading status updates and comments on Facebook than you do reading your Bible?
The facts suggest that it not only is possible, but that it is likely.
I hope that you do not fall into these averages listed above. If so, you should reconsider your priorities.
Saturday, January 1, 2011
The Christmas Gift
Here’s a story of Christmas
It’s the greatest one I know
It’s a story of friendship
That between two would grow
A young man; a young lady
Who learned to forgive
And the young man who gave
The greatest gift he could give
He could’ve given roses
Which he already had done
He could’ve written a letter
To tell her how lovely she was
But to show her, for Christmas,
How she had torn his world apart
He decided, on this special Christmas
To give her his heart
By Clayton Maynard
I wrote this poem for a young lady tucked away in the Netherlands! God told me in October that she was to be for me, and so I flew over as the first Christmas visitor they have had in 15 years. I asked Lydia on Christmas day for the amazing honor of courting her! She said YES!! Can you believe it? I am amazed at the tremendous blessings of God upon my life. Can you believe that the most incredibly beautiful person in the world was tucked away in the Netherlands for me? I serve an awesome God.
We look forward to growing in the Lord together over this next period of our lives, following his Spirit to lead us and guide us in everything.