Saturday, January 22, 2011

I Believe To See

"When trials take their toll, beyond what we control, we rest upon the faithful one; the keeper of our souls."

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

Dealing With People

Have you ever wondered why they left? Elimelech and Naomi left Bethlehemjudah, "the house of bread," over in the book of Ruth. And why? I know there was a famine. But did they expect there to never be a famine in the land? The famine will surely always comes. It's just a matter of when...

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

My Betrothed!

I wouldn't have it any other way

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

Kirk Cameron Interview on MSNBC

This clip is 2 years old, but I think it demonstrates an interesting point. This is an interesting short clip from MSNBC featuring Kirk Cameron, one of the lead actors on Fireproof and co-host of Way of the Master Evangelism Series, discussing Fireproof and his commitment to his wife.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Interesting Fact

Something for the readers to think about:

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

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.