Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rain - Thank You

I am enjoying the rain that we have had the last few days. It has been refreshing to remember what "rain" really is. It has been so long since we have seem much here in San Antonio. The rain helps me to remember the power of God in this world

Job 5:9-10 says, "Who does great and unsearchable things, wonders without number. He gives rain on the earth and sends water on the fields". Job calls the giving of rain a great wonder of God.

I was reading today from a book by John Piper who gave some facts concerning rain. For us to get rain here in San Antonio we need water to come about 150 miles to San Antonio from the Gulf of Mexico. Have you ever given thought to how much water weighs? Well, if one inch of rain falls on one square mile of land here in the city of San Antonio that would be 27,878,400 cubic feet of water, which is 206,300,160 gallons, which is 1,650,501,280 pounds of water.

That is a lot of weight over our heads when we are sleeping at night. How did that much water get up in the sky? It got there by evaporation. What is evaporation? It means that the water stops being water for a while so it can go up and not down. How does it come down? It comes down by condensation. What is condensation? The water starts to become water again by gathering around little dust particles between .00001 and .0001 centimeters wide. That is small.

Also remember there is salt in the water? Our water comes from the Gulf of Mexico, so somehow we have to get the salt out so the water will not kill all of our trees, flowers, and grass. The sky picks up close to 2 billion pounds of water from the Gulf of Mexico, carries it about 150 miles (in the process removes the salt) and then later dumps it on our city.

Well, it doesn't dump it. If the sky dump close to 2 billion pounds of water on one square mile of our city - there would be nothing left - our homes, businesses, and churches would be crushed. So the sky dribbles the couple of billion pounds of water in little drops. And they have to be big enough to fall for one mile or so without evaporating, and small enough to keep from crushing our trees, flowers, and grass.

How do all these microscopic specks of water that weigh a couple of billion pounds get heavy enough to fall? It's called coalescence. Coalescence means that the specks of water start bumping into each other and join up and get bigger, and when they are big enough, they fall.

Now there is even more to it than my mind can begin to understand. That is why I like Job's words about rain.

Job 5:9-10 Who does great and unsearchable things, wonders without number. He gives rain on the earth and sends water on the fields. Job calls the giving of rain a great wonder of God.

I agree with John Piper when he says, "I think I should be thankful, a lot more thankful than I am.

Thank you Lord Jesus for the rain this week!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sins of Sodom

One of the great privileges of my life is that I was born and raised in the United States of America. My father served in the Navy during the Korean War and I was raised by my family to honor those who faithfully served our country in the military. It has been my privilege for over 30 years to pastor men and women who have faithfully served our country through 3 wars.

Since the founding of our nation, over 1,317,000 men and women have given their lives for the United States of America. We lost most of those men and women in five wars (Civil War, WW I, WW II, Korean, and Vietnam - 1,241,640). Much blood has been shed in order for us to have the freedoms that we have as citizens of the United States of America.

This Memorial Day, 2009, I have been wondering how can I best show my appreciation for those who have faithfully given their lives so that I my live. I am reminded of a passage in Ezekiel where the people of Israel are in exile. They have lost their freedom, their homes and their families have been destroyed by the Babylonians and they are now in exile wondering how they lost it all.

The prophet Ezekiel tells them that they are guilty of the sins of Sodom. This would have been a shock to the Jews listening to Ezekiel. But what was more troubling was that Ezekiel told them they were worse than the citizens of Sodom. 

What were the chosen people of Israel guilty of that had led to their downfall and destruction? What were the sins of Sodom?

Ezekiel boldly proclaims that the people in both Israel and Sodom were guilty of three sins: arrogance, gluttony and careless ease (selfishness) (Ezekiel 16:49). The people of Israel and Sodom had become arrogant, fat, and lazy. When a nation reaches that point they are doomed to fall.

So, how do I best honor the men and women who have died for me and the people of the United States of America? I best honor those who have selflessly given their lives serving our country when I walk humbly with my God and with discipline live each day serving others.

Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?

I pray you have a great Memorial Day with your family and friends!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Solitude for Jesus

Jesus had gone to the synagogue for worship on the Sabbath. During the time of worship a man who was demon possessed cried out during the time that Jesus was teaching. Jesus healed the man and the crowd in the synagogue was amazed. Something new was happening that they had never seen before in their lives. They wondered about this new teaching and began to spread the word about the Lord Jesus.

Jesus left the synagogue and went to the house of Simon and Andrew. Simon's mother-in-law was sick and Jesus heals her. As the day comes to an end, the crowds have found their way to Simon's house to find Jesus. In one day, everything has changed. The crowds know about Jesus and come seeking his help. They will never leave him alone again.

What Jesus does next speaks volumes to the need of our lives. Mark records in the first chapter of his gospel these words, "And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed". (ESV)

He got up early and he left the crowds. We cannot always be with the crowds. In fact the strength of life is never found in the crowds. It is always found in the desolate place. It is in the desolate place that we can be still and know that He is God. It is in the desolate place that we can hear God speak and learn His ways. The desolate place is important. It's importance is best seen when we go back to the crowds. Our influence will be God's Word and not the influence of the crowds.

Where do you go to be still and know God? Where is your desolate place?

New Emphasis with my Blog

My two trips to Costa Rica has caused me to stop and reflect upon what is important in life. I have always known that our hope is to be built upon Jesus Christ and Him alone. It is a fact that we have all grown up with in our lives. My struggle as a pastor has always been a disconnect between people at church and then out in their everyday lives. At church they are so victorious and in life they seem overwhelmed by the problems of family, work, and the world.

I am beginning a new emphasis with my blog on knowing Jesus Christ. The passage that will set the tone for my blogging will be Psalms 46:10. The Psalmist says, "Be still, and know that I am God." (ESV).

I will be writing on the importance of stopping and reflecting upon the work of the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ. I hope that all I write will be a help to you as you seek to know Jesus, the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Construction Update

We are making progress slowly on our new buildings. The plumbers are working on the foundation of the three buildings. The site crew is working on the parking lot for the front of the church and the east side of the church. We are looking at about April for the project to be finished.

Also we were without internet access at the church for over a month. But as of Saturday, we have access again to email and internet.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

2008 Pageant - Village Parkway

video

Description of Daniel

In Daniel 5 the Queen of Babylon gives her husband a description of Daniel:

  • He has a spirit of the holy gods
  • Illumination
  • Insight
  • Wisdom like the wisdom of Gods
  • Extraordinary spirit
  • Knowledge
  • Interpretation of dreams
  • Explanations of enigmas (something hard to understand or explain)
  • Solving of difficult problems
Later Daniel 6:3 says - Daniel began to distinguishing himself among the commissioners and satraps because he possessed an extraordinary spirit.

What brings about the observation that Daniel has "an extraordinary spirit?" It has to be the calmness and quietness of his heart that reflects in his actions and reactions to people. His faith runs so deep that he is quietly rooted and grounded in love that overwhelms the people that he encounters.

How often do people reflect about us and says, "they have an extraordinary spirit?" Or are we just like everyone else - ordinary?

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Spirit is Willing But . . .

I am studying Dallas Willard's "The Great Omission" - he makes a very powerful statement

The body can acquire a "life of its own" - tendencies to behave without regard to our concious intentions. In our fallen world this life is prepossessed by evil, so that we do not have to think to do what is wrong, but we must think and plan and practice - and receive grace - if we are to succeed in doing what is right.

Romans 12:2 says, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

Paul's words to the Corinthians, "We have the mind of Christ." (1 Cor. 2:16).

Paul says to Colassae, "Set your mind on the things above, not on the things on the earth." (Col 3:2).

The "setting your mind" is one of the most critical elements to a godly walk. We have to make an active determination to think about the things in heaven. It is the key to walking with the Lord Jesus Christ in holiness.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ouch!

Not much you can say. Oklahoma won. But the seaon is not over and the possiblities still remain for an amazing year for Texas Tech.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Construction Update


The sidewalk in the front of the church was poured on Wednesday. This sidewalk runs from the east end of our facilities to the worship center and our new front entrance.



There is still more work to be done, but we are beginning to see a real change in the front of the church.




The Facility Study Committee met with Paul Sanchez, our architect who is in charge of our building project on Wednesday night. We had a good meeting and learned that everything is going according to schedule for our new buildings. As you notice this morning, the new sidewalks in the front of the church have been poured. They are also new lights surrounding the worship center to light up the front and side parking lots. We were given the following schedule for the coming days.

· They are still deciding at this time whether to put down the asphalt in the front parking lot now or at the end of the project
· Construction on the foundations of two of new buildings will start in the middle of December.
· They will move the modular building over the Christmas holidays
· They will start work on the third foundation as soon as the modular building is moved.
· Foundations should be poured during the early part of January
· Completion date for the project is the end of March

Thanksgiving



  • Paul tells the church at Colassae to do two things: (1) Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart; (2) Let the word of Christ richly dwell in you. (Colossians 3:15-17).
  • In these same three verses are three calls to be thankful: (1) Be thankful (v. 15); (2) singing with thanksgiving in your hearts to God (v. 16); (3) giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
  • The ability to be truly thankful comes when we decide to let peace of Christ control our hearts and when we let the word of Christ richly dwell within our lives. Thanksgiving is not dependent on circumstances, people, or situations. Most people have trouble being thankful in all things because they do not trust Jesus to take care of them. They forget his words of promise because they have chosen to not let them richly dwell within their lives.
  • You will know you are obedient to Christ, when thanksgiving is in your words, songs, and actions.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Construction at Village Parkway



We are slowly moving forward at the church in our construction project. This is the front of the church between the Worship Center and the Education Building. We will have a new walkway from the front parking lot to the entrance of our worship center. We will also have handicap entrance at this point also. The picture on the right is the new sidewalk that will be across the front of the entire Education Building. They are saying that we will be finished with the front in about two weeks.




Senior Adult Camp


I just got back from a week at Lost Maples Senior Adult Camp at Leakey, Texas. It was a great experience and I had the opportunity to speak four times. I taught from 2 Timothy 1 and 2. This was my second time to be camp pastor for the camp.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Economics - Simple

Economics can actually be easily understood. Here are each of the basic economic philosophies explained in simple "two-cow" terms:

Communalism: You have two cows. You keep one and give one to your neighbor.

Communism: You have two cows. The government takes them both and--from time to time--provides you with sour milk.

Fascism: You have two cows. The government takes them and sells you the milk.

Liberalism: You have two cows. The government takes them both, shoots one, milks the other, pays you for the milk, and then pours it down the drain.

Socialism: You have two cows. The government taxes you to the point that you must sell them both in order to support a man in a foreign country who has only one cow which was a gift from your government.

Free-Market Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

Centralized, Multi-National-Corporation-Based, Government-Subsidized, Democratic Socialism: You have two cows. You sell one, force the other to produce the milk of four cows and when it dies you write off the depreciation, hire a lobbyist, and garner a government bail-out and tax-breaks in order to purchase two new cows. Repeat.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bible Study - Galatians 3:1-9

When you read the story of Abraham you are amazed at a man who had such faith. When God speaks he responds. He is a good man who handles life very well. When you review his story you find

  • God spoke to Abraham when he was 75 years old and he left Haran and when to Shechem. Lord told him, I will give your descendants this land.
  • There was a famine in the land and Abraham went to Egypt. This is where he told Sarai to say that he was her sister.
  • The next story is the strife between Lot’s herdsmen and Abraham’s herdsmen. It led to Lot going to Sodom and Abraham settled in Canaan.
  • Then you have the story of the war of the kings, Abraham and his men have to move quickly to rescue Lot and his family.
  • Then you have Abraham meeting with Melchizedek king of Salem and offered a tithe to him from the battle.

But when you come to Genesis 15 something very important takes place. Our Lord says to Abraham, "Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; your reward will be very great." Abraham responds to the Lord with the statement, "I am childless". The Lord has him to go outside and look into the heavens and says to him, "so shall your descendants be."

Then you have an amazing statement in Genesis 15:6 "Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness." This verse is very critical in Paul's writing in Romans 4 and Galatians 3. James also uses it in James 2.

After all that Abraham has done, it is now by faith that he starts his walk with the Lord. Genesis 15 begins his walk of faith that leads to Genesis 22 where he offers Isaac as a sacrifice. It seems to me that Abraham conversion and walk of faith truly starts in Genesis 15:6.

Galatians 3:7 says "be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham." For us to start the walk with the Lord we have to come to the place that "we believe in the Lord" just as Abraham did that night he looked into the stars and realized that what God promised would take place.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


This is where Jan and I vacationed with my brother's family this summer. This is an view of Crystal Beach. I spent many of my high school and college days on this beach. The house we stayed in this summer is no longer there. Most of the homes are now gone.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Guess Who?

Can you guess who I am?

I am not yet 45 years old but already I have taken the nation by storm.

I am known for my avid love of the outdoors.

I hunt, fish, hike, and camp whenever I possibly can.

I have made my mark in politics as an unlikely Republican reformer.

Of course, I have had to take on the Republican Party establishment.

Not that the Democrats are too fond of me either.

I have a large, happy, but rather rambunctious family.

I have been governor of my large northern state for less than two years.

Nevertheless, I was the surprise pick to be the vice presidential candidate in a crucial national election.

Have you ever heard of me?

Surely you have. I am Teddy Roosevelt.

Pray for those in Southeast Texas


I have family and many friends who live in Southeast Texas. I asked that you join me in praying for the grace of God to sustain them during these days. There is still no word this morning on conditions in Beaumont, Orange, and Port Arthur. Lord show mercy to those who live in the Golden Triangle area. My home area is Orange, Texas.

Bible Study - Psalms 119

Verse 165 – Those who love your law have great peace and nothing causes them to stumble.

When our lives are characterized by a love of God’s word there will be evidence that the love is real. The evidence that the "love of God's word" is real is we have “great peace.” There is no fear impacting our lives. We live quietly, rest quiestly and walk quiety because of the great peace. The reason for this life is that love for God’s word brings careful walking, diligence, paying close attention to the testimonies of God, and seeking God with all your heart.

There is a second blessing in our life and that is we will not stumble. In fact nothing in life will cause us to stumble. When you pay close attention to your walk, then you never have to worry about tripping in life. We will walk surefooted through life because we have confidence from God's word.

Love of God’s word means we live in peace and nothing catches us off guard. If you want that kind of life, check your attitude towards God’s Word. Remember "great peace" means you really do love God's word.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Sarah Palin - Pro Life


Sarah Palin's Personal Pro-Life Story: (from Susan B Anthonly List)
In April of this year, Sarah Palin gave birth to her fifth child, Trig, who was born premature with Down Syndrome. Recent statistics show that in the U.S., approximately 90% of Down Syndrome diagnoses end with the mother choosing abortion. Palin on her family's reaction to the diagnosis, in her own words:
"We knew through early testing he would face special challenges, and we feel privileged that God would entrust us with this gift and allow us unspeakable joy as he entered our lives. We have faith that every baby is created for good purpose and has potential to make this world a better place. We are truly blessed." (April 18, 2008, Anchorage Daily News)
"We've both [Palin and husband Todd] been very vocal about being pro-life. We understand that every innocent life has wonderful potential." (May 3, 2008, Associated Press)
"I'm looking at him [Trig] right now, and I see perfection. Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking, in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?" (May 3, 2008, Associated Press)
It is exciting to me to see someone who truly holds the same convictions that I have about life. In our day when so many of those in politics gauged truth by polls it is a breath of fresh air to see someone who holds to the truths of God’s Word.