Pray for me. I think I have Nomophobia

About two weeks ago I was part of a carpool on a two-hour trip to meet with a group of pastors.  When we arrived at the meeting I realized that I had left my phone back in my car.   Now I couldn’t check my email, text messages, get phone calls, look at the weather forecast, use my mobile Logos program to look up Greek and Hebrew words, check the Drudge report, or any of the critical things I normally do throughout the day (I have an ipone).  A strange feeling overcame me as though I had been dropped from an airplane into a barren wilderness.    My heart rate increased.   I broke into a cold sweat.   I hard trouble breathing.     Luckily the following article says that this disease can be treated.  I wonder if I could qualify for disability.

OK, OK  I’m totally exaggerating!    I didn’t really have trouble breathing:).     Check out this very short article though.

The article ends assuring us that there is treatment;

According to the website allaboutcounseling.com, nomophobes can be treated by exposure therapy. First a person can start imagining what it would be like to be without a phone. And then maybe spend small amounts of time away from the phone.

But if it’s really bad, you might consider medication.

OK, for today I’m going to start trying to imagine not having my phone for a few minutes.

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Blog every day? Every week?:()

WordPress, who host this blog have put out a challenge to write a blog post every day or every week this year.   I’m more the once a month type, but I’d like to post more often.   Writing forces me to think, and learn to express myself better.  I have a love / hate relationship with writing.  I love being at the point where I have written something and it is done; it’s so gratifying.   But I hate getting started.  Frankly I don’t have that much time.

However, maybe that is just an excuse.  Ultimately I’d like my writing to serve the goal of helping fulfill my lifelong purpose of honoring my Savior and leading people to Him.   Perhaps one way of accomplishing this would be to blog about the things that are already a part of my ministry: sermons, books, lessons, life situations, etc.

Anyway, WordPress linked to this Nike video.  While not particularly excited about the Nike brand or company, this commercial might be applicable to both you and me this year.  Enjoy.

The Bible VS The Cell Phone

I almost never forward the many stories and jokes I receive in my email, but this one, while somewhat trite at first glance, has some weight.

The Bible VS the Cell Phone

Ever wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone?

What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?

What if we flipped through it several time a day?

What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?

What if we used it to receive messages from the text?

What if we treated it like we couldn’t live without it?

What if we gave it to Kids as gifts?

What if we used it when we traveled?

What if we used it in case of emergency?

This is something to make you go….hmm…where is my Bible?

Oh, and one more thing.

Unlike our cell  phone, we don’t have to worry about our Bible being
Disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill.

Makes you stop and think ‘where are my priorities? And no dropped calls!

Lord, show me the dross that I may purge it!

Proverbs 25:4

“Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the refiner.”

How much dross is in my life that makes me less valuable and unusable for the Master Silversmith?   Sadly, an honest evaluation makes me think at times there is more dross than silver.  The dross may be anything and everything in my life that isn’t rooted in my focus upon magnifying and serving my Savior.

I am a covetous man, a materialistic man; a man often obsessed with the things of this earth.  My house, my car, my hobbies, my entertainment, my possessions, my passions, my pride, and all of the selfish obsessions of my life are dross – impurities which contaminate my life from the purity God desires and intends for me.

Oh, what would God do through this worthless vessel should it ever become free of the dross!

May the words of this song be true of my life.

All I ever want to be is what You want of me, Lord;

I give my life to You.

And all my hopes and dreams and plans I place within Your hands, Lord,

and give my life to You.

What’s it mean to “know no man after the flesh”?

2 Corinthians 5:16  “Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now we henceforth know him no more.”

This verse has been permeating my mind recently.  Last week a person who is not a follower of Jesus asked me to go with him to do something in the community.  I’ve gone with him once or twice before to run an errand and I’ve made very small comments regarding the gospel.   When he asked me again my heart was pierced and the Holy Spirit brought this verse to mind.

I might enjoy doing things with people, like hunting or fishing or shooting, but if my primary goal in the relationships is not to lead them to Christ, then I have acted selfishly and foolishly and not fulfilled my God given purpose.

Sunday I preached on relationships and was convicted by the message.  What the Holy Spirit taught me through my study is that there are many kinds of relationships, some good and some bad, but as followers of Jesus Christ our relationships must be biblical relationships.   A biblical relationship is defined as one that, in love, models and teaches Christ with the goal of a person knowing Christ (salvation) and then living a Christ-like life.

Paul truly grasped this truth in 2 Cor.5:16.  He didn’t build relationships with people outside of his making every effort to lead them to Christ.   He saw every person as a soul in need of a Savior and destined to eternity in the lake of fire if they didn’t come to that Savior, Jesus Christ.

Will I go spend time with this person this week?   I don’t know, it is a very busy week, but if I do go I have already determined to not “know “ him “after the flesh, but work to make it a biblical relationship and introduce him to my Savior.

“Job or Ministry?”

A job is your choice;

A ministry is at Christ’s call.

In a job you expect to receive

In a ministry you expect to give.

In a job you give something to get something;

In a ministry you return something

That has already been given to you.

A job depends on your abilities;

A ministry depends on your availability to God.

A job well done brings you praise;

A ministry done well brings honor to God.

by James N. Spurgeon

Thankyou New Life Fellowship for good service today.

If you were in church today you know that the service was different. If you missed it, let me explain.

I broke from the series on parenting in order to speak to our church about the need for some serious seeking of God. A number of events of late have caused me to take pause and consider the spiritual temperature of our church. Several people have spoken to me about various things in our ministry that concern them, and I have been prayerfully considering these topics as well.

Two weeks ago, while at the pastor’s fellowship meeting at the Independent Bible Church of Duryea, Pastor Joe LaCava preached from Luke chapter four. The truth that stuck with me and has continued to fill my mind is simply that Jesus – who is God- needed to fast for forty days at the beginning of his public ministry.

In that passage we read that Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit and was then lead by the Spirit  into the wilderness for a forty day fast . During that time he was tempted by Satan, probably the entire time. But, when he came through that period, He was filled with the power of the Spirit!

My question is this, “Why did Jesus fast”? It was not to deal with sin. Whatever the reason, It was necessary and Spirit led, and the result was His receiving the power of the Spirit for His ministry.  Might it have been partially for our example?

If Jesus needed that, how much more do I and our church need it? I know that I’ve often done ministry in my own strength, and I’ve often not seen the results desired. I need God and we need God.

So I really challenged you, our congregation, about this today and a great majority of you responded. I praise God and will be praying for you.

One of the last things I emphasized this morning was the reality of spiritual warfare. As I challenged you, and myself, I knew Satan would not be pleased. If Jesus faced temptations and trials, so will we.

I’m not ready to give Satan the credit, but I find it very thought provoking that as we are about to embark on a very serious journey of seeking God, I and my family became so sick that church had to be canceled this evening.

Let’s not jump to give Satan credit too soon. God could very well be testing me and possibly you. Are we serious about this thing? While I was at the peak of sickness this afternoon, I asked God to teach me through this. Yes, I felt as if I was about to die, but I also knew that this was a minor insignificant thing compared to what others have and do suffer.

It is now 11:15pm and I am feeling mostly better. However, while in the throes of pain, I tried to think of the real suffering of lost souls in Hell. That didn’t make the pain go away, but it did put things into perspective and God used it to channel my focus.

Let us do this thing together. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. I’ll pray for you, and you please pray for me.

Tribute to my wife

I want to take time to say this because I really don’t say it enough.    God has blessed me with the most wonderful wife I could imagine, certainly far better than I deserve.   She is with me through thick and thin and always has been.  I know I pick on her sometimes and yes, I go too far, too often.  But she graciously forgives me.  

My ministry couldn’t happen without her.  She does so much in the church that I often think she does even more than me.   On any given week she will study for and then teach Sunday School, prepare for Children’s church (which includes crafts, missionary stories, lessons, and music), play piano, sing in the choir, do special music, prepare for and lead the Wednesday night children’s ministry, and many more things.    She does all this while caring for me and our three kids, and working three or four days a week.

Today was a great example of her selfless serving.  She came to church to  play the piano but left immediately after the music because my son was sick.  We had a neighbor girl visiting for the afternoon and so she had lunch with us.  Then it go nasty.  The stomach flu struck our house at 4:30 PM.  We had three people lose their lunch within a five-minute period.  This continued for the next several hours.  She just kept cleaning things up with a smile, serving all of us.

She is hard on herself quite often, but I think she is the best mom my kids could have and a better wife than I’ll ever deserve.  Thanks Deb.  

And, no, I didn’t write this because I’m in the doghouse!

Senior Lunch was great time of fellowship

We started up our monthly luncheons for seniors in January.   We meet on the third Thursday of each month at noon and all seniors are invited from our church and from the community.   Normally, about 12 – 15 seniors are able to attend but we would love to see some new faces.  The meal is free and we have a little free will offering if someone would like to contribute.   

Special thanks goes out to the ladies who make it happen, and we can’t forget  a few of the men who faithfully help set up and clean up.   The picture below was taken after several folks had left, but don’t they look like a happy bunch?