Pastor Bill's Blog

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August 2009 - Posts

For the past few Wednesday nights I have been challenged by a few of the young boys in our youth group to play a game that I played when I was young - P.I.G. That's the game where you shoot a basketball from somewhere on the court and, if you make it, the person following you has to make the same shot the same way.  It's a little easier than its counterpart H.O.R.S.E.  Needless to say I beat all four of the boys hands down two weeks ago.  NO! I did not let those little boys win!!!  I do have a little competitiveness in my blood (though not much).  Then, this past Wednesday, I lost.  A little 10 year old boy, Justin Coffey to be exact, destroyed me! I P.I.G.'ed out and he didn't even have a P. It didn't even take but about eight minutes until he had me crawling off the court with my tail between my legs.

I've learned a lot from these boys. Danny, Ray, Austin, Justin - all of them - they love to win and they LOVE beating an adult at their own game.  They are good at P.I.G. and they are good boys.  I learned something else.  Kids like to play games and they enjoy playing with adults.  In fact, it makes them feel special.  Funny how we see this at school and when they are involved in recreational sports like football, softball and soccer but we miss in at the church.  We think church is just for the spiritual.  Well, in a way, it is.  Can P.I.G. be a spiritual thing?  Even though I may get a little carnal out on the court, spending quality time with the boys and showing them that I love them is a very spiritual thing.

I've worked with the children in church since I graduated high school.  In fact, I spoke at a church on a Sunday night a couple weeks ago and the pastor of the church was in my Junior Boys Sunday School class and children's church over 20 years ago.  I am so proud of him and the work he is doing for the kingdom. The trouble and struggles he gave me as well as all the time I spent with him were well worth it now that I see how God is using him. Amazing what level of impact we can have on those we minister to.

I want to encourage every parent, grandparent and attender to get involved with the youth of the church in some way or another.  It's one of the greatest and funnest ways to make an impact on a soul.  They need us! They WANT us and our involvement in their lives.  Today, say a special prayer for the young people of the church.  School has begun and they need those passionate prayers as they traverse through the halls of our totally secular schools.  Pray also for the teachers, youth pastors and workers who invest their time in their lives.

Well, tonight will be another game of P.I.G.  Watch out guys.  I'm ready to beat your socks off!

Have a great day!

PB

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I'm back.  Wow.  Wasn't as bad as I thought.  Probably need to get a new bicycle seat though (ouch).  The prayer time was great. Several people waved, said Hi and even spoke to me.  That surprised me! It took me 30 minutes to go the 5 miles.  Is that good? Bad? I peddled the whole time.

1Timothy 4:8 says, "For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come."  Paul doesn't say "exercise is of no profit" so it must have benefit. I guess if I want to hang around this world and get as much as I can done for Christ, I should probably exercise as often as I can.  I think I'll start out with riding the 5 miles every other day and increase from there.

Setting priorities is always a challenge.  Many times, our activities and interests set our priorities for us.  A man, woman, boy or girl that is proactive and sets their own priorities will have greater success than those who don't - who go with the flow.  I think I'll move exercise up on my priority list - but not too high. God, family and many other important things need to stay at the top.

Well, I'm off to grab the peanut M&M's I used as an illustration in last nights sermon. Should be able to finish off the remainder of the 42 ounce bag I bought for $9.98 in less than half an hour!

Have a great day!

PB

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Well, I think the time has come!

I have been hyper all my life.  When I was a kid, they always said my brother, the docile one, would be the preacher of the family.  They never said that about me.  I couldn't stay in one place for more than a minute and I would dart to the next adventure.  To this day, my mind travels faster and further than my body ever could.

Enter 40 something! Still hyper and a little A.D.D. and O.C.D but the body is struggling to keep up.  So, I've decided to day o commit to get fit (or at least try to).  There are several of my friends on Facebook that are constantly bragging all the time: "I walked 4.5 miles today" or "Got my five mile run in this morning-feel great". I hate those people.  But, I guess I should think seriously about my health and do something about it.

So, I am going to ride my bike.  Let's start with 5 miles. While I'm at it, I'm going to make it a prayer ride.  I am going to pray using the PRAY acronym (P-Praise R-Repent A-Ask Y-Yield).   OK.  Her I go.  I'll finish the blog when I get back.  Hmmm... sure is hot out here. Pray for me that I don't get hit by a car or die of a heart attack!

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Have you ever thought that you may one day be asked to be a martyr for the cause of Christ?

I just finished the book "In The Presence Of My Enemies" by Gracia Burnham.  Gracia and her husband Martin were missionaries for New Tribes Mission organization in the Philippines.  It is the account of her and her husbands kidnapping at the hands of the Abu Sayyaf - an extremest Islamic terrorist group located in the Philippines with connections to Al Qaeda. For over a year, they endured hunger, hardship and even torture.  They were among several others that were kidnapped while in the Dos Palmas resort in the southern Philippine islands.  I encourage you to pick-up a copy and read it.  It's one of those books you just can't put down.

Reading this book brought tears to my eyes several times and reminded me of some of the statements Jesus made regarding the subjects of persecution and martyrdom.  Matthew 5:10-12 says, "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."  It's mentioned in Matthew 24 and Luke 21 as well as many other passages.  The majority of the apostles, including Paul, were martyred. Should we expect to confront this in our lifetime?

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (2006) says that an average of 171,000 Christians worldwide are martyred for their faith per year. Voice Of The Martyrs is constantly reporting on persecution and martyrdom around the world. Most American Christians have no idea of what many missionaries endure at the hands of those who literally hate the name of Christ.  Distributing Bibles, having a church gathering, conducting a Bible study or just giving a cup of water in Jesus name can result in prison, torture or even death.

Whenever I hear of another Christian going to his or her death because of Christ, I remember the story of Stephen and how Jesus stood up to welcome the first martyr and possibly first Christian to enter Heaven under the new covenant. As he gazed at Jesus standing by the Father awaiting his arrival, he fell asleep.  I hope current day martyrs who have given their livelihood and their lives for the cause of Christ experience the same welcome.

Is it coming?  Will it happen here? In my opinion, it's getting closer every day and approaching more rapidly than ever before.  Let's prepare ourselves, our children and our grandchildren for what lies ahead. Let's do all we can to make sure they stay true to Christ and the faith and don't become a statistic of 1 Timothy 4:1, "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith..."

God Bless You!

PB

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