Thursday, December 20, 2007

Going To Unsafe Places...

Here is a blog from Perry Noble that I wanted to share with you all:

There is a desire in the church that has absolutely crippled the effectiveness that God showed us in possible in the book of Acts. It’s a desire that, on the surface, can seem both “spiritual” and correct; however, this desire has done nothing more than render what should be the most powerful group of people in the world impotent.

It’s the desire to play it safe.

Safety is becoming more and more of an issue in our society. Children’s toys come with warning labels. We pay attention to safety standards on automobiles. Heck, when I was growing up NO ONE wore their seatbelts…now it is almost considered “immoral” if you don’t.

AND…there is NOTHING wrong with a desire for personal safety. It does make me feel better that my car has an airbag and Charisse’s crib hasn’t been covered in lead based paint.

However, that desire for safety somehow crept into the church and turned what God meant to be an unstoppable force that was designed to change the world into a group of people who are passionate about business meetings, legislating morality and getting out of the worship service on time. Read the entire blog...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Love Story

These two pictures are illustrative. The first is of Charles & Melanie Dolich, our Worship Pastors, as they prepare to baptize their daughter, Ashlyn, in the Jordan River.

The second is a spot on the Jordanian side of the river where John the Baptist taught and then walked to the river to baptize. Here are a few Scriptures to ponder: Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 2:38, Romans 6:1-10, Mark 16:16, Galatians 3:26-27, and 1 Peter 3:18-22.

Obey, not debate. Baptism is so often debated by theologians and church goers. All of the books, articles, and rhetoric hurt my head. Baptism is simple. It is actually a lot like falling in love and then getting married. We fall in love with Jesus, accepting His role as Messiah and Lord of our lives and then we seal the commitment with a public act. Our baptism is a statement of belief and commitment to follow both God and to follow Christ-followers.

In Romans 6, Paul explains that it is a death, burial and resurrection that takes place at baptism. That is why we practice believer's baptism by immersion. If He is Lord, baptism should not be that difficult.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cheering Section

I have a friend and brother in Christ named Steve. I am humbled by his heart for Jesus as a man of the Word, prayer, and evangelistic fervor.

The interesting fact about Steve is that he has only been a follower of Jesus for a couple of months. By his own testimony, he lived a tough life in which it took him 62 years, 2 months, and 1 week to find Jesus. Steve reignites my passion for ministry on many levels. The Holy Spirit still moves in mighty ways when the church prays and goes out into His harvest field.

However, the stunning message that Steve shared with me was about his baptism. Steve said, "Joe, no one at Tomoka knew me when I went up to be baptized. When I came up out of the water everyone stood and cheered. For the first time in my life I meant something to someone. God and His people loved me. No one had cheered for me since the third grade."

So, here is my question. Who do you know that could use some cheering right about now? How could we cheer for them?

  • Words of encouragement
  • Bring dinner
  • Buy some groceries
  • Help with yard work
  • Help with Christmas
  • Buy a cup of coffee
Maybe just a statement, "I believe in you."

Friday, December 7, 2007

Where Jesus Sleeps

This might look like a strange photo to you. This is the ruins of the Apostle Peter's house in Capernaum. Why is this sight of importance to us two thousand years later? Well, frankly, it sounds like "Washington slept here." Jesus spent a lot of his time in the last years of His life in this home with Peter and his family. Peter's mother was delivered from a great fever by Jesus at His touch (Matthew 8:14-15).

Will our house, not physically but spiritually, be know 2,000 years from now because Jesus was in our home? Do we just go to church or do we take Jesus into our home? Does He transform our lives, marriages, or our ethics? Does Jesus sleep in your house?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

You're Surrounded

I received this from a friend of mine, Steve Jones, in Vero Beach and wanted to pass it along to all of you:

Psalm 125:2 - Just as the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people, both now and forever.

If there is safety in numbers we're as secure as Fort Knox. We're surrounded. Even more so than when David wrote this Psalm. We're surrounded by angels (Hebrews 12:22). We're surrounded by witnesses (Hebrews 12:1). We're surrounded by grace (Romans 5:2). We're surrounded by Jesus (Philippians 3:9). And we're surrounded by the Lord God Himself (Psalm 125:2). And so, the Psalmist writes, we are "secure" and "will not be defeated."

I pray that today you will rest in the security and victory of our Lord.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Where God Lives

The Dome of the Rock (pictured left) and the Dome of the Spirits (pictured right) are located on the Temple Mount. The Foundation Stone (explained below) is believed to be underneath one of these two domes.

Ancient Jewish oral tradition, passed down through the centuries by the great Rabbis, holds that our Almighty God dwells/lives in Jerusalem. They teach that there is a foundation stone on Mt. Moriah, the current temple mount. It is from this stone that He created/directed/loved His creation. This is the spot where the Ark of the Covenant sat inside Solomon's temple. The Ark represents the presence of God.

I will give you a few Biblical references that I have found in my journey. Perhaps they will help you as you continue your walk with Jesus.

1. Genesis 14:17-24 - King of Salem communion/offering service.
2. Genesis 18 - Three visitors (Father, Son, Spirit) meet Abraham just north of Jerusalem.
3. Psalm 76:2 - His tent is in Salem (Jerusalem), his dwelling place in Zion! (Remember this when we get to John 1).
4. Deuteronomy 11:12 - It is a land (Israel) the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.
5. Deuteronomy 12:5-7 - His Name is there, worship there, offering & love sacrifices there, and there is the presence of the Lord.
6. Hosea 5:15 - In Samaria - He says, "I will go back to my place." Back to Jerusalem.
7. John 1:14 - The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. Dwelling - literally tabernacled with us, pitched his tent with us.
8. Luke 19:28; 37-38 - After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"
9. Luke 19:41 - He wept over Jerusalem.
10. Luke 19:42 - God has been living with you, but you refused to see.

When Jesus road into Jerusalem, He was simply going home to take His spot on His throne. There were many in the crowd that day who understood. They cried out, "save us - save us now."

Jesus desires to walk with us and dwell with us. I pray that we do not miss what could bring us peace.

The Mount of Olives

Thursday, November 29, 2007


In Matthew 4:5-6 we read:Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: 'He will command his angels concerning you,and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'

This picture is one of the two possible sites of this event. The temple would have been built above the top of this wall and much of what is below is modern development. Therefore, it would have been several hundred feet from temple top to valley floor.

We often face the same temptation that Jesus faced: to misappropriate God's Word. Satan's knowledge of Scripture should motivate us to know it better for our own defense and obedience.

Remember, before we can claim a promise we usually have to obey a command. Here are some Scriptures to ponder:

Proverbs 3:5-6
Proverbs 22:6
John 3:3
John 6:29
Matthew 28:18-20
Romans 12:3-8

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Jesus Tempted

Matthew 4:8-9 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me."

Hebrews 4:15 is a text of great grace for all of us when it states that Jesus was tempted in every way, yet he was without sin.

The third temptation that satan hit Jesus with was the glamor of this world. This temptation took Jesus to the top of a mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world at one time. Satan then said, "All this I'll give you if you bow down and worship me." What did Jesus see? Here are just a few...



New York City


Mexico City


Jesus replies, "Get away from me satan - the Word says you shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only." He stuck to the Torah for it's words are life. All the great kingdoms of man are temporary where as God's city is eternal. No remodeling ever. God is there and sin and temptation are not. The supreme architect and builder has erected the heavenly city for us.


1. If satan has this power, what does God have?
2. God might let us see all of history in eternity - cool!
3. Heaven must be beyond description for Jesus to see all of the kingdoms of man and walk away.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


On our recent trip to the Holy Land, my little mind got filled up with so much truth that I thought I would explode. In a good way. Then my concern became how can I share what I've learned without drowning everyone in a flood of facts. I've decided that I would just let a little leak out every so often. Here we go:

And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
-Genesis 1:3

We read through this without a lot of thought and yet this is the foundation of the world and the Word.

We have our Roman calendar where the days are named after Roman gods. Yet 6,000 years after Creation, God's holy people still use a different calendar. The only day with a name is the Sabbath. The rest are day 1,2,3,4,5,6. A great way to remember Creation every day. Yet our culture has gone from B.C. (Before Christ) to B.C.E. (Before Commom Era) and A.D. (Anno Domini - birth of Jesus Christ) to C.E. (Common Era). Oddly, however, the current era still starts with the birth of Jesus.

Here are a few Scriptures to help us remember Creation:

Genesis 1
Genesis 14:19
Isaiah 40:26
Matthew 13:35
Mark 4:11; 13:19
Romans 1:20

Monday, November 19, 2007

Weave In Me A Tapestry

Here is a creative writing from a new, long-distance member of Tomoka Christian, Linda Dollar. I have corresponded with Linda over the last few months while she is in state prison.

Weave in me a sweet tapestry
Let me be a self portrait of You
Wedge me with Your protective hedge
Never let go of the edge
Reveal in full my calling, my purpose, my destiny
So with You I can spend eternity
I see the glory in Your firmament
I see the handiwork of Your heavens in my testament
Let me marvel in Your glory so I can tell the old, old story
Of all the love You have for me
How you died on the cross of Calvary
So that I could go free You paid my penalty
Weave in me a tapestry of Your love
Let me always abide in You
You said if I abide in You, You would abide in me
And I would be with You in eternity
Spin for me a web of prosperity
One where Your wealth always dwells
For in Your wealth I am a millionaire
Nothing with You can compare
Let me always be in pursuit of Your presence
Clothe me in Your strength and honor
You washed my garments and my inner being white as snow
Now for You I have a constant glow
A glow that will spread Your light
You are the Way, the Truth, the Life
In my life You provide great joy, peace, and rife
You enhance my life, You entice, You entwine like a vine
Like a circle that never ends
Always encompassing, engulfing my life
You broke the mold and remolded me
I now glisten, to You I do listen
You are the filter of my life
Your calmness penetrates the inner core of my inner being
My pores
It provides comfort amidst life's storms
You are immeasurable
You are treasurable
You are the love of my life
Thanks for remaking me and weaving in me a beautiful tapestry!
Let me always marvel in Your glory!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Not In Kansas Anymore

No one likes to think about, let alone discuss the reality of, the little island of Haiti. Haiti is only 600 nautical miles from the United States mainland, yet it might as well be across the universe.

Political instability, war lords, poverty, and pollution are all leading to a spirit of hopelessness and despair. This is a nation whose leaders for centuries have dedicated themselves and their nation to Satan.

Jesus said of Satan, in John 8:44, that he was a liar and a murderer from the beginning. He truly has done a number on this once pristine island of paradise.

Starvation, prostitution, and death are a daily way of life. Orphans who are begging, abused, and neglected are learning to work on the streets. These things are painful and unimaginable for our lives of plenty and abundance. How could things be so bad? Perhaps God is bringing judgment upon the nation of Haiti. Why doesn’t God do something for this nation?

Friday, November 9, 2007

Victory Through the Valley - More thoughts from Israel

This is the "siq" or the valley that leads into the famed red city of Petra. You probably know this sight from seeing Indiana Jones ride through it to rescue the Holy Grail. This incredible wonder of the world is tucked away in the Jordanian desert and yet it inspires millions to travel (Psalm 84:5).

As you walk down this beautiful valley, one is captured by what you know is coming. Then you turn a corner and there is the fabled treasury carved into the rock cliff.

I am driven back to Psalm 23 where we are reminded that God leads us through the valley. Our minds can not imagine what is at the end of our life's valley. I do know that we will not be greeted by dead rocks, but by the living God!

Maybe today you need to reflect on the words of the prophet in Isaiah 64:3-4. The day of victory is at hand! The Kingdom of God is here!

Thursday, November 8, 2007


“By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.” - Hebrews 11:17-19

Daddy, as a dad this story is almost more than I can comprehend. May my faith be like Abraham’s. I can not imagine killing my child out of obedience, and yet Abraham’s relationship with you was so strong that he “reasoned that God could raise the dead.” Oh God, I surrender my five children to you and through your transforming work I will receive them back, figuratively, risen from the dead. I ask that you would use my children to bring millions to Jesus all around the world.

Lord, may I model faith for my children as Abraham did for Isaac. Help me learn to be obedient and not to second guess Your plans and ways. Help me to trust Your heart when I don’t understand Your thoughts. Help me to be faithful during times of testing that I might be found faithful. Jesus, I desire to have my children call me “The father of the faithful.”

Lord, may our children have a model of bold, vibrant faith to follow and let it come from my life.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Fall In Love - Thoughts From Israel

As I stood looking into this cave in Qumran, Israel I was overwhelmed at the Essenes commitment to the Word of God. They knew that the Romans in 70 AD were going to destroy everything, so they copied the Word onto scrolls, stored the sacred text in jars, and hid them in caves like this one.

When the scrolls were found nearly 2,000 years later, they were hailed as the archaeological find of the century. The astounding fact is that the text (Bible) that you hold in your hand is an identical translation of the Hebrew texts that were found.

It is my desire personally, and as a pastor, for all of us to love the Word the way these ancient Jewish scribes did in their day. Here are a few verses to meditate on. May we leave a legacy of God's Word for future generations.

Isaiah 40:8
Psalm 89:7-8
Psalm 102:18
Psalm 119:1, 9, 17, 33, 41, 66, 81, 89, 105, 129, 137, 146

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Mayan Thoughts

Months ago, I had the opportunity to go to Guatemala. Spending just a few days there reignited my passion for the Mayan people and their ancestors. Give me an old archeology site and I'm as happy as I can be. Yet I know how desperately the modern Mayan people need Jesus. Centuries ago the Mayans were the master of the calendar and according to their calendar the world will end suddenly on December 22, 2012. Obviously, I have no way of knowing if this is true. I am, however, confronted with a few nagging thoughts and questions. If there are only 5 years left until eternity... should I live? should I pray? should I love? should I forgive? should I give? should I serve? should I believe? should I change? should I reach? should I share Jesus?

How many will not make it to 2012? Is there even more of an urgency to think on these things? Time races by for all of us as James reminds us that our lives are but a mist, here for a moment and gone. Jesus did say that no one knows the day or the hour of His return, but we should recognize the time. "Does anybody really know what time it is?" - Chicago

Thursday, October 25, 2007


"We have this hope (Jesus) as an anchor for our soul." -Hebrews 6:19

This hope gets us through the battles of life. When we stand with Jesus in glory all of the hurts, loneliness, and struggles will be forgotten in a second. The thought of that one second in glory will help us leave behind all that is in this world. In fact, I suspect that a billion years into eternity we still will not have given one seconds thought to this world. Words of encouragement for those who need it today.

It was my privilege to warm up for Heaven with Tomoka Christian this week. Thanks for being at rehearsal. Revelation 4 & 5.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pray Continually

1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, "Pray continually." We could save a lot of grief, anxiety, counseling, and pain if we would just put these two words into action in our lives.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What's Your Wall?

We all feel at times that we are up against a wall in our lives. We're out of options and we're not so good at scaling walls. It is in those circumstances that we find out just how faithful our God is to each of us. Now, I have to tell you that it may not always be on our schedule, but God is faithful.

I am reminded of God's faithfulness in so many ways, yet no passage is more inspiring than Isaiah 66:8: "Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children."

No doubt for centuries this little text inspired God's people to hope in the midst of desperation and persecution. The literal fulfillment happened on May 14,1948. According to Jesus in Matthew 24, this prophetic fulfillment is the start of the final chapter of the end times, which we've been in since Jesus' resurrection.

Never in the 6,000 years of earth's history has a nation been reborn, except Israel, in the fulfillment of this grand text. If you are willing to write this off as coincidence then you are mixed up. God will fulfill His scripture. He does provide a way out when up against the wall.

Remember the words of the Archangel Gabriel who should know, "Nothing is impossible with God." Luke 1:37.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Leah Putting, Retro Next Gen Ministry Director

While my dad is currently roaming around in Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, someone thought it might be a good idea for me to guest blog in his place. This way, you can at least read the random thoughts of at least one member of the Putting clan.

As a twenty-something, I find myself with an interesting perspective on the world in which we live, and the society that made us who we are. My generation is the by-product of broken homes, the devaluing of personal responsibility, and a general meshing of any and all lines that define people into neat, convenient boxes. We cannot ever continue to do “church as usual” or, I must be honest, our generation will be lost. The “experts” right now believe that only 4% of my generation will be Bible-believing Christians. This fact should worry not only those my age, but older generations as well, as you watch your children and grandchildren become the pulse of American culture. This is a critical issue for the Kingdom of God. My generation is hungry for truth and authenticity in a world that is continually false, disappointing, and unfulfilling. This is not a new problem; generations for centuries have longed for authenticity, purpose, and community. Our recently started Retro ministry is merely the beginning of trying to reach out to a broken and disillusioned generation. We all must carry a personal responsibility to be Jesus to the generations that come after us. My generation is not naive, we have seen much in our short lives, and we value and require the wisdom of the generations that we follow. In Exodus chapter 3, God tells Moses of His name, “God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am’… ‘Say to the Israelites, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.”

It should be our passion to ensure that the “I Am” is remembered forever, from generation to generation. Our God never changes, but our approach can never stay the same.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Little Red In the Hood

The other evening I was reading the story of Little Red Riding Hood. It is actually a bit gruesome as the big bad wolf eats both grandma and Miss Hood. If it were not for the woodsman who chops open the wolf to free the ladies, the story would end very tragically and probably would not be a children's book.

If this story were reset in today's culture it would sound even worse. The wolf would be a child molester, meth dealer, or leader in the prostitution trade. This is the reality of our time while we try to hide in our suburban worlds of shelter.

I am often asked why the church has to keep changing. The answer is that we do not live in the world of Little Red Riding Hood anymore. We live in a cold, calculating, corrupt world where only a radical demonstration of Biblical Christianity can survive.

Pray for the millions of "Little Reds" who need Jesus and for the church to be real enough to bring the Gospel to them.

"To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some." -1 Corinthians 9:22

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Inviting Hitler To Dinner

I cannot imagine any sane person inviting Adolph Hitler over to meet the Missis and the children. It would be dangerous for everyone involved because we know of his past evil atrocities. This is a fairly simple understanding of life that all of us can grasp.

The president of Iran was in New York City on Monday. How does this happen? How can he be allowed to walk on our free soil while denying freedom to millions. How can he be allowed to speak at the United Nations? How does this happen? This is an insult to all Americans, most especially all who have ever served in our military!

There is a similar story in God's inspired Word. In 2 Kings 20:13, King Hezekiah invited his enemies in to see the treasures of Israel. The results were disastrous.

Now we get to the crux of the matter. How often do we invite the "devil" himself into our homes for dinner? Jesus tells us in John 8:44 that he is a liar and a murderer. And still we invite him into our homes. How, you ask?

Through movies, television shows, or web sites that depicts adultery, sex outside of marriage, pornography, and homosexuality as normal or ever desirous. Bringing in alcohol or other drugs that are destroying our culture. Language being used that would make a sailor blush. Greed, jealousy, bitterness, and unforgiveness being lived out as normal daily behavior.

Who are you having to dinner?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Superficial Sunday In The South!!!

Here is an excerpt from the blog of Perry Noble, Senior Pastor of New Spring Church in Anderson, SC. To read the full blog click "Read More" at the bottom.

OK…so I am on a rant today…it’s been a while and I am fired up…this one will be fun!

I recently heard of a church in the area taking a stab at NewSpring DURING a worship service, saying that we allow people to dress any way they wish and that suits and dresses are not required, even frowned upon in our church. This comment was made to criticize us…but lets unpack it for a second. :-)

First of all–we do not look down on those who choose to wear a suit or a dress…unless it is a man in a dress, then we will say something! We simply ask people to wear what is comfortable and modest.

What I am wondering is where in the world did the modern day church ever get the idea that somehow dressing up in a suit OR wearing a dress equals godliness…and those who would wear jeans and a T-shirt, or even (GASP) flip flops just are not as godly. Read More.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

St. Louis

Luanne and I spent three days in St. Louis last week to visit her brother, who is fighting throat cancer. We had little to offer except our time and encouraging words of faith. It makes me wonder how many people we interact with every day that could simply use an encouraging word.

Who needs encouragement?

  • Single parent
  • Widow/widower
  • Parent who has lost a child
  • Family struggling with a disease
  • Senior citizen who is alone
  • Divorced person
  • Family struggling finacially
  • Person out of work as a result of the economy
  • Family in turmoil because of addiction
One writer has said that without encouragement we all die a slow, agonizing death. Paul states in 1 Thessalonians 5 :11 that we are to encourage one another and build each other up. Who can you encourage today?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Hungry Yet?

A few verses worth pondering:

Esther 9:22
Psalm 23:1
Psalm 24:1
Psalm 27:1
Nehemiah 4:14
John 6:53-58
Hebrews 12:27
Isaiah 17:1
Isaiah 19:25
Isaiah 26:3
Isaiah 47:8
Psalm 19:1
Proverbs 4:23
Lamentations 3:22-23
Judges 21:25
Deuteronomy 27:26
Leviticus 16:20-22
Romans 15:13

Be hungry for God's Word.

Friday, September 21, 2007

What If?

What if in eternity...

...we get to see all the great civilizations of history?
...we get to explore billions of stars in billions upon billions of galaxies?
...we find out that there are trillions of colors that we could not see in the natural and each has a sound?
...we experience the greatest angelic choir in the universe?
...we see our lives again with the insight of God's plan and we are stunned?
...we meet with all of our relatives back to Adam and swap stories over coffee? I'm assuming coffee will be in Heaven.
...we travel instantaneously through the universe?
...we have joy exploding out of us continually?
...we meet every tribe of man and get to eat the greatest potluck ever and forever?

"No eye has seen,no ear has heard,no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him." -1 Corinthians 2:9

What if?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Favorite Web Sites & Resources

I do most of my research online. Some of my favorite sites that may help you are:

All of these sites can be of great help in your walk with the Lord.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Being a Missionary

It really is all I have ever wanted to be since I sold out to Jesus. I've finally figured out that our call is to be missionaries where ever we are on the planet. People need Jesus everywhere and in every language. Through our short-term trips, prayer, and giving we literally are serving Jesus all over the world. Right now we are planting churches in Russia, Ethiopia, Brazil, Egypt, United States, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Sudan, Syria, Mexico, and Kenya to name a few. I cannot imagine anything more exciting.

Decades ago Ruth and Bill Graham were standing atop a skyscraper in New York City. As they looked over the city Ruth surely was reflecting on having grown up as a missionary child in China when she said, "Billy this is our jungle." What does your mission field look like?

Matthew 9:35-37

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Loose Thoughts In My Mind

Jesus said make disciples. Who will make disciples? We should invest in soul winning and disciple making. The word "church" means called out ones. People set apart for God and for God's work (Ephesians 2:8-9).

The local church is the hope of the world. Soul winning; disciple making; feeding the hungry; sending missionaries; being missionaries.

Highlights from "church" this week:

Tuesday Church: 72
Saturday 5 p.m.: 256
Saturday 6:30 p.m.: 269
Sunday 8 a.m.: 165
Sunday 9:30 a.m.: 524
Sunday 11 a.m.: 494
Palm Coast: 110
Retro: 58
Outposts: 123

Church Plants:
The Beachside Church added a 3rd service and had 511 in worship.
Ocala Christian Church had their official launch and doubled in size to 165.
Common Group in Tampa had a total of 255.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Open Doors & Unwise Statements by Perry Noble

Check out this blog from Perry Noble.

Blown Away By The Book

While reading for an upcoming message, I stumbled over a passage I have read countless times. Every time you read James he just ticks you off because he is so practical and in your face. This one hit me like a ton of bricks.

James 2:5: Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?

It is a question, yet God expects that His listeners know the answer. Jesus did say, "When you've done something for the least of them, you've done it for me." (Matthew 25)

Perhaps this explains why our most effective church planting is taking place amongst the poorest of the poor. They are not in Paris, London, Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), or Tokyo. Instead they are in India, the Middle East, Ethiopia, Mexico, Guatemala, Kenya, and Indonesia.

I wonder if we've been glamorizing a lot of people that will spend an eternity in hell, while ignoring the saints of the High King of kings because the did not look or smell like King's kids.

See ya on the mission field.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sometimes I'm Just Hungry

When I get hungry I start thinking about my favorite restaurants and my favorite meals at each of these fine establishments:

1. Wok and Roll (Orange Chicken)
2. Harry's in St. Augustine (Shrimp)
3. Royal Dynasty (Lemon Chicken)
4. Boondocks in Wilbur-by-the-Sea (Shrimp)
5. Cedar River in Deland (Oysters & Shrimp)
6. Barnacle Bills in St. Augustine (Shrimp)
7. Sapparo's (Shrimp)
8. Snack Jacks at Hightides in Flagler (Oyster Sandwich)
9. DB Pickles (Flounder Sandwich)
10. Red Lobster (Shrimp)

In fact, I stay hungry a lot for things I love. Jesus taught us that man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. Oh that we would all get hungry and stay hungry for the Word of God.

Eat well today; physically and spiritually.

Psalm 121:1

Friday, September 7, 2007

Thinking Through the Tar

The La Brea Tar Pits are a fascinating paleological site located right in the middle of downtown Los Angeles. One might wonder why all those wild animals would be in a place like that, but we'll save that thought for future ramblings.

As they continue to uncover skeletons of some of God's often forgotten master strokes of creation, like the mammoth or the saber-toothed tiger, I have to stop and wonder what they will be digging up thousands of years from now from our generation. What will we be leaving behind? Just thinking through the tar.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

An Afterthought About Heaven

In Heaven we will all get our minds back. Just a thought from frustrated parents. Don't give up.

Deuteronomy 6:1-9

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Hurricane Felix

Hurricane Felix is destroying Central America as I write this. Many thoughts are going through my mind:

1. Millions of my brothers and sisters in Christ are in Mexico, Nicaragua, Belize, Honduras, Jamaica, Haiti, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Panama.
2. Urgent prayer is needed.
3. Response from God's people must be quick and we must meet real needs.
4. Many of those who did not get out were the poorest of the poor before Felix hit.
5. We've lived through hurricanes and know how hard it was with all of our resources and being a part of America.

Be blessed but ready to help.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Lost Miners

Our hearts break for the families of the lost miners trapped in the Utah mine. Even more disconcerting is if those men didn't know Jesus.

This story illustrates our love for life and the incredible need for hope in all of our lives. Hebrews 6:19 remind us that in Jesus we have hope, which is an anchor for our souls.

It is my desire that I would work as hard to find lost souls as they are in Utah looking for lost bodies.

Jesus said we are to be fishers of men.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Michael Vick

Many of today’s headlines are focused on Michael Vick, the quarterback for the Atlanta, Falcons. The story is tragic on many levels, yet ironies are present in this story that most are overlooking.

It is bad that dogs were hung and drowned, and yet many of the same people in our culture that are so upset about this are pro-abortion. I’ll spare you the gruesome details of abortion procedures that most of you are already aware of, yet it is so present in our day.

Millions of children worldwide are being exterminated yearly, yet I hear little outcry even in the church of Jesus. How can a culture place more value on the life a dog, dolphin or buffalo than on a child?

Please don’t get me wrong, I love animals. I am a zoo-aholic. But Genesis 1:26 reminds me that mankind alone was made in the image of God.

I am convinced that on judgment day anyone from 20th – 21st Century American culture will be asked two questions: 1. What did you do with Jesus? 2. What did you do for “my image” on earth? I am proud to say that Tomoka supports every Pregnancy Crisis Center in Volusia County both financially and with many volunteers. Let me encourage all of us to love the unborn images of our Creator.