Posted by admin on October 15, 2016
We used to have a beloved member who, on the surface, appeared to be mentally challenged, but demonstrated that he was more spiritual than most members. The last words he would say whenever he saw you were: "see you Sunday". "Big Man"-as he was lovingly known-loved Sunday.
I thought about him as I read the book, I Love Sundays. Like the author, I did not care for church much in my early life. For years, I was a church drop out. The reason I used was "church hurt". But the bottom line was that I did not have a real relationship with the One who changed the "first day of the week," to "THE LORD's DAY."
If you are reading this, and sense that you are a Sunday absentee, I would like to introduce you to SOMEONE who can make you love Sundays. If you are a person who knows the LORD.... See You Sunday....
Posted by admin on September 4, 2016
A short while ago, I witnessed a newly married, young couple having a conversation, that was about to develop into "intense fellowship." I immediately silently prayed for them to experience peace.
In my experience, I have found that if a newly married couple can just "hang in there" for seven years, they will experience a new beginning in the eighth.
Marriage is a covenant. In the Old Testament, a covenant involved cutting an animal into two pieces. The blood was used as a sign of agreement. In today's language, it would be called "a deal" between two.
I once facilitated a marriage seminar where I pushed the idea of the "deal." At the conclusion of the event, I asked the participants to turn to their spouse and ask this question. "Is The Deal Still On?" Marriage isn't just a covenant between two; It is a Holy covenant that involves three.
After over fifty years of marriage my wife and I still have "intense fellowship." We have to remind ourselves that the "deal" is still on because our covenant involves three.
Posted by admin on July 31, 2016
I recently taught a class on Ecclesiology. That's just a big word for "Doctrine of the Church." I mentioned to the students that most of the people who attend a local church have no concept of the "church."
One of the points of the lesson was local church government. Where does the authority of the local church reside? In nearly all local churches which are sanctioned as non-profit organizations by their state, there is a charter, constitution or by-laws on file.
Usually, when an individual unites with a local assembly, they are unaware of how the leadership of the church operates. Most people are unconcerned, or do not care. That is, until there is a problem. Then, it is too late.
As increased scrutiny continues on the local church, by government and outsiders, it is important to know your church's doctrine, mission and purpose. At New Piney Grove, we strive to keep members abreast by providing information pertaining to membership privilege and responsibilities. New members are issued a copy of our By-Laws and Church Policies and Procedures. But there is an old saying: "you can lead a horse to water, but..."
Posted by admin on July 3, 2016
I attended church all my life. As a young boy, my participation was mostly confined to Sunday school. When I grew older, I drifted away until I joined the Air Force. Occasionally, I would go to the chapel service and it made me feel like I had done my "Christian" duty.
I had never confessed the LORD as Savior, but thought my merits of doing more good than bad, would get me into heaven. I strongly rejected the ministries within the African-American church community because of traditions I did not understand. When I asked about the things that concerned me, no one could give me the answers that I needed. This lack continued even after I was saved.
I rejected the call upon my life to teach God's Word because I had been so critical of preachers. Then the LORD impressed upon me that if I think those preachers are wrong, then you go and do it right. It was at that point I began to pray and study. God gave me a love for learning and that led to intense research in the field of the African-American church.
I discovered that most of the traditions that I did not understand came from the slave experience of oppressed people. But I also discovered that when people come to faith, they are not taught the difference between being a Christian and becoming a disciple. This concept was the theme of our annual Vacation Bible School last week. If you want to know more contact me.