1. Starting the Summer Right

    May 13, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    summer-meadow

    It’s hard to believe that we are already entering another summer season of ministry. Depending on your occupation and age, the word summer likely holds varying connotations for you. If you are a student, it means vacation! If you are a teacher, it means preparation. If you are a farmer, it means work. For our church family, the beginning of summer is a busy time of preparation for the Spiritual Leadership Conference June 8–11.

    But whatever the summer may hold for you, there are three phrases found in 1 Thessalonians 1 that should characterize your service for the Lord this summer:

    We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;—1 Thessalonians 1:2–3

    Work of Faith

    Faithful servants of God have ongoing routines in their ministry—perhaps making class visits, writing notes, going out during scheduled soulwinning times, etc. These routines are important and, if empowered by the Holy Spirit, touch lives. (more…)


  2. Gaining Biblical Perspective through Adversity

    January 27, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    storm-on-the-rock

    When the winds of adversity come upon us, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and lose our perspective amidst the swirling dust.

    David experienced this sense of overwhelmed uncertainty, and he knew where to look for help.

    From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.—Psalm 61:2

    When we’re overwhelmed, we think we need answers. But often, what we really need is perspective.

    The promises of God’s Word provide the perspective we need. Through His Word, He gives us truths to which we can anchor our lives in the midst of the storm.

    I’ve recently been meditating on five truths that give me perspective:  (more…)


  3. Do You Have a Vision or a To Do List?

    December 18, 2013 by Paul Chappell

    strategy

    We’re just a couple of weeks out from our annual church vision night, when I share with our church family opportunities to serve the Lord as a church in the coming year. It’s always an exciting time as I attempt to cast vision for what God has placed on my heart and we dream together as a church family.

    We need biblical vision—in our lives, our churches, and any sphere of influence God has given to us. Proverbs 29:18 warns, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

    But as you prepare to cast vision, remember that biblical vision isn’t simply listing what you want to do. That is a list of goals. If our vision is not drawn from God’s Word and embraced by faith, it’s not a vision at all; it is simply a to do list.

    How can you tell the difference between a biblical vision and a to do list? (more…)


  4. The Devil’s Plan for Your Life

    August 28, 2013 by Paul Chappell

    storm-clouds

    The devil does have a plan for your life. And it can be expressed pretty fully with five words:

    • Doubt—He wants you to question God’s Word and His goodness.
    • Discouragement—He wants you to look at your problems rather than at God.
    • Diversion—He attempts to make the wrong things attractive to you so your appetites will be turned from godliness.
    • Defeat—He wants you to feel like a failure so you don’t even try.
    • Delay—He wants you to put off doing what the Holy Spirit has prompted you to do so it never gets done.

    Doubt, discouragement, diversion, defeat, delay—they’re temptations to all of us.

    The key is to recognize them for what they are, submit to God, and resist Satan.

    Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.—James 4:7

    God has a plan for your life, too, and it involves reassuring your doubts, strengthening your heart, challenging your faith, and encouraging you to take action.

    Do you wonder how God’s plan is set in motion? By your obedience to a simple invitation.

    Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.—James 4:8a

    Are you wrestling with doubt? Struggling with discouragement? Diverted from your purpose? Feeling defeated? Delaying to act?

    Draw near to God. Seek His face. And His truth will set you free.

    It all starts by drawing near to God.


  5. Quotes to Encourage

    July 20, 2013 by Paul Chappell

    summer-path

     

    I appreciate the way a concise quote can define and relate profound truth. For a change of pace,  I’m sharing twenty-five quotes on today’s blog that are among my favorites.  (more…)