1. When the Battlefield Terrain Is Different Than You Planned

    September 12, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    soldiers

    Do you ever have a day go differently than you planned? Or a year? Or an entire season of your life?

    I’m a planner, and although I know in theory that God may change my plans and, in fact, has every right to intervene, I don’t always see His hand in the unplanned delays, changes, or upsets in the moment they occur.

    I recently came across the paragraph below, written by an Irish Baptist pastor in 1840. It was a great encouragement to me:

    Nothing can be more consoling to the man of God, than the conviction that the Lord who made the world governs the world; and that every event, great and small, prosperous and adverse, is under the absolute disposal of him who doth all things well, and who regulates all things for the good of his people…. The Christian will be confident and courageous in duty, in proportion as he views God in his Providence as ruling in the midst of his enemies; and acting for the good of his people, as well as for his own glory, even in the persecution of the Gospel.—Alexander Carson

    When you and I believe—not just at a theological level, but as a deep, heart-embracing belief—that God is in control, we can battle valiantly for Him…even when the terrain of the battlefield feels absolutely outside our control.

    Consider the Apostle Paul who lived with constantly-changing circumstances outside his control. His trust in God kept him anchored and gave him the courage and confidence to press forward.

    Think, for instance, of Paul’s words to a storm-tossed ship crew, remembering that these were spoken when “all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.”

    Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.—Acts 27:25

    If you’re having an unplanned day, or living in a season that feels helplessly out of your control, take courage in God’s sovereignty, and take confidence in His goodness. He is acting on your behalf. Love Him, trust Him, and press forward for Him.


  2. 4 Steps to Move from a Ministry Vision to a Ministry Victory

    February 17, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    sunrise-over-the-mountains

    If there is anything you learn over years in ministry, it is that victory doesn’t “just happen.”

    But you don’t have to learn that by experience. You can see it in the example of David’s preparation and charge to Solomon for the temple. From David’s earliest desires to see the temple built to Solomon’s completion of it, there was a process that included steps of victory you and I can follow today.

    This past Sunday, I highlighted for our church family four steps to victory in ministry from the testimony of David. In our case, we’re planning to expand our campus for our Spanish and children’s ministries. But these principles are true regardless of the specifics.

    So how do you prepare for ministry victory? (more…)


  3. Do You Have a Vision or a To Do List? (Repost)

    December 28, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    strategy

    We’re less than a week 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. 60 Years of Serving

    July 23, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    Honoring-Dr-Sisk

    If you’ve had the privilege to know Dr. Don Sisk, you are blessed.

    In fact, one reason I’m so excited about his recently-published biography, Where Only God Could Lead, is that it shares the story of Dr. Sisk’s life for anyone. (In a moment, I’ll tell you how you can get a free copy, signed by Dr. Sisk.) (more…)


  5. If You’ve Ever Had Doubts about God…

    January 16, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    Working-through-an-Asaph-Moment

    Welcome to the club!

    It’s a club comprised of some of the stalwart heroes of the faith. You know, Abraham (Genesis 17:17), Sarah (Genesis 18:12), Gideon (Judges 6:13), Elijah (1 Kings 19:10), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 20:7), John the Baptist (Luke 7:19)…and Asaph.

    We don’t think about Asaph that often. He’s probably not included in your kids’ Bible story book, and you may not even recognize his name. Asaph was the chief musician leading Israel’s temple worship during the reign of David. And he penned Psalm 73—one of the most transparent chapters in the Bible.

    In Psalm 73, Asaph recorded his doubts about God—about God’s goodness, about God’s righteousness, about God’s faithfulness. And he recorded how God led him, not to suppress the doubts, but to work through them—in the sanctuary of God.

    I recently came across a small book that is packed with helpful study regarding this Psalm. The book is titled Working through an Asaph Moment: and dealing with doubts about God. It is written by Tim Zacharias, pastor of the Community Baptist Church in Branford, Connecticut. (more…)