The ministry schedule here at Lancaster Baptist seems to sometimes bring periods when multiple events happen in back to back succession. This is one of those seasons. Resurrection Sunday took place two days ago, and tomorrow begins the West Coast Baptist Youth Conference when we will welcome thousands of teenagers to our campus and do our best to minister to them.
When I look back over the last week leading to Easter, as well as to the Easter Sunday services, I am truly amazed to see what God continues to do here in the high desert of Northern Los Angeles County.
First, I am always humbled to see the heart of service from the members of this church. Throughout the week—and often late into the night—there were people cleaning, decorating, setting lights, preparing live stream, practicing music, and a variety of other activities in preparation for the Easter services.
Second, I was overwhelmed by the obvious working of the Holy Spirit on Sunday. In each service, I sat next to people who wept as they considered the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the Cross. God gave us the privilege of serving well over a thousand first-time guests, and scores of them accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
Of the many events of Resurrection Sunday, there was one text I received that really summarized the ministry for me. It was from a young married man who was recently saved in our church and who we have recently been discipling. Here is his message (although I have removed his name for security reasons): (more…)
Her Love for the Lord—My wife did not come from a Christian home, but she established her own consistent walk with God after being saved through a bus ministry in Northern California.
Her love for me—We’ve been married for over thirty-two years, and I’ve not yet seen the end of the many ways she shows her sacrificial love for me.
Her love and care for our children—Terrie is the best at creating memories, teaching biblical principles, and helping me to be a balanced father and grandfather.
Her love for our grandchildren—She has a passion to see them know Christ.
Her love for our extended family—Terrie has always been a mercy shower and a peacemaker.
Her love for our local church—The epitome of a faithful church member, Terrie is always present, continually reaching out to encourage and comfort others, and labors in soulwinning and ministry.
Her love for hospitality – Terrie loves to cook and serve God’s people. She’s even forgiven me for the times I sprang unexpected company on her.
Her love for children—Terrie teaches the fourth grade girls’ Sunday school class, and she loves her students dearly. She prays for them, spends hours weekly preparing lessons and activities, and invests herself to encourage their faith and walk with God.
Her love for teaching—Terrie teaches a class each semester at West Coast Baptist College. This semester is the Methods and Materials class for teaching. She loves preparing the next generation of Christian servants.
Her love for making memories—From family Easter egg hunts to grand birthday parties to dinner on the “Special Plate,” Terrie has always made home life special.
Her love for Christ in difficult times—At the side of a child’s hospital bed or when ministry was hurting us in some way, Terrie has never been bitter or divisive.
Her love for the simple things—Terrie has never been materialistic. She is as content with a night at home as she is with any nice hotel or getaway.
Her love and appreciation for genuine Christian living—Terrie has never been a pompous, loud, or proud person. She does not glory in her standards or Christian growth; she glories in her Lord.
Her love for me—I know I said this once, but when I consider her love and patience with a type-A personality, pastor/husband, I am truly humbled, honored, and blessed.
I love you, Terrie! I know I don’t deserve you, and I’m so blessed to have you. Happy Valentine’s Day.
People use different words to describe it, but every Christian dad I know wants it for his children—a pure and emotionally healthy path to the marriage altar.
By God’s grace, Terrie and I have watched all four of our children fall in love and marry the spouse of their dreams—and of our dreams for them. What a joy it was to have part in each of these relationships and weddings in which our children stood at a marriage altar and pledged their purity to their spouse.
Obviously, Danielle, Larry, Kristine, and Matt had a lot to do with the “success” of this process. But I’m thankful they allowed me to lead and be involved in this crucial area of their lives.
Here is an overview of what our family practiced:
Preparing a Young Adult for a Dating Relationship
The phrase “young adult” is crucial here. Remember that as your child enters adolescence, he or she needs far more from you than rules. They need reasoning. They need relationships.
In short, they need to know the logic behind your expectations, and they need to have a strong relationship with you. (more…)
Busy ministry can easily overtake core convictions. When we find ourselves on a perpetual treadmill of activity, it’s wise to pause to remember the early convictions upon which we’ve been building.
In this week’s growth points video, revisit with me two convictions which must be central to the life and ministry of a spiritual leader.
(If you cannot see this video in your RSS reader or email, you can watch it here.)
1. The conviction to maintain personal integrity
We’ve all heard the stories of men whose integrity was sabotaged by their own neglect. Thinking they were doing great things by being busy for God, they became careless with their personal walk with God.
God did not create us as human doings, but as human beings. At it’s core, integrity is developed as we are real with God. This is a matter of personal commitment on our part to walk with the Lord, to walk in His Word, and to walk in honesty. (more…)
If repetition is the key to learning, then, when it comes to working with young people, keeping a big picture focus is the key to sanity. It’s so easy to get into a rut in which we tire of the repetition necessary to develop students.
If you’re a parent, you perhaps tire of reminding your child to make his bed or eat his broccoli.
If you’re a teacher, you perhaps wonder if there will ever be an evening when you don’t have to grade homework.
If you’re a pastor, you may fight the frustration that tends to come with continually addressing immature crises in the youth or children’s ministries.
Sometimes we need to step back and remember the larger goals we have for our students. Our greatest aspirations for them are much larger than that they make their beds, eat their vegetables, complete their homework, or listen to their Sunday school teachers.
Ultimately, we want our students to enter adulthood with a heart for God and a surrender to His will. As we equip them with the skills to live a faithful Christian life, it is vital that we keep our eyes on the big picture. (more…)