Friday, October 30, 2009

What Will You Make of it?

James 4:7
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Halloween is this weekend. What will we make of it? Many Christians have a hard time with Halloween and and mark it as a very dark and Satanic time. A holiday to stay away from. Well I think it's what you make of it. You could take this pumpkin and carve a very scary face in it or you could make pumpkin pie. Or if we use our imagination we could carve good things into it. Halloween was originally a Celtic festival that marked 'summers end" . This divided the light days from the dark days. They believed the divide between the living and the dead was very thin and on that night and bad spirits could pass into this world. They dressed up in costumes to confuse the spirits so they would not attack them. Pope Gregory the III and Gregory the IV moved the observance of "All Saints Day" to November 1st making October 31st All Hallows Evening shortened to Eve. They did this to give the Christian Church something positive to celebrate. So, in all we do we should seek God and resist Satan according to James 4:7. The holiday is what you make of it. I would not give it any special attention but use it as a time to remember those Saints who have gone on before us. Honor their memory and examine our own commitment to Christ. It will be what you make of it.
Anchor Baptist Church will be celebrating Homecoming this Sunday
November 1st. We invite you to come and Worship with us on this very special day. After the service we will serve a meal. You are invited to be our guest. We are located at 300 Futch Creek Road, in the Porters Neck area. If you need directions you can go to our website... If you would like to stay and eat with us please call and make reservations before Saturday at 4:oo pm 910-547-0404. We hope to see you there.
Services start at 10:30 am

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Can't See the Forest for the Tree

Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
At first glance what do you see? Probably the single Red tree. There is a whole forest of trees in the background but this one stands out because it is different. Joshua stood out because he was different. We live in a day and time when everyone is just trying to blend in, be accepted, keep your opinions and beliefs to yourself, and yet God calls us to stand out. We are not to be afraid to stand up for what we believe. To share the life changing reality of Christ with those we come in contact with. We do not have to be obnoxious to do it just different. The tree is very beautiful because it is different. Don't be afraid to tell others about Christ.

Monday, October 26, 2009

We Are All Ears

Revelation 2:7
7 "Every person who has ears should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches....
We have ears but that does not mean we listen. Many times we miss what people say to us or hear and forget right away. I think we are also that way with God. He is speaking, are we listening? Sunday I preached on this subject at our Church. I said that God speaks to us in many ways but the main 4 ways , I believe , are
1. His Word
2. The Holy Spirit
3. People
4. Circumstances.
God is speaking . Are we listening? Check out this Amazing song by Mandisa.

Friday, October 23, 2009

What Does Your Lifesong Sound Like?

Psalm 107:22 .... tell of his works with songs of joy.
This is Chad and Sarah Cates. I met Chad at a Youth Camp in Florida a couple of years ago and since that time I have had the opportunity to spend time with him and get to know him better. Most recently this week at Campbell University where he was ministering to the students through his music and life. Chad is a song writer in Nashville. Whenever I am around him I am always encouraged by his music and the truth of his lyrics, his passion for music and concern for people. God uses music to speak to us and each day, believe it or not, we are singing a Lifesong. As people hear us what do they hear? Words of encouragement and praise or complaining and a negative spirit. Think about that today as you interact and speak to people. What are the lyrics and what is the message of your lifesong? Chad was a co-writer of the song "Lifesong", recorded by Casting Crowns. I am including a link to the song and also the Chad's web-site. Keep he and Sarah in your prayers as they minister to folks through music.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Start is Important

Psalm 5:3

Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.

I am not a huge race fan but I do know that the winner of the last two Indy 500s started from the Pole Position. I remember running track in high school and in the sprints the start was always very important. The same is true for us each day. We are starting a new week and this is the start of a new day. The best way to start each new day is with prayer. Pray for God's wisdom for each situation you face this week. Also pray for others that God will guide them and protect them each day. How we start each day is every important. If you did not start today with prayer why not stop right now for just a moment and ask pray to God for all your concerns this week. I know it will make your day, your week, and your life much better.

Psalm 88:13 (English Standard Version)
But I, O LORD, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

On The Other Side

Luke 10:20
But don't be happy because evil spirits obey you. Be happy that your names are written in heaven!

Do your self a big favor and click on the link below and listen to this song. Close the door, turn off the cell phone, fix a cup of coffee and just close your eyes and listen. Each week I deal with life and death and people have many questions about heaven. The Bible has a great deal to say about it but sometimes music speaks louder than a theological discourse. We all have friends and family there and as I listened to this song I pictured them and me one day. Share it with a friend, maybe someone who really needs to hear this today. You can really minister to them as someone shared this with me today.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Good Question

Malachi 3:8-10
8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, 'How have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings. 9 "You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation {of you!} 10 " Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.
Does the passage or the cartoon really need any commentary? The question is not , "What does the passage say?", but rather "Will I obey?" God has blessed us with so much and yet we purchase things we do not need and then wonder why we have nothing to give back to God.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Front Page News

Lamentations 3:22-24
The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. 23They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 24"The LORD is my portion," says my soul,"Therefore I have hope in Him."
A friend of mine called me yesterday and told me to turn on the TV. This is what I saw. A balloon, supposedly with a six year old passenger on board. All of America was focused on this News. It turns out, to every ones relief, that the boy was not on board but at home hiding. Front Page News. But, maybe this did not make your front page yesterday. The big news for you could have been , loss of a job, financial woes, break-up of a marriage or relationship, foreclosure, doctors report, broken promise, a million things the world is not concerned with but it was on your Front Page. The verse today tells us that God is with us through everything, good and bad. His love for us is renewed every morning His promises never fail, His compassion sustains us. He is not concerned with temporary happiness but Eternal Joy. Here is some News, Good News, God loves you and regardless of what news grabs the headlines your concerns grab His heart.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Things Happen for a Reason.

Hebrews 10:36
Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.
How would you like to be in this traffic jam? Sometimes we get very frustrated because things do not go our way. When I was four years old my mother and I were supposed to catch a plane leaving North Africa to meet my dad in England. We were running behind and got caught in a traffic jam. My mother tells me we just missed it and she was so disappointed because there would not be another plane for a few days. Later that day we learned that the plane we missed crashed and everyone on board died. So, today if things do not go your way have patience there just might be a reason for the way things are happening.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What do You See?

James 1:23-24
Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
Many people read the Bible and use it as a Microscope to examine other peoples lives. When really it should be used as a mirror to examine our own life and see what changes God would like to make is us. When you read the Bible ask yourself,"what is this passage saying to me, and how can it help me to be the person Christ desires for me to be?"

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Just like New

Psalm 51:12
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.
The car in the picture is a 1929 Ford. It takes not only knowledge but talent, passion , time, commitment, and great expense to restore a car to this condition. We have a couple of men in our Church that restore cars and they are passionate about it. When you go to their house they show them to you but really looking at the finished product you can not imagine all the time and effort and sometimes frustration that it took to get the car restored. God is in the restoration business. he is working on all of us. Also for Him it takes time, patience, passion, and great cost to get us in original condition. Restored to a redeemed relationship with our Creator and Savior. It cost Him His life. In addition to the Redemptive project God is trying to restore us many times after we have taken a fall, gotten banged up, bruised, rejected, disappointed. He loves each one of us and wants us to be the best we can be. I am sure sometimes He points to someone on earth and the angels say they are doing great, they look good, they are fulfilling your purpose for their life and God replies, " Yes but you should have seen them before the restoration."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Now I Know

Ephesians 6:10
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.
Do you believe in God? There is a Big difference between believing and knowing. A young boy believed his father was very strong. he told everyone how strong he was. Then one day the boy climbed a tree and got stuck and was afraid. His father stood below the tree and told his son to jump and that he would catch him. The young man was afraid and not sure his dad could do that. Just then the limb broke and the father caught his son. At that moment he Knew how strong his father really was. What about us? Do we just talk about how strong God is or have we tested that faith and moved beyond believing to knowing.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Which Road Are You On?

Romans 12:2
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
I read an article that 80% of Americans never leave the office. You say, "that can not be true." We go home at the end of the day to the peace and quiet and tranquility of our home PC, e-mail, voice mail, blackberry updates, face book obligations, text messages that must be read and answered, even at dinner,and in the movie. There is no sacred time anymore. We are mentally engaged from the time we get up until we go to bed, where many times we don't sleep we simply pass out. Some don't even make it to the bed they find themselves asleep on the couch or in the chair, again. Try this...for 24 hours do not get on the computer, answer the cell, no texting no news, no fax, just 24 hours of living and talking to the human beings around you. You remember them don't you, your family. You are now completely stressed wondering how you can survive for 24 hours without that stuff aren't you? You are killing yourself and cheating those you love. I dare you , take the challenge 24 hours. Can you do it? Let me know.
I welcome your comments and ideas. Also every once in a while I like to check and see if people are reading the devotions. Could you do me a favor and click on the comment link below and simply type yes. This will let me know if I am using my time wisely. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

How Will They Hear Without a Preacher

Check this out I think it is amazing to listen to this man preach . There are a lot of ways to involve and engage the congregation I think this was one of the best I ever saw. Enjoy Click on the link below

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Nothing Can Seperate Us

Romans 8:38-39 (New American Standard Bible)
38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
You are looking at a picture of a portion of the Great Wall of China. It is one of the seven man made Wonders of the World. The wall was constructed over 2000 years ago before the time of Christ. It stretches for about 4000 miles. That would be the distance across the United States from east to west coast and half way back again. The average height is 25 feet. The wall is 15-25 feet wide. If you could drive a car the length of the wall traveling at 100 mph it would take you 40 hours to drive it. The passage today tells us that NOTHING can separate us from the love of God. Not time or space or mistakes we have made, wrong decisions, past failures, rebellious behavior, bankruptcy, divorce, prison, disease, foreclosure, addictions, depression, NOTHING can separate us from God's love...except our unwillingness to receive it. The prodigal son separated himself from his father but not his fathers love. When he came home his Father was waiting and willing to receive him as if he had never left. Do you know someone that needs to hear this message today? Share it with them it could change their life.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Where is Your Treasure?

Matthew 16:26 (New American Standard Bible)
26"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
People spend their whole life trying to accumulate wealth. The more they have the more they want. In the end you can not take it with you. In 30 years of ministry I have stood beside the bed of many people who were in their last hours of life. never once did I hear one of them say, "I wish I would have worked a little harder, spent more time at the office, made more money." I have heard many people say, " I wish I had spent more time with my family, or traveled more, enjoyed life, served God." At that point it is impossible to change the past but today you can change the future. As we have seen recently things you work so hard for can disappear over night. The real treasure is a relationship with God, spending time with your family, and having a few really good friends who love you for who you are not what you can do for them. If you are going to spend then spend time with family and friends and building your relationship with God. If you are going to invest then invest in your Eternal future and not this temporary existence. I promise it will pay very big dividends

Monday, October 5, 2009

Help Wanted!

Hebrews 6:10 (New American Standard Bible)
10For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.
Latest statistics report that almost 10% of Americans are unemployed. In the Church the statistics are that 20% of the people do 80% of the work, 30 % of the people do 20% of the work, and 50% do nothing at all. Every Church should have a help Wanted Sign out in front. We need help to get everything done. To minister to people. It is surprising to learn that even though unemployment is up volunteering is down. We all need to pray for our country and God will convict people of their greed and dishonesty which is what got us in this situation. Each one of us need to ask God, "What is it that you want me to do to help others?"
In helping others ,many times, we find that we are really helping ourselves. Read today's verse again because it says what I am trying to say so much better. God is looking for people to answer His help Wanted sign. The work is rewarding, the benefits are peace of mind, and the retirement program is out of this world.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Romans 10:9-10 (New American Standard Bible)
that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
10for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
See the little dot to your left? It is a period. You place it at the end of a sentence. Webster defines it this way; used interjectionally to emphasize the finality of the preceding statement . You find one at the end of verse 10 in the passage above. Paul describes in this passage what is required for Salvation. To this the Church has added, over the centuries, long lists of do's and dont's. An elaborate list of external criteria so we could observe a person and tell if they were a Christian or not. The only problem is that God does not look at the outward appearance but the heart. Another important thing to remember; God is not so concerned with where you have been as much as where you are going. God is not as interested in what you have done as much as what you are going to do. Paul ,or Saul, had hunted down Christians, arrested them, participated in their executions but Jesus saw something in him others could not see. He called him to follow Him and he was the greatest missionary of New Testament times. A great contributor to the New Testament writing almost half of it. Now when a person becomes a Christian God then transforms them while the church many times is simply interested in a person being conformed to their expectations and Rules. Yes, God loves you just as you are, but loves you too much to leave you that way PERIOD