July 30, 2014 in Make A Comment
This week I had a moving conversation with a man who has walked through a horrible family situation. Six years ago his son was working in a retail store when a man came in to rob the store. In the robbery my friends young adult son was shot and killed. It was tragic. When I asked how he had responded he told me the rest of the story. After many months he started writing the man who had killed his son. It took time to establish an honest conversation but it has happened. Just recently the imprisoned young man placed my friend on the visitation list. The dad plans to make a visit a weeks to come. His goal is to share the love and Gospel of Jesus. WOW! Could I do that? I hope so. And I hope I never have to. But this is grace. Unmerited favor! If the father of a murdered son can lead the man who killed his son to salvation, what a day that will be!
July 25, 2014 in Make A Comment
In my study of Moses I have found a strong stream of teaching on family, marriage and children. Moses had a hard marriage at times. He wrote about divorce in Deuteronomy 24. Jesus was asked about this in Matthew 19. There is no doubt the Biblical teaching calls for marriage to be life-long and monogamous. That is the Bible way. It is God’s will. It is man’s desire when he takes a wife and a wife’s goal when she marries a man. Yet we find failure. We find sin and trouble in marriage relationships. We look around and we see people divorced in the church. What do we do? At Olive we have a Divorce Recovery group. It has been a God send to many. Just last night a man at the Wahoo’s game stopped me and thanked me for the group. In the midst of our failures Jesus has a plan to put pieces back together. Advice? Well, here is a little. 1. Pray and fast before you date and marry. 2. Find strong mentors to help you in family development. 3. Only marry a Jesus follower. 4. Communicate extensively. 5. Pray separately and together. 6. Be faithful in a local church. 7. Laugh together. 8. ...
July 22, 2014 in Make A Comment
"I have a pen and a phone." President Barack Obama has used this phrase several times to indicate his power of executive order. As part of his "pen and phone" effort, yesterday he signed into law protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers from discrimination by federal contractors. There is no new exemption for religious organizations. I do not agree with his philosophy and reasoning behind bypassing Congress and often running the country from behind his desk. But he does recognize a pen and a phone communicate power. There is power in a personal notes. Studies have shown handwritten correspondence is up to 100 times more impactful than email. The impact can be amazing. There is power in a phone call. Texting is a great tool of communication, but there is still nothing that compares to hearing words of encouragement, acknowledgement, or appreciation. Each week I write personal thank you notes and place calls to first time attendees at Olive. Countless times I have heard back about what a difference that has made. Personal touches go a long way when used with the right motives.
July 15, 2014 in 1 Comment
Today's guest post is written by Jon Tyner, Olive's Minister of Music. Several years ago my wife Angie and I sensed God was leading us to adopt children (long story for another time). We entered into the experience with a lot of excitement, but also with a lot of fear. After months of paper work and waiting, we ended up adopting two little boys, brothers, ages 3 & 4, from Ethiopia. To say it was an adventure would be an understatement! But, God came through in big ways we never could have imagined. Here are a few thoughts from our experience: Adoption comes at great cost. Adoption comes with great reward. Some of my fears were unfounded, but some were legitimate! Adoption is a disruption... a glorious disruption. Being a part of a new family is cool, but also kind of scary at first. Being a citizen of a new country is cool, but also kind of scary at first. Learning to live in a new culture is hard and takes time. Patience and persistence are important…for everyone involved. Obedience brings blessing. There are people all over the world who are living out the Gospel in beautiful, sacrificial ways. I want to be like them. GOD IS FAITHFUL… faithful in ways I never could have imagined. Everything I learned about adopting my children can ...
July 11, 2014 in Make A Comment
Today's guest post is written by Robert Lloyd, Olive's Minister to Single Adults. My wife and I recently celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. Wow! It seems like only yesterday we were married. I came to Olive in 1983 and joined that summer. Met my wife as we were both actively involved in the singles and music ministries. Since our wedding day our family has been totally immersed in all that Olive offered. Many, many people here at Olive touched the lives of my children, as you gave of your time and talent in serving the Lord. From my family let us say a huge THANK YOU! Why do I write about this today? Because the Christian family is under extreme attack by Satan. The evil one looks for every opportunity to splinter and infiltrate our families. He certainly came after mine and he will come after yours as well. An old African proverb says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” You are probably familiar with former First Lady Hillary Clinton’s same titled book. But I’m not talking about just raising a child today. I’m talking about growing strong, godly families that can withstand the attacks that come against us every day. ...