I enjoy Twitter. While some people just give you personal updates (that we can all live without), others give you nuggets that encourage, make you smile or bring conviction.
Seth Godin is one man I really enjoy. He writes a blog which is usually short and to the point. He is worth following if you tweet. Here is what he said today:
“You can’t argue with success.”
Of course you can.
Conventional wisdom says you shouldn’t bother. But arguing with failure is dumb. Failure doesn’t need to be argued with because it’s already failed.
It takes guts to argue with success, guts and insight. And it’s the best way to make things better.
We are in the process of selecting deacons at Olive for the coming year. This is always a prayerful time for me. Every church needs good men who will serve. I often tell our men they carry two buckets, one in each hand. One contains water and the other gasoline. When they find fire they need to empty one of the buckets. If it is revival fire they need the gas. If it is strange fire they need water. And we dare not get the buckets mixed up!
Olive has been a blessed church for many years for many reasons. The chief reason I see is that there have always been good and Godly men who are Jesus followers in the body. And many of those serve as deacons. The army of men serving at Olive guard it’s unity and proclaim the Gospel. They stand with the pastor and serve the church. I am grateful for Men that stand in the gap for me. Some sere as deacons and some do not, but God has favored us with a hot hearted group of men that are more than fans of Jesus, they are followers.
The Olive staff enjoyed a wonderful morning of leadership development led by Ryan Bowman. He is with Chick-Fil-A. One of the convicting quotes he used today was, “If your personal vision does not intimidate you it probably is an embarrassment to God.” Ryan challenged us and encouraged us. It was a good day for the team.
Olive Baptist is a member of the Pensacola Bay Baptist Association. Our annual meeting is Sunday evening and we have the joy of hosting the event. When our 70+ churches come together, it is always a good a meeting.
The question needs to be asked: why do Baptists have local associations? What is their function? Has the time come for change in this structure? In years gone by the local fellowship factor was big. Churches came together to know one another. In the days before email and cell phones, eye-to-eye contact was needed.
We also found doctrinal unity in the association structure. Baptists knew what they believed and talked about it. The annual message often helped Baptists focus on core beliefs. This is still a big need.
But as culture has changed we have stayed in the same boundaries for associations as we were 100 years ago. It seems to me we could combine many groups to be more effective and use funds for greater impact. But who would draw the lines? That takes vision, and Baptist leaders need to take a look. Florida is home to 50 associations. Do we need that many? I do not think so. I would think Pensacola Bay Baptist and Santa Rosa associations could one day get together as one big happy family. But those traditions rarely change.
For now, I am looking forward to the annual meeting this Sunday night.
Several months ago Pastor Larry Gipson invited me to First Baptist Church Oneonta, Alabama to lead a four day revival. This is not something I do very often. And fewer and fewer local churches host these events.
However, this church has been preparing. And we are seeing fruit. Local churches need seasons of renewal. Jeremiah 31:25 says” I will satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes.”
These have been days of refreshing for the church and for me. I ask that you continue to pray as I preach the next two evenings. God is stirring the church. Last night the ground floor of the building was full. And the altar was filled with people crying out to the Father. One eighteen year old high school senior answered God’s call to ministry. There was joy in the camp.
O Lord, revive us again!
I have been intrigued with the group calling itself Occupy Wall Street. They are now branching out to cities across the nation, including Pensacola. I have been on Facebook trying to connect with Occupy Pensacola to get a feel for the movement and why they are marching.
The feedback has been interesting. I have not found a “bottom line” from any of the people. But there is anger at greed in what they call Corporate America and Wall Street. They are fed up with companies getting bail out money and fired CEOs receiving large buy outs . They are fearful of their future. They see no way out of personal debt. Some of the protesters have an entitlement mentality. They want free education and health care.
I am still chewing on this movement as it grows. It is easy to throw stones and indentify some loons in the movement but there are also many sincere people involved. It looks like a 180 Tea Party. Same anger but opposite mindset and agenda.
Their title is what has gripped me. OCCUPY. What if the church would occupy Pensacola? I don’t mean rallies and marches. I mean service and fruit of the Spirit living.
What if we really became Jesus in our city?
There was an interesting article in Saturday’s Mobile Press Register. Rabbi Donald Kunstadt of Springhill Avenue Temple wrote the piece entitled “World Needs Belief That There Are Many Paths To God.”
In the article the Rabbi states,” As we begin this new Jewish year, what the world sorely needs are religious, loving individuals who can accept and understand there are many paths to God. A world filled with the conviction that God demands only one path for everyone, everywhere, is a world guaranteed to be filled with hatred and violence.”
I am always amazed at such statements. On the surface it sounds so sweet and peaceful. But the individual who brought more peace and kindness than any person ever to walk the planet also claimed to be the only way to God. His name is Jesus.
So if every religion is equal, then do I get to God the same way someone who believes murder is also a way to God? This reasoning is asinine. There is truth in every discipline of life. Up is not down and down is not up. Eternity will show what is truth.
As for me I confess Jesus is that Truth. Finding different paths to God may be compelling but truth must be sought and found. Resurrection says Jesus is truth. If HE is not raised then HE is a liar. But if HE did rise HE is the truth and only way to God. And true Jesus followers are not filled with hatred and violence.