December is just hours away and Christmas is coming! This is always an exciting time of the year at Olive. And 2011 is no exception. Small groups get together for fellowship. The church family comes together in celebration. Missions giving is pushed to the front burner as we fund the action plan for the coming year. These are good days.
However, beware of the busyness without with the blessing of the Christ. We can miss the message in the fast pace. Coach Urban Meyer gave illustration of this principle this week. He just signed on to be the new coach of The Ohio State University football program. He had been off one year after resigning from Florida to spend time with family and restore his health. His admission this week was he had gotten so caught up in the hustle of coaching big time football that he forgot the fundamentals of taking care of family and himself. He says he is now ready to go back to work with a winning balance.
Do not get out of balance this Christmas. Take time to be quiet and gaze into the manger. HE was born to die for you. Be still and know that HE is God. Jesus will give you rest for your soul in the midst of Christmas celebrations!
Americans are hitting the road for Thanksgiving. This national holiday is a great family tradition. People travel hundreds of miles with kids to be home for this special day. I encourage you to enjoy the time with family. Build close connections.
This month many of my Facebook friends list each day something they are thankful for. That is a good thing. So let me give thanks today.
I am grateful for a Heavenly Father Who loves me. HE placed me in a home with a great dad and mom. HE saved me at the age of 10. HE joined me to a loving wife 35 years ago next month. HE blessed us with two great kids and two special family additions when each of them married. HE placed me in a dynamic church with a great team in Pensacola. I am a blessed man.
THANK YOU, LORD!
Happy Thanksgiving to each of you.
News from Penn State football has been in the media for several days. Here is an angle on the story you may not have heard. It comes from those in ministry on the college campus. Hope you enjoy…
On November 5, 2011, former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was arrested on 40 counts relating to sexual abuse of eight young boys. The alleged sexual abuse scandal led to the firing of Penn State’s football coach and president.
Tim McGill, the Athletes In Action director at Penn State, worked with the football team during the crisis. The day after Penn State lost to Nebraska at home, I interviewed him about the week leading up to the football game. ”Our players and coaches were shocked and stunned by the news about the sexual abuse that took place at Penn State. We heard the report the week before the Nebraska game and everyone was in disbelief. One player told me that he didn’t know how to feel or what he should say or do. The atmosphere around the team was very somber as they tried to process the news and the loss of their legendary coach.” Full story…
This is the season for Baptist state convention meetings. I spoke last night in Kentucky.
Our Florida Baptist Convention is meeting in South Florida. There is a very important vote today on the future budgeting model of our state convention. I encourage you to pray for our messengers to have wisdom.
The choices being made in our state conventions revolve around the implementation phase of the GCR (Great Commission Resurgence). The goal is to move more resources to the unreached and underserved areas of the world. The tension comes from trying to doing this without under-funding our base at home. These are needed moves, but they do not come easily.
Our Baptist network is a blessing to the world. Change is needed from time to time. And now is such a time.
In his book, The Mackay MBA of Selling In The Real World, Harvey Mackay encourages the reader to celebrate the child in ourselves. His encouragement is for each of us to practice being like a child in 4 ways.
1. Become curious – kids ask a million questions and push the envelope.
2. Get so excited you hate to go to bed at night – excitement in life is a big plus.
3. Believe – adults are often skeptics, while kids believe the impossible can happen.
4. Trust – the term “sleep like a baby” comes to mind. Kids trust and we need to learn that lesson.
Celebrate the child in you this Veterans Day. And if you know someone who has served America, give them some love today. A child would give them a hug!
Spoke with our staff team this morning about momentum. In the field of science it is Mass X Velocity. The combination of size and speed will carry you forward.
In sports people often speak of the momentum starting on one side and then shifting over to the other team. Momentum is important in church life. As we move forward our mass and speed is important. Jesus called us to preach the Gospel to the entire world. And today is the day of salvation.
For the church to have momentum we must know our direction and task. Persistence is very important for the task. The key for God’s church: when we run out of momentum there is One on our side Who is all powerful. He takes us where we need to go to accomplish what we have been called to do.
Do not allow non-essentials to slow you down and steal your momentum. Stay on task and the kingdom will expand.
Tebowing is a new word in our pop culture. It is defined by the young men who coined the term as “to get down on a knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different.” After the Bronco’s comeback win over Miami, quarterback Tim Tebow kneeled quietly in the final moments of the game and prayed. Denver native Jared Kleinstein and friends snapped a picture of themselves following the game in the same pose posting the picture on facebook. An internet phenomenon was born soon followed by the website tebowing.com. A week later, the Detroit Lions trounced the Broncos, sacking Tebow seven times. One of those sacks was made by Lion’s linebacker, Stephen Tulloch, who ‘tebowed’ over Tebow after dragging him down. The media debate ensues.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporter, Jen Floyd Engel, writes a compelling article examining the mockery of Tim Tebow and what it says about our country. You don’t have to be a sports enthusiast to find this a worthy read. It begs the question of each of us: Is my faith so evident I could be mocked? We don’t have to be public figures to live intentionally for Christ. We are all called to be salt and light in the world.
Read the article by clicking here.
It was 21 years ago last night Liz, Rachel, Bennett and I arrived in Pensacola. We spent this first night at the University Mall Holiday Inn. It was Halloween night. The place was overrun with kids in costume. We will never forget it.
Then just days later the church purchased the Simmons property where the worship center stands. In week one we spent $625,000. God has been faithful. Just a few days ago Liz said to me, “ I feel we are on the edge of a new day of dynamic work at Olive.” We do sense the best is yet to come.
Thank you, Olive family, for being faithful. You have been more than gracious to the Traylors. We love you and look forward to many more great years together.