When one studies revival, you can only come to the conclusion that awakening is a sovereign act of God. Yet, there are some actions we seem to always find when we find revival among God’s people. One of those actions is unified prayer.
I have come to a conviction. We do not pray enough at Olive. So, I have sought to take some action. As pastor I am calling us to unite in prayer on the first Wednesday of each month at noon. The first gathering will be next week December 5 in the OBC Chapel.
It is open to anyone who wants to pray. I will lead out in the meeting. And I invite you to mark your schedule and join me. You could skip the noon meal if you like. Or you can eat before or after with some friends at a local restaurant. We just need to pray. We need to invite our friends, be they from Olive or other churches. Or invite a lost friend to join you if they want to be a part.
No doubt many will not be able to get to the church campus. You may be across town or away from Pensacola. I ask you to set aside the noon hour on the first Wednesday and pray.
United prayer is important. You never know what God may do. O Lord, make Isaiah 64:1 a reality among us!
Christmas decorations are going up at Olive. Volunteers and Olive staff have been hard at work. The campus is looking great. This weekend we move into the Christmas music season. It is going to be an amazing month at Olive. Do not miss it. Be here as we worship the New Born King!
Christmas is a season of gift giving. And it is a time of year when the church is blessed by special gifts from many people. The ongoing budget will get a boost. International missions benefits from the SBC Lottie Moon offering. And this year we are taking a special offering to build a clinic in the Ministry Village at Olive. I am looking for 200 people to give $2000 over the tithe to build this clinic. We can do it! We will receive the offering Christmas Eve. You can send it early if you want to. But that evening will be a joyous occasion. Pray about your part.
You never more like Jesus than when you are giving! Give your funds, your service, your love and of yourself.
Many individuals, churches, families and organizations help the poor on Thanksgiving weekend. Those are good and commendable actions.
I never come to these days without memories of my good friend Jean Rae. She was the catalyst to beginning the Ministry Village at Olive. She turned a deaf ear whenever people asked her for a needy family to help at Christmas. I can still hear her saying,
“If you do not know anyone poor, you are just making yourself feel better by giving some food one day a year. People are just as hungry on February 25th as they are December 25th. We should be doing ministry year round.”
Those words stuck in my heart. So now we feed the hungry, provide clothes, pay light bills and more five days a week. My wife says Jean is smiling at me from heaven as she sees the work going on at Olive. I hope so, because she never smiled much at me here!
I love and miss Jean. I am going to name a building for her one day. Just to make her mad!
It is the week of Thanksgiving. I have noticed several people on Facebook posting what they are grateful for in the month of November. Seems they post one item each day this month. Nice way to make the month 30 days of gratitude. I am not that good. However, today I want to make a list. I am thankful for…
1. Parents-Delton and Jean Traylor raised me right
2. Wife-For 35 years Liz has been my best friend.
3. Kids- Rachel and Bennett are a joy. They both married well and we love them all.
4. Job-Some say being a pastor is a ministry and not a job. There is truth in that but doing it right is work and I am glad to be at Olive.
5. Health and provision from All Mighty God.
“Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…” – Ephesians 5:20
We have a great partnership at Olive with the Pensacola Bay Baptist Association. One of the ministries we partner in is the Health and Hope Clinic. It currently meets in the associational office building on Chemstand Road. For many months we have sought to find a funding source to build a new clinic building on our Olive campus in the Ministry Village. So I am stepping out this Christmas to make this a reality. The December 24th Christmas Eve offering will be used to raise the funds. I am looking for 200 people to give $2000. That will put us on target and close to the the goal. Others can give much more. And everyone can give something. Come ready to place your clinic gift in the manager that evening. We only need 199 more. Liz and I are first in line to make this gift. I plan to break ground Christmas morning after the 11pm service.
Look for the building to begin early in 2013. And we will be in business on the Olive campus by the summer. We can do this!
Why did Obama win? Why did Romney lose? I have seen scores of articles and interviews attempting to answer these questions. I am not that smart. And from reading and listening to several others they do not appear very smart either. The situation is that President Obama won reelection and not much has changed in Washington as to the makeup of the government. And unless attitudes change we are in for more gridlock.
I stated in a previous blog post that I was voting for Romney. I did. I have a picture of my ballot to prove it. So now that the President has won how do I respond? I continue to pray and work for revival. I continue to pray for the President and other elected officials. I continue to stand against the social liberalism the President pushes. I will continue to pay my taxes. And I will pay more in 2013 if changes are not made.
America is a GREAT NATION. I love this country. This Sunday is Veteran’s Day. Remember to say thank you. Had we not fought some tough wars in days gone by we would have not been free to vote this week. We have been given a great gift in this Republic. Let’s work to keep it.
Since 1789 forty-four men have served as President of the United States. How many can you name? Not all of them are memorable. Others had great conviction and courage. Those we remember has having made a difference.
Today America goes to the polls again. We need a man to lead our nation out of a mess and into a better future. Pray, vote and work for a better America. This is a very important day in American history.
If you have not cast your ballot, you still have time. Vote. Let your voice be heard.
Yesterday I spent the day in West Virginia. I was there to speak to the WVCSB Pastors’ Conference. I met some wonderful leaders. Reports were given of great work being done. One of the exciting things I heard was the report from Frontier Church. It is a new work in Morgantown. A fired up young church planter told of the work. These are good days for church planters in our SBC family.
And Southern Baptists are doing more than planting. We are working to revitalize churches that are declining. Change is demanded and no one can make this happen. However, there are some good people in many of these churches who want to see life blossom again.
Southern Baptists are at work in the storm path of Sandy. We will feed 400,000 meals a day. And we will tell the story of Jesus. That is GOOD NEWS and GOOD WORKS!
I have been reminded again that I am glad to be a Southern Baptist. We are not perfect but we are making a difference.
Yesterday I returned from Olive’s pastoral/director staff retreat. WOW! What a great team. We met and sought the mind of the Lord for the future. There are some bright days ahead. Pray for our team.
Bob Bumgarner, Director of the Church Development Division of the Florida Baptist Convention, led our Tuesday sessions. It was a great day of challenge and fresh ways to evaluate ministry.
This was my 20th retreat at Olive. The team has changed and so has the church. However, the vision is the same. Olive is here to fulfill the Great Commission and obey the Great Commandment.
It was twenty-two years ago I moved to Pensacola. It was a Wednesday night. Our family stayed in the Holiday Inn University Mall. Kids were out for Trick or Treat. Rachel and Bennett were just small kids. My, how things have changed. But one thing has not: my passion to serve as Olive’s pastor. I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to lead this great church.