LRBC

Lake Robinson Independent Baptist

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Who is Welcome at Lake Robinson Baptist?

Matthew 22:1-14 1And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, 2The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 4Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. 5But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: 6And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. 7But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 10So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. 11And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14For many are called, but few are chosen.

Having been rejected by the religious rulers, Jesus demonstrates how the gospel would be shared with "all" people. So, who is welcome at Lake Robinson Baptist?

  • "Religious" and "Lost" are welcome. Religious people believe in living a moral life. They may pray and occasionally go to church. Lost people are hanging around the highways and hedges and do not seem to have any spiritual direction in their lives. Both "religious lost" and "regular lost" need the wedding garment to attend the marriage supper. They both need the righteousness of Christ.
  • Rich and Poor are welcome. The ones who were originally bidden to the wedding supper were probably those with financial resources. The ones at the highways are probably the poor. Both rich and poor need to repent of their sins and believe the gospel. The gospel is the great equalizer as no one is so wealthy that they do not need it and no one is so poor that they cannot obtain it.
  • "Good and Bad" are welcome. Jesus said that He did not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. There are what considered "good" sinners and those who are considered to be "bad" sinners. You may be living in sin and yet are keeping your head above the proverbial water. You seem to be handling your sin - the "good" sinner. You may be the "bad" sinner. Sin has overwhelmed you and has cost you much, such as your family, your job, your health, or even your freedom. The gospel is what the good and bad sinner needs and both are welcome.
  • Nationals and foreigners are welcome. In Matthew 20:19 Jesus commands believers to go to all nations. People born in the USA are loved by God and have a precious soul. People born outside of the USA are loved by God and have a precious soul.
  • Red and Yellow, Black and White are welcome. Re 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; ​Revelation tells us that people from all families, all languages, all peoples, and all nations will be represented in heaven. Every person with every color and pigment of skin need Jesus and are welcome.

If you are reading this then you are welcome!

Christians and Lazy Thinking

People, by nature, are lazy thinkers.

This is not an insult but a fact. Studies suggests that what we have already learned has strong neurological connections. To learn new things we must build new connections between neurons which causes discomfort or what we may call "brain strain". These connections are strengthened through repetition; practice, homework, meditation, and memorization until they are strong enough to be easily accessed.  

It is hard to learn something new or to think differently. When presented with a problem we usually rely on those old neuron connections to come up with a quick solution. If we are forced to create new neurological connections to solve a problem it takes more concentration. There are many things that can hinder this such as distractions, temptations, and fear. For instance, schools have been providing breakfasts and lunches for students under the theory that if they are not distracted by hunger they learn better. It has been proven that students with poor eyesight improve performance after getting glasses; if they are concentrating on the subject matter instead of trying to see they learn more.

One of the biggest obstacles to problem solving, proper decision making, and thinking is the biological make- up of our brains. We automatically have a bias based on what we have already learned.

Yale Professor Shane Frederick developed the "Cognitive Reflection Test" which demonstrates this practically. The test question is "​A bat and ball together costs $1.10. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?"

  • What is your answer? If you answered that the ball costs $0.10 then you are wrong and guilty of using lazy thinking in this instance. The correct answer is $0.05.  
  • If you said the ball costs $0.10 and the bat is $1 more then the bat would cost $1.10 by itself making the total $1.20.
  • If you said the ball is $0.05 and the bat costs $1 more then the bat would cost $1.05 by itself making the total $1.10

The above example reveals one of the biggest problems with "lazy thinking". When relying on what we already know instead of looking at something analytically we often come to the wrong conclusions.  

Examples of lazy thinking are prevalent in our society. Take the recent election for instance. Most people supported the candidate based on their biases (the old tried and true connections). Those biases are often strengthened by surrounding yourself with people who believe exactly the way you do and getting news from sources that echo those biases. The result of this is people repeated talking points without actually understanding the points they are making.

Take these same biases, the echo chambers which reinforce those biases, and now add an emotional investment to those biases. Maybe these biases bring social acceptance, a sense of identity, or perhaps a person has invested a lot of time or resources into it. Let's say that a person has become active in one particular political party, has donated his time to campaign for the candidate, and gave money to the candidate. It is now almost impossible for this person to critically look at the candidate.

Now take the biases, the echo chambers, the emotional investment and add "evidence" to it.  For instance, if this person is a Clinton supporter the evidence she won the popular vote emboldens their view. If  this person is a Trump supporter the evidence that he won the electoral vote emboldens their view.

But what has this to do with church, religion, or God?

Lazy thinking with its strong neurological connections along with their biases and emotional attachments do not have a cut-off switch when someone goes to church, prays, reads the bible, or gets saved.

Here are a few questions:

  • What do you believe?
  • Why do you believe it?
  • What led you to this conclusion?
  • Can you defend it?
  • How do you know the will of God?

Many people may know what they believe but have not analyzed it to make it their own beliefs. They are much like the political crowd which echoes the voices around them but have no idea why they believe it.

God does not want you to turn off your brain. Psalm chapter 119 is the great chapter on the Word of God. Five times in verses 15, 23, 48, 78, and 148 we are encouraged to meditate "in" the scriptures. This means we are to do more than just read the scriptures and commentaries. We are to mediate in them, ponder them, and think in them. This means that we examine them closely before reaching a conclusion. This results in having to think analytically about them. Before we can do this then we have to forget everything we thought we knew.

Our prayer life is more than just talking to God but listening and meditation. In Psalm 5:1 David asks God not only to hear his words but to consider his meditation as well. God often speaks to us as we meditate on the scriptures while in the Spirit. We often look for the answers to prayer in "signs" or evidence that reinforces our bias. We ask God something, we have a bias towards it, and then we see a sign that we believe reinforces it. This is dangerous because we will be convinced that this is God speaking to us when it actually may be completely wrong based on our biases. We often miss the will of God and answered prayer because of a failure to think and analyze.  

Paul tells the Philippians to "think on these things". The answer to worry is to think on good things. The more your thoughts are on the positive things the stronger those connections become. The less you think on your problems the weaker those connections become.

Paul also tells the Philippians to work out their own salvation. This is working out what God has worked in us. This is personal and it takes the ability to personally knowing the will of God for your life. We often miss the journey of sanctification because of lazy thinking. It is easier for someone else to tell us how to live, how to dress, where to go, etc.

There is also amusement which means without thought. We often do not think because we have turned off our brains with the constant thirst for amusement and entertainment. There is a constant stream of television, movies, music, social media, and other stimulus that hinders us from thinking. Some studies suggests that smartphones have hurt our ability to think.

​How often are you really thinking? Here is the average Christian:

  • Believe whatever is said in church
  • Bible reading is shallow that rarely feeds the soul
  • Prayer life limps along looking for signs that God has answered
  • When they do think its about problems which makes them seem worse
  • Do not have any personal convictions but follow the crowd
  • Are afraid of opinions and thoughts that do not align with the crowd
  • Must be entertained even in church
  • Preaching that entices thought cannot hold your attention

Christians, God has given us a marvelous brain which should be used for His Glory.  

Bearing Your Cross

Mt 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Matthew 16 reveals who Jesus is. Peter proclaimed that Jesus is the Messiah. But, when Jesus reveals His suffering and death, Peter rebukes Him. The disciples still saw Jesus as only a political Messiah and had political aspirations. Jesus tells Peter that he does not savor the things of God but the things of man. It is with this background that Jesus tells them the true cost of discipleship.

 

I - Cost our Pleasure (deny self)

Prosperity teachers claim that Christianity is about our personal pleasure. Even a casual reading of the New Testament reveals the opposite. Hebrews chapter 11 does not offer a list of prosperity preachers in its Hall of Faith but those who suffered for their faith. In the Book of Acts we as Christianity spread across the known world  Saints were scattered by persecution. History tells us how the apostles suffered for their faith and all but one died as a martyr.

The purpose of God is not our personal pleasure but for God get glory from our lives. He does this by conforming us into the image of Christ. Paul reminded the Philippians of this.

Php 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

When we think of denying self some obvious things come to mind.

  • Denying sin; the need to resist unto blood, striving against sin.
  • Deny self interest through serving others. We are to put God first, others second and ourselves last. When is the last time you did something for someone else while expecting nothing in return?​

There is another avenue of denying self that we often do not think about. That is denying self-identity. Romans chapter 6 tells us that when Jesus died on the cross that we died and were buried with Him; the "Old Man" is dead. The person we were before Christ no longer exists.

One of the reasons that people resist the gospel is that it calls for a look at our identities. One may think that he is a good person but the gospel reveals that he is not good enough to please God as he is and needs the righteousness of Christ.

Romans teaches us that through resurrection power, we walk in newness of life. This is God's Spirit living in and through us. Salvation is not only a changed life but an exchanged life.

 Ga 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Our identities are now wrapped up in Christ; we are known as Christians. To deny ourselves is to deny our identities outside of Christ. Our identites in Christ supersedes all other identities. We are no longer just husbands and wives but Christian husbands and wives. We are no longer just business men but Christian business men. The only identity that is eternal is our Christian identity. There will be a day when we may be widowed and no longer have a spouse and a day when we are no longer able to work. There is no marriage in heaven, no worldly possessions in heaven, and no worldly occupation in heaven. We are Christians in heaven who have laid up their treasures in eternity.

Denying any identity outside of Christ can be difficult because being "lovers of their own selves" is part of our make-up in then flesh. Teens often identify themselves through their peer group and adults often identify themselves through their jobs or possessions.

What happens when a person feels their identity is being attacked? During the Stock Market crash many traders committed suicide as their identity of success faded away. Empty nesters often have marriage struggles as their identity as a parent has changed. A missionary or pastor who have their identities wrapped up in the ministry may be tempted to quit if their door to service closes.

To follow Christ will cost our pleasure but it will also.....

 

II - Cost our Pride (take up cross)

The cross of Christ is synonymous with reproach. The Old Testament reveals that a person who dies on a tree was considered to be accursed of God. The Roman criminal who died on a cross was considered to be the vilest of criminals.

The disciples were looking for their place in His Kingdom and even debated who would sit on the right and left hand of Jesus. Instead of the glory and prestige of being part of Jesus cabinet, they are offered the shame and reproach of being identified with Him.

Modern Christianity has attempted to take the reproach of the cross away. In the 1970's the sound track and play "Jesus Christ Superstar" attempted to make Jesus cool. Today, churches across America peddle a "cool" brand of Jesus. The music is "cool", the preacher is "cool", the light and sound production is "cool", the lifestyle is "cool", the morality is "cool", and the message is "cool". Modern Christianity teaches us to be politically correct and non-offensive to everyone. The ultimate goal seems to be accepted by the same world that Jesus said hated Him and would hate the Believer as well.

The writer of the Book of Hebrews does not tell us to be "cool" but tells us to bear His reproach without or outside of the camp. This is the place outside of public acceptance and applause. The Old Testament scapegoat bore the sins of the people and was driven from the camp. Jesus is our Scapegoat who bore our sins and reproach. We are to go unto Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach and shame.

Heb 13:13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

The cross is also identified with death. To bear our cross is to go into this world with death on our backs. We have died to self, sin, society (the world), and anything else that is outside of the will of God

Theologically, death is defined as separation of soul and body. The cross represents the things from which we are separated. These are not the things that we deny in the name of separation but the things that are separated from us because of our association with Christ.

Lu 6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.

The New Testament Christian understood the pain of losing the things that were dear to him for Jesus sake.

  • Many were separated from their families; Jesus warned that a man's enemy would be those of his own household.
  • Many were separated from their synagogues as any who professed Christ were to be kicked out.
  • Many were separated from their homes due to being scattered by persecution.
  • Many were separated from their jobs and livelihood as they were kicked out of the guilds.
  • Many were separated from their dignity as they were mocked for their faith

The message that Jesus had for His ambitious disciples is that there is no crown without a cross. For the modern Christian the message is the same. There is a personal cross reserved for each of us because of our identity with Christ. This cross will mean reproach, suffering, and death to us.

Mr 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

The reproach of Christ and identification with Him is a normal part of the Christian life. Jesus tells us that if we are ashamed of Him then He would be ashamed of us. The Believer's baptism is a public acknowledgement of and identification with Jesus.

To be His disciple is to take up your cross with all of the reproach and suffering that is accompanied with it.

Not only, does being a disciple cost our pleasure and pride but also....

 

III - Our Plans (follow me)

A Yiddish proverb says,  "Man plans, God laughs."

Our plans represent our dreams, desires, and personal wills. We imagine what our lives should be like. In this fantasy we see how everything just works out with little or no obstacles. Then we begin to move towards that utopia as we  plan our days, our weeks, our months, and our years to make our dreams come to pass. Our imagination paints a picture where not only have we planned out our own lives but have controlled the lives of others to make this dream a reality. Others have become pieces of our own puzzle without their own thoughts, lives or wills. This is just a price that others must pay in order for everything to make sense in our world. If our ideal life is to come to pass then we must control every aspect of our plan. 

Along the way we try to either fit Jesus into our plans or attempt to drag Him along on our journey while convincing ourselves that we are living in the will of God.

But what happens when our plans fall apart and dreams are crushed? The Christian will often wonder where they went wrong. He or she may wonder if God has abandoned them. There is often confusion because things are not supposed to go the way they are going. This is whale's belly for Jonah, the wrestling match in a cave for Jacob, the fireside chats of Peter, and the despondent walk on the road to Emmaus.

This is the life of many as they learn the difference between their own lives and following Jesus.

Jesus' command is "follow me". Following Him does not lead to the velvet robes and comfortable beds of kings but the exact opposite.

Mt 8:20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

Abraham followed God from the comforts of Ur. Matthew followed Jesus from the comforts of his career. Paul followed Jesus from the comfort of his religion. Where do we follow Jesus?

  • Follow Him to the Garden of Gethsemane  where he prayed in agony
  • Follow Him to the unfair trials
  • Follow Him to the scourging
  • Follow Him to the Via Della Rosa or the way of suffering to the cross
  • Follow Him in resurrection power

Conclusion

What happens if we get what we want out of life? What if we are able to obtain all the pleasures we want, live life while holding onto our pride without ever experiencing reproach and shame, and if we make all of our plans and dreams come true?

Mt 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

If we succeed in getting the life we want then it may cost us the life that matters. Jesus goes on to ask the question if the price of getting what we want is worth it.

Mt 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Parenting Conferences by Eddie Watford

Whispers of Hope Parenting Conferences

"Breaking the Cycle"

Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith? I Thess 3:10

  

 

 

  The Youth Exodus

 


59%  of 18-29 year olds who were once active in church have dropped out of church at one time.

 32%  of  Millennial’s have no religious affiliation.

50%   of 18-29 year olds are less active in church than they were when they were 15 years old.

 

 

 

Parents and churches do not need statistics to tell us what we already know. Young people who are leaving church and turning their backs on what they have been taught has reached epidemic proportions.

Many parents are doing all they can to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Churches are doing everything they can to try to help young people serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Is it too late to break this trend of the youth exodus? Is there anything that parents  can do?

 

Parenting Skills

 

Children are not born with an instruction tag like an article of clothing.  Most parents are just trying to figure it out as they go; they are doing the best they can with the knowledge they have.  The problem many parents face is that no one ever taught them how to parent. As one pastor said, “My parenting skills consisted of taking my kids to church, doing my best to keep them from worldly influences,  a family altar, and trying to live right in front of them.”  One parent stated, “I raised my kids the way I was raised. If it was good enough for me then it is good enough for them”.  While others share another viewpoint. “I do not want to raise my children the way I was raised”, said another parent, “I want my children to have a better childhood than I had”

 

Most parents have only been taught to parent through the personal experiences of their upbringing and the very fundamentals of child rearing.  The bible says much more.

 

Conference Topics

 The importance of biblical relationships in the family

The importance of biblical roles in the family

The importance of biblically raising children

The importance of living a biblically rich (abundant) life.

The importance of realizing your children are moral free agents

The importance of not reliving your childhood (Breaking the Cycle)

 

 What to Expect!

 

Expect topics to be presented in a positive and encouraging way. The purpose of the conference is to help parents not hurt them.

 Expect to have fun. The goal is to have some fun while getting biblical help and learning parenting skills.

 Expect to get help!

 

What not to Expect!

 Do not expect everything in your family to change during one conference; change takes time.

 Do not expect to be told what to do .

The goal is to give parents the skills and the knowledge they need to make biblical decisions and the best decisions for their family. No one can lead your home except the one God ordains to do so!

 

 

Whispers of Hope Ministries

Brother Eddie Watford began ministering to troubled teens almost immediately after his salvation.  For over ten years he and Sister Cammie Watford worked with Juvenile Delinquents placed in group homes by the State. These young people were usually between the ages of 13 and 18. While he dealt with his fair share of “street kids”, he learned that many of the teens were raised by Christian parents and attended Independent Baptist Churches.  These teens could quote scripture and had a knowledge of fundamental doctrines. Brother Watford could see the pain in the eyes of these young people who never imagined that they would ever be incarcerated. In church after church that he  visited he was approached by broken hearted parents who didn’t know what to do with their teens.  Brother Watford could not get away from the pain he saw in all those faces.

 

 Most recently Brother Watford has been working with young offenders in Turbeville Correctional Institute. Many of  the inmates are teens who have been sentenced as adults.

 

 

 Contact

 

Whispers of Hope

Brother Eddie Watford

Phone: 843-332-0270

E-mail:  whsprsofhope@aol.com

Why live in defeat?

Does this sound like your life?

  • You know that you are saved but lately do not "feel" like a Christian?
  • You find yourselves living under the power of the flesh or old man?
  • You have besetting sin in your life and sin is reigning over you?
  • You live in shame over secret sin?

 

  • The harder you try to do right the more you seem to fail?
  • Because you fail over and over again you question whether you are saved?
  • You feel that your flesh is so strong that you have no choice but to sin?
  • You struggle to pray?
  • The roller coaster you are on makes you question God's care and love for you?

 

THE ANSWER

 I - It starts with being saved

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 Jesus died on the cross FOR our sins. He took our sins upon Himself. His sacrifice satisfies the Father's wrath for sin and through His blood we have redemption.

Heb 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

The blood of Jesus also allows us to have a clear conscience. When we repent, we have confidence that the blood of Christ satisfies God. We do not have to beat ourselves up or live in guilt.

Heb 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

 

 II - Understanding the dual nature

When we got saved our old nature did not go away; it is still there. God's Spirit has moved in making us a new creature. There will be a battle between these two natures.

Ga 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary the one to the other; that ye may not do the things that ye would.

There is going to be a battle between the old and name but good news is.........

 

III - Know the Old Man has been defeated

Ro 6:3-4  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

 When Jesus died on the cross we died with him. The Old Man died and was buried with  him. HE IS ALREADY DEFEATED. When this life is over the Old Man will cease to exist any longer.

When Jesus rose from the dead the New Man rose with Him. The Old Man is temporal but the New Man is eternal. The NEW MAN gives us the power to live the Christian life.

NEXT MONTH - HOW THIS KNOWLEDGE EMPOWERS US TO LIVE THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

Who is Lake Robinson Baptist?

1. The people are not cool.

Sorry to say it but we know we are not cool nor do we try to be.  There are churches that try to be "cool" and have programs that attempt to be cool. Instead of being cool, we often call ourselves a group of "MISFITS".  Jesus was a misfit. He did not attempt to blend in  with others to be accepted.

John 15:18 ¶ If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

 

2. The purpose is not self-improvement

 

We are not interested in helping you become a better you. Why is that? Because you cannot improve the fleshly man.

 Ro 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

Jesus does not want a better you but a new you. He has the power to make you a new creature through the new birth. After that, He gives you the power to live the new life through the power of the Holy Ghost which enables us to live in obedience to His word.

 

3. The preaching does not soothe sin

Yes, the preaching may step on your toes but we are not aiming for your toes; we are aiming for your heart. Jesus loves you too much to comfort you in your sins. His first message was repentance and desires for us to turn to Him from our sins. We know that there are churches that seek to make you feel comfortable in your sins.; whose purpose is  to make you feel good about yourself. We would rather you be RIGHT with God than to be comfortable in your sins.

 

4. The people are not perfect (neither is the pastor)

We believe that God has a high and holy standard and we should aim to be who God wants us to be. We also have mirrors and realize that we all fall short of His standard. Being hypocritical is to pretend to be something that one is not. Being realistic is to admit that we don't always live up to even our own standard. Thank God that He offers repentance and forgiveness when we do fail.

 

5. The place of worship is not flashy

Yes, our services still feel like church. People are smart; they know when churches are trying to camouflage religion in the culture of the world.  We do not attempt to hide they Savior behind smoke, mirrors, and entertainment. Jesus is the purpose of the church. He moved in our churches in our grandparent's day and still has the power to move today. When God moves we do not need man's substitutes.

If you do not have a church home you are welcome to visit with us.

Words for the Worried

Five times in Matthew 5:25-34 Jesus encourages His listeners to “take no thought” of various areas of concern in life. In old English to “take no thought” meant not to fret, worry, or be anxious. What did they have to be anxious or take thought about? Many of the listeners at the Sermon on the Mount were poor. In 5:26 they worried about Food. Jesus instructs them to pray for “daily bread”. In 5:27 they worried about their Fitness or health. In 5:28 they worried over their Frocks or clothing. Many of them only owned one outer garment. These represent the necessities of life.

John Grisham, in his book A Painted House, makes the statement to the effect that farmers worry when it does rain and worry when it does not rain. Not enough rain would affect their crops and too much rain would affect their crops.

We have the same nature. We are anxious and worry over everything. Jesus gives several truths in the text that can help us handle stress.

I – Know How You are Defined

Mt 6:25 ¶ Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Jesus asks if our lives are more than the food we eat or what we wear. Another words, you are not defined by what you have but who you are in Christ.

II – Know that you are Desired

Mt 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

The fowls of the air do not work and do not save and yet God takes care of their needs day by day. While God expects us to work, there may come a time in your life when you cannot work and cannot save. Jesus takes care of you the birds in their times of need so how much more will He care for the ones for whom He shed His blood.

III – Know who has Dominion

Mt 6:27  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

Jesus asks if any of us have control over our physical health. Who can, by worrying, make himself taller? Who can, by worrying, make his life longer? Who can tell the exact day and time of his death? There are things in which we have no control over. We must realize that God has dominion or is in control.

IV – Know not to Doubt

Mt 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Jesus states that if He can clothe the field with a beautiful flowers than how much more is He able to clothe us. Then adds the statement “O ye of little faith”. He expects us to trust His ability to take care of our needs. Remember that Satan’s attack on Eve was to convince her to doubt God’s word and His love and concern for her.

V – Know on whom you Depend

Mt 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

We see the fact that the Father knows our needs. We do not have to worry about these things as unbelievers may. We are not dependent on our jobs, our abilities, or our “luck” for our needs to be met. Our Father is able to meet our needs and will take care of us.

VI – Know what you Desire

Mt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

This is a precious promise. When our heart is on the heavenly, God will take care of the earthly. We can release our concerns over the things of this life and focus on the spiritual.

VII – Know the Deliverer

Mt 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

There is no need to worry today about what may happen tomorrow. Tomorrow will have enough problems to take care of itself. We know that for every evil of the day we have a Deliverer for it. If we can trust Jesus to deliver our souls from hell, we can trust Him to deliver us from our problems.

Parenting Conference

What is a Parenting Conference?

¨ It is a three nights set aside to focus on the issues that parents are facing.

¨ It is dedicated to assist parents by providing biblical principles on parenting

¨ It is to help parents who are feeling the stress of child rearing in an age where parents are blamed for everything

What to Expect?

¨ Expect topics to be presented in positive way. The purpose is to help parents not hurt them.

¨ Expect to have fun while learning biblical principles for parenting.

¨ Expect to get help. Biblical teaching and preaching is available during the conference and a take home study guide  is available to help apply principles after the conference.

¨ Do not expect to be told what to do. You will be provided biblical principles but the parents are the God-ordained ones

¨ Do not expect for everything to be “fixed” in three days. It takes time to change habits.

Topics

¨  The importance of biblical relationships in the family

¨ The importance of biblical roles in the family

¨ The importance of biblically raising children

¨ The importance of living a biblically rich (abundant) life.

¨ The importance of realizing your children are moral free agents

¨ The importance of not reliving your childhood (Breaking the cycle)

¨ The importance of not reliving your childhood (Breaking the Cycle)

Anger in Marriage

Recently, in NC, a couple adopted a cockatoo named Peaches. Cockatoos have the ability to mimic people. They brought the bird home and soon learned that Peaches’ previous owners were a couple who is now separated. Peaches reenacts their arguments while screaming and shaking its head. I watched the video of peaches and while I could not make out what she was saying, ABC had to bleep out certain words. 

 

The link is here http://abcnews.go.com/US/peaches-cockatoo-repeats-previous-owners-marital-arguments/story?id=28890533

 

Several media outlets said that the bird captured the sounds of dying love.

 

Col 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

 

The text tells husbands two things; to love their wives and to not be bitter against them. These are two contrary and opposite things. A husband is to love his wife with the sacrificial love of Christ and not be bitter against them. Then it says not be not bitter against them.

 

The opposite of demonstrating love is to have bitterness or anger that cannot be appeased. This seems that the opposite of loving your wife is bitterness towards her.

 

The question we must ask is how do two people go from standing in a church with a gleam in their eyes proclaiming to love each other forever to being so angry and bitter that their love dies?

 

Step One: Anger

 

Anger is a natural reaction to a perceived threat. When someone does something that makes us feel threatened there is an instant emotion of displeasure. This displeasure may be useful like when we get angry at our own sin and repent. This displeasure may be hurtful when we act out of anger such as being rude to someone who we feel offended us. Anger within itself is not sin. What becomes sin is how we respond to anger.

 

Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

 

There is anger that is not sinful and anger that is sinful. Jesus’ heart was grieved with the hardness of Pharisee’s heart and he looked on them with anger in Mark 3:5. On the other hand, we are told in Colossians 3:21 to not provoke our children to anger.

 

We can be angry without sinning. In marriage, anger with your mate may be a warning sign that you need to communicate about something. We must consciously deal with anger when we recognize it. We may consciously choose to let go of the anger through mercy towards our mate. We may consciously choose to discuss what caused the anger and find resolution. Regardless of which we choose, anger cannot be ignored. Colossians 3:8 reveals that anger should be “put off” and Ephesians 4:31 that anger should be put away.

 

Step Two: Wrath

 

When anger is not dealt with it may turn to wrath. While we can be angry without sinning we cannot be wrathful without sinning. If anger is a small seed then wrath is the giant redwood that has grown out of it. It is amazing that a tiny seed can produce a tree that lives hundreds of years, over 300 feet high, and have a circumference of over 30 feet. It is also amazing how small disagreements can turn into major conflicts.

 

Wrath carries the desire for revenge with it. It is often associated with resentment and seething anger. Wrath is that boiling feeling right under the surface. When experiencing wrath there will often be outbursts of temper.

 

Wrath is so dangerous that the sun is not to set upon it.

 

Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

Many people interpret this verse to mean that married couples should never go to bed mad at each other. They believe that married couples should never go to bed until they work out their problems. Not every issue can be worked out in a day. The scripture says to not let the sun go down upon your wrath. Before the sun goes down we need to repent of our wrath.

It is said that some people have anger issues. It may be more accurate to say that they have wrath issues. The bible gives several behaviors that are associated with that angry wrath that seethes or rests in the bosom.

1 - Foolish people or those governed by their own temper instead of by the Spirit of God.

2 - People with a quick temper.

Ec 7:9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.

 3 - People who have a reputation of losing their temper.

 

Pr 12:16  A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame

4 -  People who have unproportioned responses to the cause of the anger.

Pr 27:3 A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both.

Jacob’s prophesy regarding Simeon and Levi was to curse their anger. He calls their anger fierce and cruel.

Ge 49:7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.

5 - People who are known for having troubled relationships and conflicts because of anger; work, family, lawsuits, fights, etc.

Pr 21:9 It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.

Pr 30:33 Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.

6 - People who have repeated problems associated with anger.

Pr 19:19  A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again

7 - People who habitually sin because of anger and find themselves dealing with guilt and regret over things done in anger.

Jas 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

 

We may look at these signs of angry wrath and tell ourselves that this does not define who you are. Take the time and look at these qualities in the confines of your marriage.

  • Do you find yourself quick tempered towards your mate? Do you have angry reactions towards them in ways you do not have towards others who may do the same things?

  • Is there a pattern of anger in your relationship? Are there a lot of arguments? Are there passive aggressive actions such as whispering under your breath, slurs, or purposefully doing things just to let your mate know you are not happy?

  • Are there overreactions to small situations in your marriage? Is there a lot of anger over relatively small incidents? Do major fights spring from minor disagreements?

  • Is there a constant underlying anger towards your mate? Do small things like the sound of their voice, the way they chew, or other minor things make your blood boil? Do you not look forward to seeing them at the end of the day or avoid conversations with them?

  • Are there often sudden explosions of temper towards your mate? Things like yelling, hitting walls, spinning tires, etc.?

Step Three: Bitterness

It seems that unresolved anger turns to wrath and unrepentant wrath can turn to bitterness.

 

This word bitter in the context means to have bitterness against a person means according to 1818 Webster’s Dictionary:

  • Extreme enmity, grudge, hatred, or excessive degree of implacableness of passions and emotions; as the bitterness of anger.

  • Implacableness means not able to appease or irreconcilable anger

The seed of anger that grew into a great Redwood of wrath is now an entire forest of bitterness. That anger has grown to the point it seeks revenge for the perceived offense. Revenge is not enough to appease this anger. At this point there is nothing the other person can do that will change the way you feel about them. You cannot let go of the past. You do not have capacity to forgive to the point you can have a normal relationship.

Ro 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

 

Steven Stosny who runs marriage boot camps and is the founder of CompassionPower says the following.

By the time couples come to our boot camps for chronic resentment, anger, or emotional abuse, they have developed entrenched habits of protecting their respective vulnerabilities by devaluing each other

 

……. As compassion decreases, resentment automatically rises, making common problems insoluble. If unfettered by the better angels of our nature, resentment inevitably turns into contempt.

 

Notice that Dr. Stosny theorizes that there is a correlation between decreased compassion and increased resentment.

Compassion is associated with mercy and mercy is associated with forgiveness.

1Ti 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

 

Where there is no mercy and compassion there is no forgiveness. Where there is no forgiveness bitterness will rule in the heart.

I have witnessed this bitterness first hand during marriage counselling. I attempted to help a couple which had deep problems. I watched as the wife sobbed and tears ran down her face. The husband’s response to her broken heart was anger and hostility. The same woman to whom he married, to whom he declared his love, and to whom he would have given his life he now lashes out to in anger while her heart breaks. That day I witnessed dying love.

Is There Hope?

Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

 

The first step is to stop the seed of anger before it grows. It is to respond to anger before it turns to wrath.

Next, wrath must be dealt with through repentance.

Finally, anger, wrath, and bitterness must be put off. Trying to let go of these things are not enough. You cannot put off things without putting something on.

Col 3:8-10 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth  Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Col 3:12-14 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

We must replace the negative with the positive. Anger and wrath should be replaced by kindness, humility, meekness (self-control), longsuffering, forbearing, and forgiveness.

Eph 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

We must replace bitterness, wrath, clamour (loud outbursts), and evil speaking (to and about each other) with kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness.

2015 Outreaches

 

 Lu 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

 

Our goal at Lake Robinson Independent Baptist is to both reach others with the Good News. We want to help reach the world through Faith Promise Missions. We want to help those who are hurting in our own community. We have several ways we hope to help those in our own community.

1. By preaching and teaching of the Word of God.

2. Children's Church during Sunday Morning Worship. Preacher Jason Pope uses object lessons to teach bible truth to children prior to the morning sermon.

3. By community outreaches which include Gospel tracts.

4. Parenting conference and classes to help parents looking for biblical wisdom with their most important ministry; their children. Classes are led by Missionary Eddie Watford who has over a decade experience with helping youth.

5. Grief mentoring for those who have lost a loved one led by Missionary Henry Hatchell.

6.  Dealing with abuse classes. Biblical help for women who have endured abuse led by Prison Missionary Marie Hatchell who leads these classes in women's correctional facilities.

7. MORE ANNOUNCEMENTS TO COME!

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Victory

Who is Welcome at Lake Robinson Baptist?

Matthew 22:1-14 1And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, 2The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 4Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. 5But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: 6And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. 7But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 10So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. 11And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14For many are called, but few are chosen.

Having been rejected by the religious rulers, Jesus demonstrates how the gospel would be shared with "all" people. So, who is welcome at Lake Robinson Baptist?

  • "Religious" and "Lost" are welcome. Religious people believe in living a moral life. They may pray and occasionally go to church. Lost people are hanging around the highways and hedges and do not seem to have any spiritual direction in their lives. Both "religious lost" and "regular lost" need the wedding garment to attend the marriage supper. They both need the righteousness of Christ.
  • Rich and Poor are welcome. The ones who were originally bidden to the wedding supper were probably those with financial resources. The ones at the highways are probably the poor. Both rich and poor need to repent of their sins and believe the gospel. The gospel is the great equalizer as no one is so wealthy that they do not need it and no one is so poor that they cannot obtain it.
  • "Good and Bad" are welcome. Jesus said that He did not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. There are what considered "good" sinners and those who are considered to be "bad" sinners. You may be living in sin and yet are keeping your head above the proverbial water. You seem to be handling your sin - the "good" sinner. You may be the "bad" sinner. Sin has overwhelmed you and has cost you much, such as your family, your job, your health, or even your freedom. The gospel is what the good and bad sinner needs and both are welcome.
  • Nationals and foreigners are welcome. In Matthew 20:19 Jesus commands believers to go to all nations. People born in the USA are loved by God and have a precious soul. People born outside of the USA are loved by God and have a precious soul.
  • Red and Yellow, Black and White are welcome. Re 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; ​Revelation tells us that people from all families, all languages, all peoples, and all nations will be represented in heaven. Every person with every color and pigment of skin need Jesus and are welcome.

If you are reading this then you are welcome!

Christians and Lazy Thinking

People, by nature, are lazy thinkers.

This is not an insult but a fact. Studies suggests that what we have already learned has strong neurological connections. To learn new things we must build new connections between neurons which causes discomfort or what we may call "brain strain". These connections are strengthened through repetition; practice, homework, meditation, and memorization until they are strong enough to be easily accessed.  

It is hard to learn something new or to think differently. When presented with a problem we usually rely on those old neuron connections to come up with a quick solution. If we are forced to create new neurological connections to solve a problem it takes more concentration. There are many things that can hinder this such as distractions, temptations, and fear. For instance, schools have been providing breakfasts and lunches for students under the theory that if they are not distracted by hunger they learn better. It has been proven that students with poor eyesight improve performance after getting glasses; if they are concentrating on the subject matter instead of trying to see they learn more.

One of the biggest obstacles to problem solving, proper decision making, and thinking is the biological make- up of our brains. We automatically have a bias based on what we have already learned.

Yale Professor Shane Frederick developed the "Cognitive Reflection Test" which demonstrates this practically. The test question is "​A bat and ball together costs $1.10. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?"

  • What is your answer? If you answered that the ball costs $0.10 then you are wrong and guilty of using lazy thinking in this instance. The correct answer is $0.05.  
  • If you said the ball costs $0.10 and the bat is $1 more then the bat would cost $1.10 by itself making the total $1.20.
  • If you said the ball is $0.05 and the bat costs $1 more then the bat would cost $1.05 by itself making the total $1.10

The above example reveals one of the biggest problems with "lazy thinking". When relying on what we already know instead of looking at something analytically we often come to the wrong conclusions.  

Examples of lazy thinking are prevalent in our society. Take the recent election for instance. Most people supported the candidate based on their biases (the old tried and true connections). Those biases are often strengthened by surrounding yourself with people who believe exactly the way you do and getting news from sources that echo those biases. The result of this is people repeated talking points without actually understanding the points they are making.

Take these same biases, the echo chambers which reinforce those biases, and now add an emotional investment to those biases. Maybe these biases bring social acceptance, a sense of identity, or perhaps a person has invested a lot of time or resources into it. Let's say that a person has become active in one particular political party, has donated his time to campaign for the candidate, and gave money to the candidate. It is now almost impossible for this person to critically look at the candidate.

Now take the biases, the echo chambers, the emotional investment and add "evidence" to it.  For instance, if this person is a Clinton supporter the evidence she won the popular vote emboldens their view. If  this person is a Trump supporter the evidence that he won the electoral vote emboldens their view.

But what has this to do with church, religion, or God?

Lazy thinking with its strong neurological connections along with their biases and emotional attachments do not have a cut-off switch when someone goes to church, prays, reads the bible, or gets saved.

Here are a few questions:

  • What do you believe?
  • Why do you believe it?
  • What led you to this conclusion?
  • Can you defend it?
  • How do you know the will of God?

Many people may know what they believe but have not analyzed it to make it their own beliefs. They are much like the political crowd which echoes the voices around them but have no idea why they believe it.

God does not want you to turn off your brain. Psalm chapter 119 is the great chapter on the Word of God. Five times in verses 15, 23, 48, 78, and 148 we are encouraged to meditate "in" the scriptures. This means we are to do more than just read the scriptures and commentaries. We are to mediate in them, ponder them, and think in them. This means that we examine them closely before reaching a conclusion. This results in having to think analytically about them. Before we can do this then we have to forget everything we thought we knew.

Our prayer life is more than just talking to God but listening and meditation. In Psalm 5:1 David asks God not only to hear his words but to consider his meditation as well. God often speaks to us as we meditate on the scriptures while in the Spirit. We often look for the answers to prayer in "signs" or evidence that reinforces our bias. We ask God something, we have a bias towards it, and then we see a sign that we believe reinforces it. This is dangerous because we will be convinced that this is God speaking to us when it actually may be completely wrong based on our biases. We often miss the will of God and answered prayer because of a failure to think and analyze.  

Paul tells the Philippians to "think on these things". The answer to worry is to think on good things. The more your thoughts are on the positive things the stronger those connections become. The less you think on your problems the weaker those connections become.

Paul also tells the Philippians to work out their own salvation. This is working out what God has worked in us. This is personal and it takes the ability to personally knowing the will of God for your life. We often miss the journey of sanctification because of lazy thinking. It is easier for someone else to tell us how to live, how to dress, where to go, etc.

There is also amusement which means without thought. We often do not think because we have turned off our brains with the constant thirst for amusement and entertainment. There is a constant stream of television, movies, music, social media, and other stimulus that hinders us from thinking. Some studies suggests that smartphones have hurt our ability to think.

​How often are you really thinking? Here is the average Christian:

  • Believe whatever is said in church
  • Bible reading is shallow that rarely feeds the soul
  • Prayer life limps along looking for signs that God has answered
  • When they do think its about problems which makes them seem worse
  • Do not have any personal convictions but follow the crowd
  • Are afraid of opinions and thoughts that do not align with the crowd
  • Must be entertained even in church
  • Preaching that entices thought cannot hold your attention

Christians, God has given us a marvelous brain which should be used for His Glory.  

Bearing Your Cross

Mt 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Matthew 16 reveals who Jesus is. Peter proclaimed that Jesus is the Messiah. But, when Jesus reveals His suffering and death, Peter rebukes Him. The disciples still saw Jesus as only a political Messiah and had political aspirations. Jesus tells Peter that he does not savor the things of God but the things of man. It is with this background that Jesus tells them the true cost of discipleship.

 

I - Cost our Pleasure (deny self)

Prosperity teachers claim that Christianity is about our personal pleasure. Even a casual reading of the New Testament reveals the opposite. Hebrews chapter 11 does not offer a list of prosperity preachers in its Hall of Faith but those who suffered for their faith. In the Book of Acts we as Christianity spread across the known world  Saints were scattered by persecution. History tells us how the apostles suffered for their faith and all but one died as a martyr.

The purpose of God is not our personal pleasure but for God get glory from our lives. He does this by conforming us into the image of Christ. Paul reminded the Philippians of this.

Php 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

When we think of denying self some obvious things come to mind.

  • Denying sin; the need to resist unto blood, striving against sin.
  • Deny self interest through serving others. We are to put God first, others second and ourselves last. When is the last time you did something for someone else while expecting nothing in return?​

There is another avenue of denying self that we often do not think about. That is denying self-identity. Romans chapter 6 tells us that when Jesus died on the cross that we died and were buried with Him; the "Old Man" is dead. The person we were before Christ no longer exists.

One of the reasons that people resist the gospel is that it calls for a look at our identities. One may think that he is a good person but the gospel reveals that he is not good enough to please God as he is and needs the righteousness of Christ.

Romans teaches us that through resurrection power, we walk in newness of life. This is God's Spirit living in and through us. Salvation is not only a changed life but an exchanged life.

 Ga 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Our identities are now wrapped up in Christ; we are known as Christians. To deny ourselves is to deny our identities outside of Christ. Our identites in Christ supersedes all other identities. We are no longer just husbands and wives but Christian husbands and wives. We are no longer just business men but Christian business men. The only identity that is eternal is our Christian identity. There will be a day when we may be widowed and no longer have a spouse and a day when we are no longer able to work. There is no marriage in heaven, no worldly possessions in heaven, and no worldly occupation in heaven. We are Christians in heaven who have laid up their treasures in eternity.

Denying any identity outside of Christ can be difficult because being "lovers of their own selves" is part of our make-up in then flesh. Teens often identify themselves through their peer group and adults often identify themselves through their jobs or possessions.

What happens when a person feels their identity is being attacked? During the Stock Market crash many traders committed suicide as their identity of success faded away. Empty nesters often have marriage struggles as their identity as a parent has changed. A missionary or pastor who have their identities wrapped up in the ministry may be tempted to quit if their door to service closes.

To follow Christ will cost our pleasure but it will also.....

 

II - Cost our Pride (take up cross)

The cross of Christ is synonymous with reproach. The Old Testament reveals that a person who dies on a tree was considered to be accursed of God. The Roman criminal who died on a cross was considered to be the vilest of criminals.

The disciples were looking for their place in His Kingdom and even debated who would sit on the right and left hand of Jesus. Instead of the glory and prestige of being part of Jesus cabinet, they are offered the shame and reproach of being identified with Him.

Modern Christianity has attempted to take the reproach of the cross away. In the 1970's the sound track and play "Jesus Christ Superstar" attempted to make Jesus cool. Today, churches across America peddle a "cool" brand of Jesus. The music is "cool", the preacher is "cool", the light and sound production is "cool", the lifestyle is "cool", the morality is "cool", and the message is "cool". Modern Christianity teaches us to be politically correct and non-offensive to everyone. The ultimate goal seems to be accepted by the same world that Jesus said hated Him and would hate the Believer as well.

The writer of the Book of Hebrews does not tell us to be "cool" but tells us to bear His reproach without or outside of the camp. This is the place outside of public acceptance and applause. The Old Testament scapegoat bore the sins of the people and was driven from the camp. Jesus is our Scapegoat who bore our sins and reproach. We are to go unto Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach and shame.

Heb 13:13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

The cross is also identified with death. To bear our cross is to go into this world with death on our backs. We have died to self, sin, society (the world), and anything else that is outside of the will of God

Theologically, death is defined as separation of soul and body. The cross represents the things from which we are separated. These are not the things that we deny in the name of separation but the things that are separated from us because of our association with Christ.

Lu 6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.

The New Testament Christian understood the pain of losing the things that were dear to him for Jesus sake.

  • Many were separated from their families; Jesus warned that a man's enemy would be those of his own household.
  • Many were separated from their synagogues as any who professed Christ were to be kicked out.
  • Many were separated from their homes due to being scattered by persecution.
  • Many were separated from their jobs and livelihood as they were kicked out of the guilds.
  • Many were separated from their dignity as they were mocked for their faith

The message that Jesus had for His ambitious disciples is that there is no crown without a cross. For the modern Christian the message is the same. There is a personal cross reserved for each of us because of our identity with Christ. This cross will mean reproach, suffering, and death to us.

Mr 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

The reproach of Christ and identification with Him is a normal part of the Christian life. Jesus tells us that if we are ashamed of Him then He would be ashamed of us. The Believer's baptism is a public acknowledgement of and identification with Jesus.

To be His disciple is to take up your cross with all of the reproach and suffering that is accompanied with it.

Not only, does being a disciple cost our pleasure and pride but also....

 

III - Our Plans (follow me)

A Yiddish proverb says,  "Man plans, God laughs."

Our plans represent our dreams, desires, and personal wills. We imagine what our lives should be like. In this fantasy we see how everything just works out with little or no obstacles. Then we begin to move towards that utopia as we  plan our days, our weeks, our months, and our years to make our dreams come to pass. Our imagination paints a picture where not only have we planned out our own lives but have controlled the lives of others to make this dream a reality. Others have become pieces of our own puzzle without their own thoughts, lives or wills. This is just a price that others must pay in order for everything to make sense in our world. If our ideal life is to come to pass then we must control every aspect of our plan. 

Along the way we try to either fit Jesus into our plans or attempt to drag Him along on our journey while convincing ourselves that we are living in the will of God.

But what happens when our plans fall apart and dreams are crushed? The Christian will often wonder where they went wrong. He or she may wonder if God has abandoned them. There is often confusion because things are not supposed to go the way they are going. This is whale's belly for Jonah, the wrestling match in a cave for Jacob, the fireside chats of Peter, and the despondent walk on the road to Emmaus.

This is the life of many as they learn the difference between their own lives and following Jesus.

Jesus' command is "follow me". Following Him does not lead to the velvet robes and comfortable beds of kings but the exact opposite.

Mt 8:20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

Abraham followed God from the comforts of Ur. Matthew followed Jesus from the comforts of his career. Paul followed Jesus from the comfort of his religion. Where do we follow Jesus?

  • Follow Him to the Garden of Gethsemane  where he prayed in agony
  • Follow Him to the unfair trials
  • Follow Him to the scourging
  • Follow Him to the Via Della Rosa or the way of suffering to the cross
  • Follow Him in resurrection power

Conclusion

What happens if we get what we want out of life? What if we are able to obtain all the pleasures we want, live life while holding onto our pride without ever experiencing reproach and shame, and if we make all of our plans and dreams come true?

Mt 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

If we succeed in getting the life we want then it may cost us the life that matters. Jesus goes on to ask the question if the price of getting what we want is worth it.

Mt 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Parenting Conferences by Eddie Watford

Whispers of Hope Parenting Conferences

"Breaking the Cycle"

Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith? I Thess 3:10

  

 

 

  The Youth Exodus

 


59%  of 18-29 year olds who were once active in church have dropped out of church at one time.

 32%  of  Millennial’s have no religious affiliation.

50%   of 18-29 year olds are less active in church than they were when they were 15 years old.

 

 

 

Parents and churches do not need statistics to tell us what we already know. Young people who are leaving church and turning their backs on what they have been taught has reached epidemic proportions.

Many parents are doing all they can to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Churches are doing everything they can to try to help young people serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Is it too late to break this trend of the youth exodus? Is there anything that parents  can do?

 

Parenting Skills

 

Children are not born with an instruction tag like an article of clothing.  Most parents are just trying to figure it out as they go; they are doing the best they can with the knowledge they have.  The problem many parents face is that no one ever taught them how to parent. As one pastor said, “My parenting skills consisted of taking my kids to church, doing my best to keep them from worldly influences,  a family altar, and trying to live right in front of them.”  One parent stated, “I raised my kids the way I was raised. If it was good enough for me then it is good enough for them”.  While others share another viewpoint. “I do not want to raise my children the way I was raised”, said another parent, “I want my children to have a better childhood than I had”

 

Most parents have only been taught to parent through the personal experiences of their upbringing and the very fundamentals of child rearing.  The bible says much more.

 

Conference Topics

 The importance of biblical relationships in the family

The importance of biblical roles in the family

The importance of biblically raising children

The importance of living a biblically rich (abundant) life.

The importance of realizing your children are moral free agents

The importance of not reliving your childhood (Breaking the Cycle)

 

 What to Expect!

 

Expect topics to be presented in a positive and encouraging way. The purpose of the conference is to help parents not hurt them.

 Expect to have fun. The goal is to have some fun while getting biblical help and learning parenting skills.

 Expect to get help!

 

What not to Expect!

 Do not expect everything in your family to change during one conference; change takes time.

 Do not expect to be told what to do .

The goal is to give parents the skills and the knowledge they need to make biblical decisions and the best decisions for their family. No one can lead your home except the one God ordains to do so!

 

 

Whispers of Hope Ministries

Brother Eddie Watford began ministering to troubled teens almost immediately after his salvation.  For over ten years he and Sister Cammie Watford worked with Juvenile Delinquents placed in group homes by the State. These young people were usually between the ages of 13 and 18. While he dealt with his fair share of “street kids”, he learned that many of the teens were raised by Christian parents and attended Independent Baptist Churches.  These teens could quote scripture and had a knowledge of fundamental doctrines. Brother Watford could see the pain in the eyes of these young people who never imagined that they would ever be incarcerated. In church after church that he  visited he was approached by broken hearted parents who didn’t know what to do with their teens.  Brother Watford could not get away from the pain he saw in all those faces.

 

 Most recently Brother Watford has been working with young offenders in Turbeville Correctional Institute. Many of  the inmates are teens who have been sentenced as adults.

 

 

 Contact

 

Whispers of Hope

Brother Eddie Watford

Phone: 843-332-0270

E-mail:  whsprsofhope@aol.com

Why live in defeat?

Does this sound like your life?

  • You know that you are saved but lately do not "feel" like a Christian?
  • You find yourselves living under the power of the flesh or old man?
  • You have besetting sin in your life and sin is reigning over you?
  • You live in shame over secret sin?

 

  • The harder you try to do right the more you seem to fail?
  • Because you fail over and over again you question whether you are saved?
  • You feel that your flesh is so strong that you have no choice but to sin?
  • You struggle to pray?
  • The roller coaster you are on makes you question God's care and love for you?

 

THE ANSWER

 I - It starts with being saved

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 Jesus died on the cross FOR our sins. He took our sins upon Himself. His sacrifice satisfies the Father's wrath for sin and through His blood we have redemption.

Heb 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

The blood of Jesus also allows us to have a clear conscience. When we repent, we have confidence that the blood of Christ satisfies God. We do not have to beat ourselves up or live in guilt.

Heb 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

 

 II - Understanding the dual nature

When we got saved our old nature did not go away; it is still there. God's Spirit has moved in making us a new creature. There will be a battle between these two natures.

Ga 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary the one to the other; that ye may not do the things that ye would.

There is going to be a battle between the old and name but good news is.........

 

III - Know the Old Man has been defeated

Ro 6:3-4  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

 When Jesus died on the cross we died with him. The Old Man died and was buried with  him. HE IS ALREADY DEFEATED. When this life is over the Old Man will cease to exist any longer.

When Jesus rose from the dead the New Man rose with Him. The Old Man is temporal but the New Man is eternal. The NEW MAN gives us the power to live the Christian life.

NEXT MONTH - HOW THIS KNOWLEDGE EMPOWERS US TO LIVE THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

Who is Lake Robinson Baptist?

1. The people are not cool.

Sorry to say it but we know we are not cool nor do we try to be.  There are churches that try to be "cool" and have programs that attempt to be cool. Instead of being cool, we often call ourselves a group of "MISFITS".  Jesus was a misfit. He did not attempt to blend in  with others to be accepted.

John 15:18 ¶ If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

 

2. The purpose is not self-improvement

 

We are not interested in helping you become a better you. Why is that? Because you cannot improve the fleshly man.

 Ro 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

Jesus does not want a better you but a new you. He has the power to make you a new creature through the new birth. After that, He gives you the power to live the new life through the power of the Holy Ghost which enables us to live in obedience to His word.

 

3. The preaching does not soothe sin

Yes, the preaching may step on your toes but we are not aiming for your toes; we are aiming for your heart. Jesus loves you too much to comfort you in your sins. His first message was repentance and desires for us to turn to Him from our sins. We know that there are churches that seek to make you feel comfortable in your sins.; whose purpose is  to make you feel good about yourself. We would rather you be RIGHT with God than to be comfortable in your sins.

 

4. The people are not perfect (neither is the pastor)

We believe that God has a high and holy standard and we should aim to be who God wants us to be. We also have mirrors and realize that we all fall short of His standard. Being hypocritical is to pretend to be something that one is not. Being realistic is to admit that we don't always live up to even our own standard. Thank God that He offers repentance and forgiveness when we do fail.

 

5. The place of worship is not flashy

Yes, our services still feel like church. People are smart; they know when churches are trying to camouflage religion in the culture of the world.  We do not attempt to hide they Savior behind smoke, mirrors, and entertainment. Jesus is the purpose of the church. He moved in our churches in our grandparent's day and still has the power to move today. When God moves we do not need man's substitutes.

If you do not have a church home you are welcome to visit with us.

Words for the Worried

Five times in Matthew 5:25-34 Jesus encourages His listeners to “take no thought” of various areas of concern in life. In old English to “take no thought” meant not to fret, worry, or be anxious. What did they have to be anxious or take thought about? Many of the listeners at the Sermon on the Mount were poor. In 5:26 they worried about Food. Jesus instructs them to pray for “daily bread”. In 5:27 they worried about their Fitness or health. In 5:28 they worried over their Frocks or clothing. Many of them only owned one outer garment. These represent the necessities of life.

John Grisham, in his book A Painted House, makes the statement to the effect that farmers worry when it does rain and worry when it does not rain. Not enough rain would affect their crops and too much rain would affect their crops.

We have the same nature. We are anxious and worry over everything. Jesus gives several truths in the text that can help us handle stress.

I – Know How You are Defined

Mt 6:25 ¶ Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Jesus asks if our lives are more than the food we eat or what we wear. Another words, you are not defined by what you have but who you are in Christ.

II – Know that you are Desired

Mt 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

The fowls of the air do not work and do not save and yet God takes care of their needs day by day. While God expects us to work, there may come a time in your life when you cannot work and cannot save. Jesus takes care of you the birds in their times of need so how much more will He care for the ones for whom He shed His blood.

III – Know who has Dominion

Mt 6:27  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

Jesus asks if any of us have control over our physical health. Who can, by worrying, make himself taller? Who can, by worrying, make his life longer? Who can tell the exact day and time of his death? There are things in which we have no control over. We must realize that God has dominion or is in control.

IV – Know not to Doubt

Mt 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Jesus states that if He can clothe the field with a beautiful flowers than how much more is He able to clothe us. Then adds the statement “O ye of little faith”. He expects us to trust His ability to take care of our needs. Remember that Satan’s attack on Eve was to convince her to doubt God’s word and His love and concern for her.

V – Know on whom you Depend

Mt 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

We see the fact that the Father knows our needs. We do not have to worry about these things as unbelievers may. We are not dependent on our jobs, our abilities, or our “luck” for our needs to be met. Our Father is able to meet our needs and will take care of us.

VI – Know what you Desire

Mt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

This is a precious promise. When our heart is on the heavenly, God will take care of the earthly. We can release our concerns over the things of this life and focus on the spiritual.

VII – Know the Deliverer

Mt 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

There is no need to worry today about what may happen tomorrow. Tomorrow will have enough problems to take care of itself. We know that for every evil of the day we have a Deliverer for it. If we can trust Jesus to deliver our souls from hell, we can trust Him to deliver us from our problems.

Parenting Conference

What is a Parenting Conference?

¨ It is a three nights set aside to focus on the issues that parents are facing.

¨ It is dedicated to assist parents by providing biblical principles on parenting

¨ It is to help parents who are feeling the stress of child rearing in an age where parents are blamed for everything

What to Expect?

¨ Expect topics to be presented in positive way. The purpose is to help parents not hurt them.

¨ Expect to have fun while learning biblical principles for parenting.

¨ Expect to get help. Biblical teaching and preaching is available during the conference and a take home study guide  is available to help apply principles after the conference.

¨ Do not expect to be told what to do. You will be provided biblical principles but the parents are the God-ordained ones

¨ Do not expect for everything to be “fixed” in three days. It takes time to change habits.

Topics

¨  The importance of biblical relationships in the family

¨ The importance of biblical roles in the family

¨ The importance of biblically raising children

¨ The importance of living a biblically rich (abundant) life.

¨ The importance of realizing your children are moral free agents

¨ The importance of not reliving your childhood (Breaking the cycle)

¨ The importance of not reliving your childhood (Breaking the Cycle)

Anger in Marriage

Recently, in NC, a couple adopted a cockatoo named Peaches. Cockatoos have the ability to mimic people. They brought the bird home and soon learned that Peaches’ previous owners were a couple who is now separated. Peaches reenacts their arguments while screaming and shaking its head. I watched the video of peaches and while I could not make out what she was saying, ABC had to bleep out certain words. 

 

The link is here http://abcnews.go.com/US/peaches-cockatoo-repeats-previous-owners-marital-arguments/story?id=28890533

 

Several media outlets said that the bird captured the sounds of dying love.

 

Col 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

 

The text tells husbands two things; to love their wives and to not be bitter against them. These are two contrary and opposite things. A husband is to love his wife with the sacrificial love of Christ and not be bitter against them. Then it says not be not bitter against them.

 

The opposite of demonstrating love is to have bitterness or anger that cannot be appeased. This seems that the opposite of loving your wife is bitterness towards her.

 

The question we must ask is how do two people go from standing in a church with a gleam in their eyes proclaiming to love each other forever to being so angry and bitter that their love dies?

 

Step One: Anger

 

Anger is a natural reaction to a perceived threat. When someone does something that makes us feel threatened there is an instant emotion of displeasure. This displeasure may be useful like when we get angry at our own sin and repent. This displeasure may be hurtful when we act out of anger such as being rude to someone who we feel offended us. Anger within itself is not sin. What becomes sin is how we respond to anger.

 

Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

 

There is anger that is not sinful and anger that is sinful. Jesus’ heart was grieved with the hardness of Pharisee’s heart and he looked on them with anger in Mark 3:5. On the other hand, we are told in Colossians 3:21 to not provoke our children to anger.

 

We can be angry without sinning. In marriage, anger with your mate may be a warning sign that you need to communicate about something. We must consciously deal with anger when we recognize it. We may consciously choose to let go of the anger through mercy towards our mate. We may consciously choose to discuss what caused the anger and find resolution. Regardless of which we choose, anger cannot be ignored. Colossians 3:8 reveals that anger should be “put off” and Ephesians 4:31 that anger should be put away.

 

Step Two: Wrath

 

When anger is not dealt with it may turn to wrath. While we can be angry without sinning we cannot be wrathful without sinning. If anger is a small seed then wrath is the giant redwood that has grown out of it. It is amazing that a tiny seed can produce a tree that lives hundreds of years, over 300 feet high, and have a circumference of over 30 feet. It is also amazing how small disagreements can turn into major conflicts.

 

Wrath carries the desire for revenge with it. It is often associated with resentment and seething anger. Wrath is that boiling feeling right under the surface. When experiencing wrath there will often be outbursts of temper.

 

Wrath is so dangerous that the sun is not to set upon it.

 

Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

Many people interpret this verse to mean that married couples should never go to bed mad at each other. They believe that married couples should never go to bed until they work out their problems. Not every issue can be worked out in a day. The scripture says to not let the sun go down upon your wrath. Before the sun goes down we need to repent of our wrath.

It is said that some people have anger issues. It may be more accurate to say that they have wrath issues. The bible gives several behaviors that are associated with that angry wrath that seethes or rests in the bosom.

1 - Foolish people or those governed by their own temper instead of by the Spirit of God.

2 - People with a quick temper.

Ec 7:9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.

 3 - People who have a reputation of losing their temper.

 

Pr 12:16  A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame

4 -  People who have unproportioned responses to the cause of the anger.

Pr 27:3 A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both.

Jacob’s prophesy regarding Simeon and Levi was to curse their anger. He calls their anger fierce and cruel.

Ge 49:7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.

5 - People who are known for having troubled relationships and conflicts because of anger; work, family, lawsuits, fights, etc.

Pr 21:9 It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.

Pr 30:33 Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.

6 - People who have repeated problems associated with anger.

Pr 19:19  A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again

7 - People who habitually sin because of anger and find themselves dealing with guilt and regret over things done in anger.

Jas 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

 

We may look at these signs of angry wrath and tell ourselves that this does not define who you are. Take the time and look at these qualities in the confines of your marriage.

  • Do you find yourself quick tempered towards your mate? Do you have angry reactions towards them in ways you do not have towards others who may do the same things?

  • Is there a pattern of anger in your relationship? Are there a lot of arguments? Are there passive aggressive actions such as whispering under your breath, slurs, or purposefully doing things just to let your mate know you are not happy?

  • Are there overreactions to small situations in your marriage? Is there a lot of anger over relatively small incidents? Do major fights spring from minor disagreements?

  • Is there a constant underlying anger towards your mate? Do small things like the sound of their voice, the way they chew, or other minor things make your blood boil? Do you not look forward to seeing them at the end of the day or avoid conversations with them?

  • Are there often sudden explosions of temper towards your mate? Things like yelling, hitting walls, spinning tires, etc.?

Step Three: Bitterness

It seems that unresolved anger turns to wrath and unrepentant wrath can turn to bitterness.

 

This word bitter in the context means to have bitterness against a person means according to 1818 Webster’s Dictionary:

  • Extreme enmity, grudge, hatred, or excessive degree of implacableness of passions and emotions; as the bitterness of anger.

  • Implacableness means not able to appease or irreconcilable anger

The seed of anger that grew into a great Redwood of wrath is now an entire forest of bitterness. That anger has grown to the point it seeks revenge for the perceived offense. Revenge is not enough to appease this anger. At this point there is nothing the other person can do that will change the way you feel about them. You cannot let go of the past. You do not have capacity to forgive to the point you can have a normal relationship.

Ro 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

 

Steven Stosny who runs marriage boot camps and is the founder of CompassionPower says the following.

By the time couples come to our boot camps for chronic resentment, anger, or emotional abuse, they have developed entrenched habits of protecting their respective vulnerabilities by devaluing each other

 

……. As compassion decreases, resentment automatically rises, making common problems insoluble. If unfettered by the better angels of our nature, resentment inevitably turns into contempt.

 

Notice that Dr. Stosny theorizes that there is a correlation between decreased compassion and increased resentment.

Compassion is associated with mercy and mercy is associated with forgiveness.

1Ti 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

 

Where there is no mercy and compassion there is no forgiveness. Where there is no forgiveness bitterness will rule in the heart.

I have witnessed this bitterness first hand during marriage counselling. I attempted to help a couple which had deep problems. I watched as the wife sobbed and tears ran down her face. The husband’s response to her broken heart was anger and hostility. The same woman to whom he married, to whom he declared his love, and to whom he would have given his life he now lashes out to in anger while her heart breaks. That day I witnessed dying love.

Is There Hope?

Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

 

The first step is to stop the seed of anger before it grows. It is to respond to anger before it turns to wrath.

Next, wrath must be dealt with through repentance.

Finally, anger, wrath, and bitterness must be put off. Trying to let go of these things are not enough. You cannot put off things without putting something on.

Col 3:8-10 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth  Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Col 3:12-14 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

We must replace the negative with the positive. Anger and wrath should be replaced by kindness, humility, meekness (self-control), longsuffering, forbearing, and forgiveness.

Eph 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

We must replace bitterness, wrath, clamour (loud outbursts), and evil speaking (to and about each other) with kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness.

2015 Outreaches

 

 Lu 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

 

Our goal at Lake Robinson Independent Baptist is to both reach others with the Good News. We want to help reach the world through Faith Promise Missions. We want to help those who are hurting in our own community. We have several ways we hope to help those in our own community.

1. By preaching and teaching of the Word of God.

2. Children's Church during Sunday Morning Worship. Preacher Jason Pope uses object lessons to teach bible truth to children prior to the morning sermon.

3. By community outreaches which include Gospel tracts.

4. Parenting conference and classes to help parents looking for biblical wisdom with their most important ministry; their children. Classes are led by Missionary Eddie Watford who has over a decade experience with helping youth.

5. Grief mentoring for those who have lost a loved one led by Missionary Henry Hatchell.

6.  Dealing with abuse classes. Biblical help for women who have endured abuse led by Prison Missionary Marie Hatchell who leads these classes in women's correctional facilities.

7. MORE ANNOUNCEMENTS TO COME!

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Who is Welcome at Lake Robinson Baptist?

Matthew 22:1-14 1And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, 2The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 4Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. 5But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: 6And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. 7But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 10So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. 11And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14For many are called, but few are chosen.

Having been rejected by the religious rulers, Jesus demonstrates how the gospel would be shared with "all" people. So, who is welcome at Lake Robinson Baptist?

  • "Religious" and "Lost" are welcome. Religious people believe in living a moral life. They may pray and occasionally go to church. Lost people are hanging around the highways and hedges and do not seem to have any spiritual direction in their lives. Both "religious lost" and "regular lost" need the wedding garment to attend the marriage supper. They both need the righteousness of Christ.
  • Rich and Poor are welcome. The ones who were originally bidden to the wedding supper were probably those with financial resources. The ones at the highways are probably the poor. Both rich and poor need to repent of their sins and believe the gospel. The gospel is the great equalizer as no one is so wealthy that they do not need it and no one is so poor that they cannot obtain it.
  • "Good and Bad" are welcome. Jesus said that He did not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. There are what considered "good" sinners and those who are considered to be "bad" sinners. You may be living in sin and yet are keeping your head above the proverbial water. You seem to be handling your sin - the "good" sinner. You may be the "bad" sinner. Sin has overwhelmed you and has cost you much, such as your family, your job, your health, or even your freedom. The gospel is what the good and bad sinner needs and both are welcome.
  • Nationals and foreigners are welcome. In Matthew 20:19 Jesus commands believers to go to all nations. People born in the USA are loved by God and have a precious soul. People born outside of the USA are loved by God and have a precious soul.
  • Red and Yellow, Black and White are welcome. Re 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; ​Revelation tells us that people from all families, all languages, all peoples, and all nations will be represented in heaven. Every person with every color and pigment of skin need Jesus and are welcome.

If you are reading this then you are welcome!

Christians and Lazy Thinking

People, by nature, are lazy thinkers.

This is not an insult but a fact. Studies suggests that what we have already learned has strong neurological connections. To learn new things we must build new connections between neurons which causes discomfort or what we may call "brain strain". These connections are strengthened through repetition; practice, homework, meditation, and memorization until they are strong enough to be easily accessed.  

It is hard to learn something new or to think differently. When presented with a problem we usually rely on those old neuron connections to come up with a quick solution. If we are forced to create new neurological connections to solve a problem it takes more concentration. There are many things that can hinder this such as distractions, temptations, and fear. For instance, schools have been providing breakfasts and lunches for students under the theory that if they are not distracted by hunger they learn better. It has been proven that students with poor eyesight improve performance after getting glasses; if they are concentrating on the subject matter instead of trying to see they learn more.

One of the biggest obstacles to problem solving, proper decision making, and thinking is the biological make- up of our brains. We automatically have a bias based on what we have already learned.

Yale Professor Shane Frederick developed the "Cognitive Reflection Test" which demonstrates this practically. The test question is "​A bat and ball together costs $1.10. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?"

  • What is your answer? If you answered that the ball costs $0.10 then you are wrong and guilty of using lazy thinking in this instance. The correct answer is $0.05.  
  • If you said the ball costs $0.10 and the bat is $1 more then the bat would cost $1.10 by itself making the total $1.20.
  • If you said the ball is $0.05 and the bat costs $1 more then the bat would cost $1.05 by itself making the total $1.10

The above example reveals one of the biggest problems with "lazy thinking". When relying on what we already know instead of looking at something analytically we often come to the wrong conclusions.  

Examples of lazy thinking are prevalent in our society. Take the recent election for instance. Most people supported the candidate based on their biases (the old tried and true connections). Those biases are often strengthened by surrounding yourself with people who believe exactly the way you do and getting news from sources that echo those biases. The result of this is people repeated talking points without actually understanding the points they are making.

Take these same biases, the echo chambers which reinforce those biases, and now add an emotional investment to those biases. Maybe these biases bring social acceptance, a sense of identity, or perhaps a person has invested a lot of time or resources into it. Let's say that a person has become active in one particular political party, has donated his time to campaign for the candidate, and gave money to the candidate. It is now almost impossible for this person to critically look at the candidate.

Now take the biases, the echo chambers, the emotional investment and add "evidence" to it.  For instance, if this person is a Clinton supporter the evidence she won the popular vote emboldens their view. If  this person is a Trump supporter the evidence that he won the electoral vote emboldens their view.

But what has this to do with church, religion, or God?

Lazy thinking with its strong neurological connections along with their biases and emotional attachments do not have a cut-off switch when someone goes to church, prays, reads the bible, or gets saved.

Here are a few questions:

  • What do you believe?
  • Why do you believe it?
  • What led you to this conclusion?
  • Can you defend it?
  • How do you know the will of God?

Many people may know what they believe but have not analyzed it to make it their own beliefs. They are much like the political crowd which echoes the voices around them but have no idea why they believe it.

God does not want you to turn off your brain. Psalm chapter 119 is the great chapter on the Word of God. Five times in verses 15, 23, 48, 78, and 148 we are encouraged to meditate "in" the scriptures. This means we are to do more than just read the scriptures and commentaries. We are to mediate in them, ponder them, and think in them. This means that we examine them closely before reaching a conclusion. This results in having to think analytically about them. Before we can do this then we have to forget everything we thought we knew.

Our prayer life is more than just talking to God but listening and meditation. In Psalm 5:1 David asks God not only to hear his words but to consider his meditation as well. God often speaks to us as we meditate on the scriptures while in the Spirit. We often look for the answers to prayer in "signs" or evidence that reinforces our bias. We ask God something, we have a bias towards it, and then we see a sign that we believe reinforces it. This is dangerous because we will be convinced that this is God speaking to us when it actually may be completely wrong based on our biases. We often miss the will of God and answered prayer because of a failure to think and analyze.  

Paul tells the Philippians to "think on these things". The answer to worry is to think on good things. The more your thoughts are on the positive things the stronger those connections become. The less you think on your problems the weaker those connections become.

Paul also tells the Philippians to work out their own salvation. This is working out what God has worked in us. This is personal and it takes the ability to personally knowing the will of God for your life. We often miss the journey of sanctification because of lazy thinking. It is easier for someone else to tell us how to live, how to dress, where to go, etc.

There is also amusement which means without thought. We often do not think because we have turned off our brains with the constant thirst for amusement and entertainment. There is a constant stream of television, movies, music, social media, and other stimulus that hinders us from thinking. Some studies suggests that smartphones have hurt our ability to think.

​How often are you really thinking? Here is the average Christian:

  • Believe whatever is said in church
  • Bible reading is shallow that rarely feeds the soul
  • Prayer life limps along looking for signs that God has answered
  • When they do think its about problems which makes them seem worse
  • Do not have any personal convictions but follow the crowd
  • Are afraid of opinions and thoughts that do not align with the crowd
  • Must be entertained even in church
  • Preaching that entices thought cannot hold your attention

Christians, God has given us a marvelous brain which should be used for His Glory.  

Bearing Your Cross

Mt 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Matthew 16 reveals who Jesus is. Peter proclaimed that Jesus is the Messiah. But, when Jesus reveals His suffering and death, Peter rebukes Him. The disciples still saw Jesus as only a political Messiah and had political aspirations. Jesus tells Peter that he does not savor the things of God but the things of man. It is with this background that Jesus tells them the true cost of discipleship.

 

I - Cost our Pleasure (deny self)

Prosperity teachers claim that Christianity is about our personal pleasure. Even a casual reading of the New Testament reveals the opposite. Hebrews chapter 11 does not offer a list of prosperity preachers in its Hall of Faith but those who suffered for their faith. In the Book of Acts we as Christianity spread across the known world  Saints were scattered by persecution. History tells us how the apostles suffered for their faith and all but one died as a martyr.

The purpose of God is not our personal pleasure but for God get glory from our lives. He does this by conforming us into the image of Christ. Paul reminded the Philippians of this.

Php 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

When we think of denying self some obvious things come to mind.

  • Denying sin; the need to resist unto blood, striving against sin.
  • Deny self interest through serving others. We are to put God first, others second and ourselves last. When is the last time you did something for someone else while expecting nothing in return?​

There is another avenue of denying self that we often do not think about. That is denying self-identity. Romans chapter 6 tells us that when Jesus died on the cross that we died and were buried with Him; the "Old Man" is dead. The person we were before Christ no longer exists.

One of the reasons that people resist the gospel is that it calls for a look at our identities. One may think that he is a good person but the gospel reveals that he is not good enough to please God as he is and needs the righteousness of Christ.

Romans teaches us that through resurrection power, we walk in newness of life. This is God's Spirit living in and through us. Salvation is not only a changed life but an exchanged life.

 Ga 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Our identities are now wrapped up in Christ; we are known as Christians. To deny ourselves is to deny our identities outside of Christ. Our identites in Christ supersedes all other identities. We are no longer just husbands and wives but Christian husbands and wives. We are no longer just business men but Christian business men. The only identity that is eternal is our Christian identity. There will be a day when we may be widowed and no longer have a spouse and a day when we are no longer able to work. There is no marriage in heaven, no worldly possessions in heaven, and no worldly occupation in heaven. We are Christians in heaven who have laid up their treasures in eternity.

Denying any identity outside of Christ can be difficult because being "lovers of their own selves" is part of our make-up in then flesh. Teens often identify themselves through their peer group and adults often identify themselves through their jobs or possessions.

What happens when a person feels their identity is being attacked? During the Stock Market crash many traders committed suicide as their identity of success faded away. Empty nesters often have marriage struggles as their identity as a parent has changed. A missionary or pastor who have their identities wrapped up in the ministry may be tempted to quit if their door to service closes.

To follow Christ will cost our pleasure but it will also.....

 

II - Cost our Pride (take up cross)

The cross of Christ is synonymous with reproach. The Old Testament reveals that a person who dies on a tree was considered to be accursed of God. The Roman criminal who died on a cross was considered to be the vilest of criminals.

The disciples were looking for their place in His Kingdom and even debated who would sit on the right and left hand of Jesus. Instead of the glory and prestige of being part of Jesus cabinet, they are offered the shame and reproach of being identified with Him.

Modern Christianity has attempted to take the reproach of the cross away. In the 1970's the sound track and play "Jesus Christ Superstar" attempted to make Jesus cool. Today, churches across America peddle a "cool" brand of Jesus. The music is "cool", the preacher is "cool", the light and sound production is "cool", the lifestyle is "cool", the morality is "cool", and the message is "cool". Modern Christianity teaches us to be politically correct and non-offensive to everyone. The ultimate goal seems to be accepted by the same world that Jesus said hated Him and would hate the Believer as well.

The writer of the Book of Hebrews does not tell us to be "cool" but tells us to bear His reproach without or outside of the camp. This is the place outside of public acceptance and applause. The Old Testament scapegoat bore the sins of the people and was driven from the camp. Jesus is our Scapegoat who bore our sins and reproach. We are to go unto Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach and shame.

Heb 13:13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

The cross is also identified with death. To bear our cross is to go into this world with death on our backs. We have died to self, sin, society (the world), and anything else that is outside of the will of God

Theologically, death is defined as separation of soul and body. The cross represents the things from which we are separated. These are not the things that we deny in the name of separation but the things that are separated from us because of our association with Christ.

Lu 6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.

The New Testament Christian understood the pain of losing the things that were dear to him for Jesus sake.

  • Many were separated from their families; Jesus warned that a man's enemy would be those of his own household.
  • Many were separated from their synagogues as any who professed Christ were to be kicked out.
  • Many were separated from their homes due to being scattered by persecution.
  • Many were separated from their jobs and livelihood as they were kicked out of the guilds.
  • Many were separated from their dignity as they were mocked for their faith

The message that Jesus had for His ambitious disciples is that there is no crown without a cross. For the modern Christian the message is the same. There is a personal cross reserved for each of us because of our identity with Christ. This cross will mean reproach, suffering, and death to us.

Mr 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

The reproach of Christ and identification with Him is a normal part of the Christian life. Jesus tells us that if we are ashamed of Him then He would be ashamed of us. The Believer's baptism is a public acknowledgement of and identification with Jesus.

To be His disciple is to take up your cross with all of the reproach and suffering that is accompanied with it.

Not only, does being a disciple cost our pleasure and pride but also....

 

III - Our Plans (follow me)

A Yiddish proverb says,  "Man plans, God laughs."

Our plans represent our dreams, desires, and personal wills. We imagine what our lives should be like. In this fantasy we see how everything just works out with little or no obstacles. Then we begin to move towards that utopia as we  plan our days, our weeks, our months, and our years to make our dreams come to pass. Our imagination paints a picture where not only have we planned out our own lives but have controlled the lives of others to make this dream a reality. Others have become pieces of our own puzzle without their own thoughts, lives or wills. This is just a price that others must pay in order for everything to make sense in our world. If our ideal life is to come to pass then we must control every aspect of our plan. 

Along the way we try to either fit Jesus into our plans or attempt to drag Him along on our journey while convincing ourselves that we are living in the will of God.

But what happens when our plans fall apart and dreams are crushed? The Christian will often wonder where they went wrong. He or she may wonder if God has abandoned them. There is often confusion because things are not supposed to go the way they are going. This is whale's belly for Jonah, the wrestling match in a cave for Jacob, the fireside chats of Peter, and the despondent walk on the road to Emmaus.

This is the life of many as they learn the difference between their own lives and following Jesus.

Jesus' command is "follow me". Following Him does not lead to the velvet robes and comfortable beds of kings but the exact opposite.

Mt 8:20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

Abraham followed God from the comforts of Ur. Matthew followed Jesus from the comforts of his career. Paul followed Jesus from the comfort of his religion. Where do we follow Jesus?

  • Follow Him to the Garden of Gethsemane  where he prayed in agony
  • Follow Him to the unfair trials
  • Follow Him to the scourging
  • Follow Him to the Via Della Rosa or the way of suffering to the cross
  • Follow Him in resurrection power

Conclusion

What happens if we get what we want out of life? What if we are able to obtain all the pleasures we want, live life while holding onto our pride without ever experiencing reproach and shame, and if we make all of our plans and dreams come true?

Mt 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

If we succeed in getting the life we want then it may cost us the life that matters. Jesus goes on to ask the question if the price of getting what we want is worth it.

Mt 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Parenting Conferences by Eddie Watford

Whispers of Hope Parenting Conferences

"Breaking the Cycle"

Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith? I Thess 3:10

  

 

 

  The Youth Exodus

 


59%  of 18-29 year olds who were once active in church have dropped out of church at one time.

 32%  of  Millennial’s have no religious affiliation.

50%   of 18-29 year olds are less active in church than they were when they were 15 years old.

 

 

 

Parents and churches do not need statistics to tell us what we already know. Young people who are leaving church and turning their backs on what they have been taught has reached epidemic proportions.

Many parents are doing all they can to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Churches are doing everything they can to try to help young people serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Is it too late to break this trend of the youth exodus? Is there anything that parents  can do?

 

Parenting Skills

 

Children are not born with an instruction tag like an article of clothing.  Most parents are just trying to figure it out as they go; they are doing the best they can with the knowledge they have.  The problem many parents face is that no one ever taught them how to parent. As one pastor said, “My parenting skills consisted of taking my kids to church, doing my best to keep them from worldly influences,  a family altar, and trying to live right in front of them.”  One parent stated, “I raised my kids the way I was raised. If it was good enough for me then it is good enough for them”.  While others share another viewpoint. “I do not want to raise my children the way I was raised”, said another parent, “I want my children to have a better childhood than I had”

 

Most parents have only been taught to parent through the personal experiences of their upbringing and the very fundamentals of child rearing.  The bible says much more.

 

Conference Topics

 The importance of biblical relationships in the family

The importance of biblical roles in the family

The importance of biblically raising children

The importance of living a biblically rich (abundant) life.

The importance of realizing your children are moral free agents

The importance of not reliving your childhood (Breaking the Cycle)

 

 What to Expect!

 

Expect topics to be presented in a positive and encouraging way. The purpose of the conference is to help parents not hurt them.

 Expect to have fun. The goal is to have some fun while getting biblical help and learning parenting skills.

 Expect to get help!

 

What not to Expect!

 Do not expect everything in your family to change during one conference; change takes time.

 Do not expect to be told what to do .

The goal is to give parents the skills and the knowledge they need to make biblical decisions and the best decisions for their family. No one can lead your home except the one God ordains to do so!

 

 

Whispers of Hope Ministries

Brother Eddie Watford began ministering to troubled teens almost immediately after his salvation.  For over ten years he and Sister Cammie Watford worked with Juvenile Delinquents placed in group homes by the State. These young people were usually between the ages of 13 and 18. While he dealt with his fair share of “street kids”, he learned that many of the teens were raised by Christian parents and attended Independent Baptist Churches.  These teens could quote scripture and had a knowledge of fundamental doctrines. Brother Watford could see the pain in the eyes of these young people who never imagined that they would ever be incarcerated. In church after church that he  visited he was approached by broken hearted parents who didn’t know what to do with their teens.  Brother Watford could not get away from the pain he saw in all those faces.

 

 Most recently Brother Watford has been working with young offenders in Turbeville Correctional Institute. Many of  the inmates are teens who have been sentenced as adults.

 

 

 Contact

 

Whispers of Hope

Brother Eddie Watford

Phone: 843-332-0270

E-mail:  whsprsofhope@aol.com

Why live in defeat?

Does this sound like your life?

  • You know that you are saved but lately do not "feel" like a Christian?
  • You find yourselves living under the power of the flesh or old man?
  • You have besetting sin in your life and sin is reigning over you?
  • You live in shame over secret sin?

 

  • The harder you try to do right the more you seem to fail?
  • Because you fail over and over again you question whether you are saved?
  • You feel that your flesh is so strong that you have no choice but to sin?
  • You struggle to pray?
  • The roller coaster you are on makes you question God's care and love for you?

 

THE ANSWER

 I - It starts with being saved

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 Jesus died on the cross FOR our sins. He took our sins upon Himself. His sacrifice satisfies the Father's wrath for sin and through His blood we have redemption.

Heb 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

The blood of Jesus also allows us to have a clear conscience. When we repent, we have confidence that the blood of Christ satisfies God. We do not have to beat ourselves up or live in guilt.

Heb 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

 

 II - Understanding the dual nature

When we got saved our old nature did not go away; it is still there. God's Spirit has moved in making us a new creature. There will be a battle between these two natures.

Ga 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary the one to the other; that ye may not do the things that ye would.

There is going to be a battle between the old and name but good news is.........

 

III - Know the Old Man has been defeated

Ro 6:3-4  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

 When Jesus died on the cross we died with him. The Old Man died and was buried with  him. HE IS ALREADY DEFEATED. When this life is over the Old Man will cease to exist any longer.

When Jesus rose from the dead the New Man rose with Him. The Old Man is temporal but the New Man is eternal. The NEW MAN gives us the power to live the Christian life.

NEXT MONTH - HOW THIS KNOWLEDGE EMPOWERS US TO LIVE THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

Who is Lake Robinson Baptist?

1. The people are not cool.

Sorry to say it but we know we are not cool nor do we try to be.  There are churches that try to be "cool" and have programs that attempt to be cool. Instead of being cool, we often call ourselves a group of "MISFITS".  Jesus was a misfit. He did not attempt to blend in  with others to be accepted.

John 15:18 ¶ If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

 

2. The purpose is not self-improvement

 

We are not interested in helping you become a better you. Why is that? Because you cannot improve the fleshly man.

 Ro 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

Jesus does not want a better you but a new you. He has the power to make you a new creature through the new birth. After that, He gives you the power to live the new life through the power of the Holy Ghost which enables us to live in obedience to His word.

 

3. The preaching does not soothe sin

Yes, the preaching may step on your toes but we are not aiming for your toes; we are aiming for your heart. Jesus loves you too much to comfort you in your sins. His first message was repentance and desires for us to turn to Him from our sins. We know that there are churches that seek to make you feel comfortable in your sins.; whose purpose is  to make you feel good about yourself. We would rather you be RIGHT with God than to be comfortable in your sins.

 

4. The people are not perfect (neither is the pastor)

We believe that God has a high and holy standard and we should aim to be who God wants us to be. We also have mirrors and realize that we all fall short of His standard. Being hypocritical is to pretend to be something that one is not. Being realistic is to admit that we don't always live up to even our own standard. Thank God that He offers repentance and forgiveness when we do fail.

 

5. The place of worship is not flashy

Yes, our services still feel like church. People are smart; they know when churches are trying to camouflage religion in the culture of the world.  We do not attempt to hide they Savior behind smoke, mirrors, and entertainment. Jesus is the purpose of the church. He moved in our churches in our grandparent's day and still has the power to move today. When God moves we do not need man's substitutes.

If you do not have a church home you are welcome to visit with us.

Words for the Worried

Five times in Matthew 5:25-34 Jesus encourages His listeners to “take no thought” of various areas of concern in life. In old English to “take no thought” meant not to fret, worry, or be anxious. What did they have to be anxious or take thought about? Many of the listeners at the Sermon on the Mount were poor. In 5:26 they worried about Food. Jesus instructs them to pray for “daily bread”. In 5:27 they worried about their Fitness or health. In 5:28 they worried over their Frocks or clothing. Many of them only owned one outer garment. These represent the necessities of life.

John Grisham, in his book A Painted House, makes the statement to the effect that farmers worry when it does rain and worry when it does not rain. Not enough rain would affect their crops and too much rain would affect their crops.

We have the same nature. We are anxious and worry over everything. Jesus gives several truths in the text that can help us handle stress.

I – Know How You are Defined

Mt 6:25 ¶ Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Jesus asks if our lives are more than the food we eat or what we wear. Another words, you are not defined by what you have but who you are in Christ.

II – Know that you are Desired

Mt 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

The fowls of the air do not work and do not save and yet God takes care of their needs day by day. While God expects us to work, there may come a time in your life when you cannot work and cannot save. Jesus takes care of you the birds in their times of need so how much more will He care for the ones for whom He shed His blood.

III – Know who has Dominion

Mt 6:27  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

Jesus asks if any of us have control over our physical health. Who can, by worrying, make himself taller? Who can, by worrying, make his life longer? Who can tell the exact day and time of his death? There are things in which we have no control over. We must realize that God has dominion or is in control.

IV – Know not to Doubt

Mt 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Jesus states that if He can clothe the field with a beautiful flowers than how much more is He able to clothe us. Then adds the statement “O ye of little faith”. He expects us to trust His ability to take care of our needs. Remember that Satan’s attack on Eve was to convince her to doubt God’s word and His love and concern for her.

V – Know on whom you Depend

Mt 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

We see the fact that the Father knows our needs. We do not have to worry about these things as unbelievers may. We are not dependent on our jobs, our abilities, or our “luck” for our needs to be met. Our Father is able to meet our needs and will take care of us.

VI – Know what you Desire

Mt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

This is a precious promise. When our heart is on the heavenly, God will take care of the earthly. We can release our concerns over the things of this life and focus on the spiritual.

VII – Know the Deliverer

Mt 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

There is no need to worry today about what may happen tomorrow. Tomorrow will have enough problems to take care of itself. We know that for every evil of the day we have a Deliverer for it. If we can trust Jesus to deliver our souls from hell, we can trust Him to deliver us from our problems.

Parenting Conference

What is a Parenting Conference?

¨ It is a three nights set aside to focus on the issues that parents are facing.

¨ It is dedicated to assist parents by providing biblical principles on parenting

¨ It is to help parents who are feeling the stress of child rearing in an age where parents are blamed for everything

What to Expect?

¨ Expect topics to be presented in positive way. The purpose is to help parents not hurt them.

¨ Expect to have fun while learning biblical principles for parenting.

¨ Expect to get help. Biblical teaching and preaching is available during the conference and a take home study guide  is available to help apply principles after the conference.

¨ Do not expect to be told what to do. You will be provided biblical principles but the parents are the God-ordained ones

¨ Do not expect for everything to be “fixed” in three days. It takes time to change habits.

Topics

¨  The importance of biblical relationships in the family

¨ The importance of biblical roles in the family

¨ The importance of biblically raising children

¨ The importance of living a biblically rich (abundant) life.

¨ The importance of realizing your children are moral free agents

¨ The importance of not reliving your childhood (Breaking the cycle)

¨ The importance of not reliving your childhood (Breaking the Cycle)

Anger in Marriage

Recently, in NC, a couple adopted a cockatoo named Peaches. Cockatoos have the ability to mimic people. They brought the bird home and soon learned that Peaches’ previous owners were a couple who is now separated. Peaches reenacts their arguments while screaming and shaking its head. I watched the video of peaches and while I could not make out what she was saying, ABC had to bleep out certain words. 

 

The link is here http://abcnews.go.com/US/peaches-cockatoo-repeats-previous-owners-marital-arguments/story?id=28890533

 

Several media outlets said that the bird captured the sounds of dying love.

 

Col 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

 

The text tells husbands two things; to love their wives and to not be bitter against them. These are two contrary and opposite things. A husband is to love his wife with the sacrificial love of Christ and not be bitter against them. Then it says not be not bitter against them.

 

The opposite of demonstrating love is to have bitterness or anger that cannot be appeased. This seems that the opposite of loving your wife is bitterness towards her.

 

The question we must ask is how do two people go from standing in a church with a gleam in their eyes proclaiming to love each other forever to being so angry and bitter that their love dies?

 

Step One: Anger

 

Anger is a natural reaction to a perceived threat. When someone does something that makes us feel threatened there is an instant emotion of displeasure. This displeasure may be useful like when we get angry at our own sin and repent. This displeasure may be hurtful when we act out of anger such as being rude to someone who we feel offended us. Anger within itself is not sin. What becomes sin is how we respond to anger.

 

Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

 

There is anger that is not sinful and anger that is sinful. Jesus’ heart was grieved with the hardness of Pharisee’s heart and he looked on them with anger in Mark 3:5. On the other hand, we are told in Colossians 3:21 to not provoke our children to anger.

 

We can be angry without sinning. In marriage, anger with your mate may be a warning sign that you need to communicate about something. We must consciously deal with anger when we recognize it. We may consciously choose to let go of the anger through mercy towards our mate. We may consciously choose to discuss what caused the anger and find resolution. Regardless of which we choose, anger cannot be ignored. Colossians 3:8 reveals that anger should be “put off” and Ephesians 4:31 that anger should be put away.

 

Step Two: Wrath

 

When anger is not dealt with it may turn to wrath. While we can be angry without sinning we cannot be wrathful without sinning. If anger is a small seed then wrath is the giant redwood that has grown out of it. It is amazing that a tiny seed can produce a tree that lives hundreds of years, over 300 feet high, and have a circumference of over 30 feet. It is also amazing how small disagreements can turn into major conflicts.

 

Wrath carries the desire for revenge with it. It is often associated with resentment and seething anger. Wrath is that boiling feeling right under the surface. When experiencing wrath there will often be outbursts of temper.

 

Wrath is so dangerous that the sun is not to set upon it.

 

Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

Many people interpret this verse to mean that married couples should never go to bed mad at each other. They believe that married couples should never go to bed until they work out their problems. Not every issue can be worked out in a day. The scripture says to not let the sun go down upon your wrath. Before the sun goes down we need to repent of our wrath.

It is said that some people have anger issues. It may be more accurate to say that they have wrath issues. The bible gives several behaviors that are associated with that angry wrath that seethes or rests in the bosom.

1 - Foolish people or those governed by their own temper instead of by the Spirit of God.

2 - People with a quick temper.

Ec 7:9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.

 3 - People who have a reputation of losing their temper.

 

Pr 12:16  A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame

4 -  People who have unproportioned responses to the cause of the anger.

Pr 27:3 A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both.

Jacob’s prophesy regarding Simeon and Levi was to curse their anger. He calls their anger fierce and cruel.

Ge 49:7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.

5 - People who are known for having troubled relationships and conflicts because of anger; work, family, lawsuits, fights, etc.

Pr 21:9 It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.

Pr 30:33 Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.

6 - People who have repeated problems associated with anger.

Pr 19:19  A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again

7 - People who habitually sin because of anger and find themselves dealing with guilt and regret over things done in anger.

Jas 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

 

We may look at these signs of angry wrath and tell ourselves that this does not define who you are. Take the time and look at these qualities in the confines of your marriage.

  • Do you find yourself quick tempered towards your mate? Do you have angry reactions towards them in ways you do not have towards others who may do the same things?

  • Is there a pattern of anger in your relationship? Are there a lot of arguments? Are there passive aggressive actions such as whispering under your breath, slurs, or purposefully doing things just to let your mate know you are not happy?

  • Are there overreactions to small situations in your marriage? Is there a lot of anger over relatively small incidents? Do major fights spring from minor disagreements?

  • Is there a constant underlying anger towards your mate? Do small things like the sound of their voice, the way they chew, or other minor things make your blood boil? Do you not look forward to seeing them at the end of the day or avoid conversations with them?

  • Are there often sudden explosions of temper towards your mate? Things like yelling, hitting walls, spinning tires, etc.?

Step Three: Bitterness

It seems that unresolved anger turns to wrath and unrepentant wrath can turn to bitterness.

 

This word bitter in the context means to have bitterness against a person means according to 1818 Webster’s Dictionary:

  • Extreme enmity, grudge, hatred, or excessive degree of implacableness of passions and emotions; as the bitterness of anger.

  • Implacableness means not able to appease or irreconcilable anger

The seed of anger that grew into a great Redwood of wrath is now an entire forest of bitterness. That anger has grown to the point it seeks revenge for the perceived offense. Revenge is not enough to appease this anger. At this point there is nothing the other person can do that will change the way you feel about them. You cannot let go of the past. You do not have capacity to forgive to the point you can have a normal relationship.

Ro 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

 

Steven Stosny who runs marriage boot camps and is the founder of CompassionPower says the following.

By the time couples come to our boot camps for chronic resentment, anger, or emotional abuse, they have developed entrenched habits of protecting their respective vulnerabilities by devaluing each other

 

……. As compassion decreases, resentment automatically rises, making common problems insoluble. If unfettered by the better angels of our nature, resentment inevitably turns into contempt.

 

Notice that Dr. Stosny theorizes that there is a correlation between decreased compassion and increased resentment.

Compassion is associated with mercy and mercy is associated with forgiveness.

1Ti 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

 

Where there is no mercy and compassion there is no forgiveness. Where there is no forgiveness bitterness will rule in the heart.

I have witnessed this bitterness first hand during marriage counselling. I attempted to help a couple which had deep problems. I watched as the wife sobbed and tears ran down her face. The husband’s response to her broken heart was anger and hostility. The same woman to whom he married, to whom he declared his love, and to whom he would have given his life he now lashes out to in anger while her heart breaks. That day I witnessed dying love.

Is There Hope?

Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

 

The first step is to stop the seed of anger before it grows. It is to respond to anger before it turns to wrath.

Next, wrath must be dealt with through repentance.

Finally, anger, wrath, and bitterness must be put off. Trying to let go of these things are not enough. You cannot put off things without putting something on.

Col 3:8-10 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth  Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Col 3:12-14 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

We must replace the negative with the positive. Anger and wrath should be replaced by kindness, humility, meekness (self-control), longsuffering, forbearing, and forgiveness.

Eph 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

We must replace bitterness, wrath, clamour (loud outbursts), and evil speaking (to and about each other) with kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness.

2015 Outreaches

 

 Lu 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

 

Our goal at Lake Robinson Independent Baptist is to both reach others with the Good News. We want to help reach the world through Faith Promise Missions. We want to help those who are hurting in our own community. We have several ways we hope to help those in our own community.

1. By preaching and teaching of the Word of God.

2. Children's Church during Sunday Morning Worship. Preacher Jason Pope uses object lessons to teach bible truth to children prior to the morning sermon.

3. By community outreaches which include Gospel tracts.

4. Parenting conference and classes to help parents looking for biblical wisdom with their most important ministry; their children. Classes are led by Missionary Eddie Watford who has over a decade experience with helping youth.

5. Grief mentoring for those who have lost a loved one led by Missionary Henry Hatchell.

6.  Dealing with abuse classes. Biblical help for women who have endured abuse led by Prison Missionary Marie Hatchell who leads these classes in women's correctional facilities.

7. MORE ANNOUNCEMENTS TO COME!

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Who is Welcome at Lake Robinson Baptist?

Matthew 22:1-14 1And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, 2The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 4Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. 5But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: 6And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. 7But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 10So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. 11And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14For many are called, but few are chosen.

Having been rejected by the religious rulers, Jesus demonstrates how the gospel would be shared with "all" people. So, who is welcome at Lake Robinson Baptist?

  • "Religious" and "Lost" are welcome. Religious people believe in living a moral life. They may pray and occasionally go to church. Lost people are hanging around the highways and hedges and do not seem to have any spiritual direction in their lives. Both "religious lost" and "regular lost" need the wedding garment to attend the marriage supper. They both need the righteousness of Christ.
  • Rich and Poor are welcome. The ones who were originally bidden to the wedding supper were probably those with financial resources. The ones at the highways are probably the poor. Both rich and poor need to repent of their sins and believe the gospel. The gospel is the great equalizer as no one is so wealthy that they do not need it and no one is so poor that they cannot obtain it.
  • "Good and Bad" are welcome. Jesus said that He did not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. There are what considered "good" sinners and those who are considered to be "bad" sinners. You may be living in sin and yet are keeping your head above the proverbial water. You seem to be handling your sin - the "good" sinner. You may be the "bad" sinner. Sin has overwhelmed you and has cost you much, such as your family, your job, your health, or even your freedom. The gospel is what the good and bad sinner needs and both are welcome.
  • Nationals and foreigners are welcome. In Matthew 20:19 Jesus commands believers to go to all nations. People born in the USA are loved by God and have a precious soul. People born outside of the USA are loved by God and have a precious soul.
  • Red and Yellow, Black and White are welcome. Re 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; ​Revelation tells us that people from all families, all languages, all peoples, and all nations will be represented in heaven. Every person with every color and pigment of skin need Jesus and are welcome.

If you are reading this then you are welcome!

Christians and Lazy Thinking

People, by nature, are lazy thinkers.

This is not an insult but a fact. Studies suggests that what we have already learned has strong neurological connections. To learn new things we must build new connections between neurons which causes discomfort or what we may call "brain strain". These connections are strengthened through repetition; practice, homework, meditation, and memorization until they are strong enough to be easily accessed.  

It is hard to learn something new or to think differently. When presented with a problem we usually rely on those old neuron connections to come up with a quick solution. If we are forced to create new neurological connections to solve a problem it takes more concentration. There are many things that can hinder this such as distractions, temptations, and fear. For instance, schools have been providing breakfasts and lunches for students under the theory that if they are not distracted by hunger they learn better. It has been proven that students with poor eyesight improve performance after getting glasses; if they are concentrating on the subject matter instead of trying to see they learn more.

One of the biggest obstacles to problem solving, proper decision making, and thinking is the biological make- up of our brains. We automatically have a bias based on what we have already learned.

Yale Professor Shane Frederick developed the "Cognitive Reflection Test" which demonstrates this practically. The test question is "​A bat and ball together costs $1.10. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?"

  • What is your answer? If you answered that the ball costs $0.10 then you are wrong and guilty of using lazy thinking in this instance. The correct answer is $0.05.  
  • If you said the ball costs $0.10 and the bat is $1 more then the bat would cost $1.10 by itself making the total $1.20.
  • If you said the ball is $0.05 and the bat costs $1 more then the bat would cost $1.05 by itself making the total $1.10

The above example reveals one of the biggest problems with "lazy thinking". When relying on what we already know instead of looking at something analytically we often come to the wrong conclusions.  

Examples of lazy thinking are prevalent in our society. Take the recent election for instance. Most people supported the candidate based on their biases (the old tried and true connections). Those biases are often strengthened by surrounding yourself with people who believe exactly the way you do and getting news from sources that echo those biases. The result of this is people repeated talking points without actually understanding the points they are making.

Take these same biases, the echo chambers which reinforce those biases, and now add an emotional investment to those biases. Maybe these biases bring social acceptance, a sense of identity, or perhaps a person has invested a lot of time or resources into it. Let's say that a person has become active in one particular political party, has donated his time to campaign for the candidate, and gave money to the candidate. It is now almost impossible for this person to critically look at the candidate.

Now take the biases, the echo chambers, the emotional investment and add "evidence" to it.  For instance, if this person is a Clinton supporter the evidence she won the popular vote emboldens their view. If  this person is a Trump supporter the evidence that he won the electoral vote emboldens their view.

But what has this to do with church, religion, or God?

Lazy thinking with its strong neurological connections along with their biases and emotional attachments do not have a cut-off switch when someone goes to church, prays, reads the bible, or gets saved.

Here are a few questions:

  • What do you believe?
  • Why do you believe it?
  • What led you to this conclusion?
  • Can you defend it?
  • How do you know the will of God?

Many people may know what they believe but have not analyzed it to make it their own beliefs. They are much like the political crowd which echoes the voices around them but have no idea why they believe it.

God does not want you to turn off your brain. Psalm chapter 119 is the great chapter on the Word of God. Five times in verses 15, 23, 48, 78, and 148 we are encouraged to meditate "in" the scriptures. This means we are to do more than just read the scriptures and commentaries. We are to mediate in them, ponder them, and think in them. This means that we examine them closely before reaching a conclusion. This results in having to think analytically about them. Before we can do this then we have to forget everything we thought we knew.

Our prayer life is more than just talking to God but listening and meditation. In Psalm 5:1 David asks God not only to hear his words but to consider his meditation as well. God often speaks to us as we meditate on the scriptures while in the Spirit. We often look for the answers to prayer in "signs" or evidence that reinforces our bias. We ask God something, we have a bias towards it, and then we see a sign that we believe reinforces it. This is dangerous because we will be convinced that this is God speaking to us when it actually may be completely wrong based on our biases. We often miss the will of God and answered prayer because of a failure to think and analyze.  

Paul tells the Philippians to "think on these things". The answer to worry is to think on good things. The more your thoughts are on the positive things the stronger those connections become. The less you think on your problems the weaker those connections become.

Paul also tells the Philippians to work out their own salvation. This is working out what God has worked in us. This is personal and it takes the ability to personally knowing the will of God for your life. We often miss the journey of sanctification because of lazy thinking. It is easier for someone else to tell us how to live, how to dress, where to go, etc.

There is also amusement which means without thought. We often do not think because we have turned off our brains with the constant thirst for amusement and entertainment. There is a constant stream of television, movies, music, social media, and other stimulus that hinders us from thinking. Some studies suggests that smartphones have hurt our ability to think.

​How often are you really thinking? Here is the average Christian:

  • Believe whatever is said in church
  • Bible reading is shallow that rarely feeds the soul
  • Prayer life limps along looking for signs that God has answered
  • When they do think its about problems which makes them seem worse
  • Do not have any personal convictions but follow the crowd
  • Are afraid of opinions and thoughts that do not align with the crowd
  • Must be entertained even in church
  • Preaching that entices thought cannot hold your attention

Christians, God has given us a marvelous brain which should be used for His Glory.  

Bearing Your Cross

Mt 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Matthew 16 reveals who Jesus is. Peter proclaimed that Jesus is the Messiah. But, when Jesus reveals His suffering and death, Peter rebukes Him. The disciples still saw Jesus as only a political Messiah and had political aspirations. Jesus tells Peter that he does not savor the things of God but the things of man. It is with this background that Jesus tells them the true cost of discipleship.

 

I - Cost our Pleasure (deny self)

Prosperity teachers claim that Christianity is about our personal pleasure. Even a casual reading of the New Testament reveals the opposite. Hebrews chapter 11 does not offer a list of prosperity preachers in its Hall of Faith but those who suffered for their faith. In the Book of Acts we as Christianity spread across the known world  Saints were scattered by persecution. History tells us how the apostles suffered for their faith and all but one died as a martyr.

The purpose of God is not our personal pleasure but for God get glory from our lives. He does this by conforming us into the image of Christ. Paul reminded the Philippians of this.

Php 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

When we think of denying self some obvious things come to mind.

  • Denying sin; the need to resist unto blood, striving against sin.
  • Deny self interest through serving others. We are to put God first, others second and ourselves last. When is the last time you did something for someone else while expecting nothing in return?​

There is another avenue of denying self that we often do not think about. That is denying self-identity. Romans chapter 6 tells us that when Jesus died on the cross that we died and were buried with Him; the "Old Man" is dead. The person we were before Christ no longer exists.

One of the reasons that people resist the gospel is that it calls for a look at our identities. One may think that he is a good person but the gospel reveals that he is not good enough to please God as he is and needs the righteousness of Christ.

Romans teaches us that through resurrection power, we walk in newness of life. This is God's Spirit living in and through us. Salvation is not only a changed life but an exchanged life.

 Ga 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Our identities are now wrapped up in Christ; we are known as Christians. To deny ourselves is to deny our identities outside of Christ. Our identites in Christ supersedes all other identities. We are no longer just husbands and wives but Christian husbands and wives. We are no longer just business men but Christian business men. The only identity that is eternal is our Christian identity. There will be a day when we may be widowed and no longer have a spouse and a day when we are no longer able to work. There is no marriage in heaven, no worldly possessions in heaven, and no worldly occupation in heaven. We are Christians in heaven who have laid up their treasures in eternity.

Denying any identity outside of Christ can be difficult because being "lovers of their own selves" is part of our make-up in then flesh. Teens often identify themselves through their peer group and adults often identify themselves through their jobs or possessions.

What happens when a person feels their identity is being attacked? During the Stock Market crash many traders committed suicide as their identity of success faded away. Empty nesters often have marriage struggles as their identity as a parent has changed. A missionary or pastor who have their identities wrapped up in the ministry may be tempted to quit if their door to service closes.

To follow Christ will cost our pleasure but it will also.....

 

II - Cost our Pride (take up cross)

The cross of Christ is synonymous with reproach. The Old Testament reveals that a person who dies on a tree was considered to be accursed of God. The Roman criminal who died on a cross was considered to be the vilest of criminals.

The disciples were looking for their place in His Kingdom and even debated who would sit on the right and left hand of Jesus. Instead of the glory and prestige of being part of Jesus cabinet, they are offered the shame and reproach of being identified with Him.

Modern Christianity has attempted to take the reproach of the cross away. In the 1970's the sound track and play "Jesus Christ Superstar" attempted to make Jesus cool. Today, churches across America peddle a "cool" brand of Jesus. The music is "cool", the preacher is "cool", the light and sound production is "cool", the lifestyle is "cool", the morality is "cool", and the message is "cool". Modern Christianity teaches us to be politically correct and non-offensive to everyone. The ultimate goal seems to be accepted by the same world that Jesus said hated Him and would hate the Believer as well.

The writer of the Book of Hebrews does not tell us to be "cool" but tells us to bear His reproach without or outside of the camp. This is the place outside of public acceptance and applause. The Old Testament scapegoat bore the sins of the people and was driven from the camp. Jesus is our Scapegoat who bore our sins and reproach. We are to go unto Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach and shame.

Heb 13:13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

The cross is also identified with death. To bear our cross is to go into this world with death on our backs. We have died to self, sin, society (the world), and anything else that is outside of the will of God

Theologically, death is defined as separation of soul and body. The cross represents the things from which we are separated. These are not the things that we deny in the name of separation but the things that are separated from us because of our association with Christ.

Lu 6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.

The New Testament Christian understood the pain of losing the things that were dear to him for Jesus sake.

  • Many were separated from their families; Jesus warned that a man's enemy would be those of his own household.
  • Many were separated from their synagogues as any who professed Christ were to be kicked out.
  • Many were separated from their homes due to being scattered by persecution.
  • Many were separated from their jobs and livelihood as they were kicked out of the guilds.
  • Many were separated from their dignity as they were mocked for their faith

The message that Jesus had for His ambitious disciples is that there is no crown without a cross. For the modern Christian the message is the same. There is a personal cross reserved for each of us because of our identity with Christ. This cross will mean reproach, suffering, and death to us.

Mr 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

The reproach of Christ and identification with Him is a normal part of the Christian life. Jesus tells us that if we are ashamed of Him then He would be ashamed of us. The Believer's baptism is a public acknowledgement of and identification with Jesus.

To be His disciple is to take up your cross with all of the reproach and suffering that is accompanied with it.

Not only, does being a disciple cost our pleasure and pride but also....

 

III - Our Plans (follow me)

A Yiddish proverb says,  "Man plans, God laughs."

Our plans represent our dreams, desires, and personal wills. We imagine what our lives should be like. In this fantasy we see how everything just works out with little or no obstacles. Then we begin to move towards that utopia as we  plan our days, our weeks, our months, and our years to make our dreams come to pass. Our imagination paints a picture where not only have we planned out our own lives but have controlled the lives of others to make this dream a reality. Others have become pieces of our own puzzle without their own thoughts, lives or wills. This is just a price that others must pay in order for everything to make sense in our world. If our ideal life is to come to pass then we must control every aspect of our plan. 

Along the way we try to either fit Jesus into our plans or attempt to drag Him along on our journey while convincing ourselves that we are living in the will of God.

But what happens when our plans fall apart and dreams are crushed? The Christian will often wonder where they went wrong. He or she may wonder if God has abandoned them. There is often confusion because things are not supposed to go the way they are going. This is whale's belly for Jonah, the wrestling match in a cave for Jacob, the fireside chats of Peter, and the despondent walk on the road to Emmaus.

This is the life of many as they learn the difference between their own lives and following Jesus.

Jesus' command is "follow me". Following Him does not lead to the velvet robes and comfortable beds of kings but the exact opposite.

Mt 8:20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

Abraham followed God from the comforts of Ur. Matthew followed Jesus from the comforts of his career. Paul followed Jesus from the comfort of his religion. Where do we follow Jesus?

  • Follow Him to the Garden of Gethsemane  where he prayed in agony
  • Follow Him to the unfair trials
  • Follow Him to the scourging
  • Follow Him to the Via Della Rosa or the way of suffering to the cross
  • Follow Him in resurrection power

Conclusion

What happens if we get what we want out of life? What if we are able to obtain all the pleasures we want, live life while holding onto our pride without ever experiencing reproach and shame, and if we make all of our plans and dreams come true?

Mt 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

If we succeed in getting the life we want then it may cost us the life that matters. Jesus goes on to ask the question if the price of getting what we want is worth it.

Mt 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Parenting Conferences by Eddie Watford

Whispers of Hope Parenting Conferences

"Breaking the Cycle"

Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith? I Thess 3:10

  

 

 

  The Youth Exodus

 


59%  of 18-29 year olds who were once active in church have dropped out of church at one time.

 32%  of  Millennial’s have no religious affiliation.

50%   of 18-29 year olds are less active in church than they were when they were 15 years old.

 

 

 

Parents and churches do not need statistics to tell us what we already know. Young people who are leaving church and turning their backs on what they have been taught has reached epidemic proportions.

Many parents are doing all they can to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Churches are doing everything they can to try to help young people serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Is it too late to break this trend of the youth exodus? Is there anything that parents  can do?

 

Parenting Skills

 

Children are not born with an instruction tag like an article of clothing.  Most parents are just trying to figure it out as they go; they are doing the best they can with the knowledge they have.  The problem many parents face is that no one ever taught them how to parent. As one pastor said, “My parenting skills consisted of taking my kids to church, doing my best to keep them from worldly influences,  a family altar, and trying to live right in front of them.”  One parent stated, “I raised my kids the way I was raised. If it was good enough for me then it is good enough for them”.  While others share another viewpoint. “I do not want to raise my children the way I was raised”, said another parent, “I want my children to have a better childhood than I had”

 

Most parents have only been taught to parent through the personal experiences of their upbringing and the very fundamentals of child rearing.  The bible says much more.

 

Conference Topics

 The importance of biblical relationships in the family

The importance of biblical roles in the family

The importance of biblically raising children

The importance of living a biblically rich (abundant) life.

The importance of realizing your children are moral free agents

The importance of not reliving your childhood (Breaking the Cycle)

 

 What to Expect!

 

Expect topics to be presented in a positive and encouraging way. The purpose of the conference is to help parents not hurt them.

 Expect to have fun. The goal is to have some fun while getting biblical help and learning parenting skills.

 Expect to get help!

 

What not to Expect!

 Do not expect everything in your family to change during one conference; change takes time.

 Do not expect to be told what to do .

The goal is to give parents the skills and the knowledge they need to make biblical decisions and the best decisions for their family. No one can lead your home except the one God ordains to do so!

 

 

Whispers of Hope Ministries

Brother Eddie Watford began ministering to troubled teens almost immediately after his salvation.  For over ten years he and Sister Cammie Watford worked with Juvenile Delinquents placed in group homes by the State. These young people were usually between the ages of 13 and 18. While he dealt with his fair share of “street kids”, he learned that many of the teens were raised by Christian parents and attended Independent Baptist Churches.  These teens could quote scripture and had a knowledge of fundamental doctrines. Brother Watford could see the pain in the eyes of these young people who never imagined that they would ever be incarcerated. In church after church that he  visited he was approached by broken hearted parents who didn’t know what to do with their teens.  Brother Watford could not get away from the pain he saw in all those faces.

 

 Most recently Brother Watford has been working with young offenders in Turbeville Correctional Institute. Many of  the inmates are teens who have been sentenced as adults.

 

 

 Contact

 

Whispers of Hope

Brother Eddie Watford

Phone: 843-332-0270

E-mail:  whsprsofhope@aol.com

Why live in defeat?

Does this sound like your life?

  • You know that you are saved but lately do not "feel" like a Christian?
  • You find yourselves living under the power of the flesh or old man?
  • You have besetting sin in your life and sin is reigning over you?
  • You live in shame over secret sin?

 

  • The harder you try to do right the more you seem to fail?
  • Because you fail over and over again you question whether you are saved?
  • You feel that your flesh is so strong that you have no choice but to sin?
  • You struggle to pray?
  • The roller coaster you are on makes you question God's care and love for you?

 

THE ANSWER

 I - It starts with being saved

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 Jesus died on the cross FOR our sins. He took our sins upon Himself. His sacrifice satisfies the Father's wrath for sin and through His blood we have redemption.

Heb 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

The blood of Jesus also allows us to have a clear conscience. When we repent, we have confidence that the blood of Christ satisfies God. We do not have to beat ourselves up or live in guilt.

Heb 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

 

 II - Understanding the dual nature

When we got saved our old nature did not go away; it is still there. God's Spirit has moved in making us a new creature. There will be a battle between these two natures.

Ga 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary the one to the other; that ye may not do the things that ye would.

There is going to be a battle between the old and name but good news is.........

 

III - Know the Old Man has been defeated

Ro 6:3-4  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

 When Jesus died on the cross we died with him. The Old Man died and was buried with  him. HE IS ALREADY DEFEATED. When this life is over the Old Man will cease to exist any longer.

When Jesus rose from the dead the New Man rose with Him. The Old Man is temporal but the New Man is eternal. The NEW MAN gives us the power to live the Christian life.

NEXT MONTH - HOW THIS KNOWLEDGE EMPOWERS US TO LIVE THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

Who is Lake Robinson Baptist?

1. The people are not cool.

Sorry to say it but we know we are not cool nor do we try to be.  There are churches that try to be "cool" and have programs that attempt to be cool. Instead of being cool, we often call ourselves a group of "MISFITS".  Jesus was a misfit. He did not attempt to blend in  with others to be accepted.

John 15:18 ¶ If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

 

2. The purpose is not self-improvement

 

We are not interested in helping you become a better you. Why is that? Because you cannot improve the fleshly man.

 Ro 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

Jesus does not want a better you but a new you. He has the power to make you a new creature through the new birth. After that, He gives you the power to live the new life through the power of the Holy Ghost which enables us to live in obedience to His word.

 

3. The preaching does not soothe sin

Yes, the preaching may step on your toes but we are not aiming for your toes; we are aiming for your heart. Jesus loves you too much to comfort you in your sins. His first message was repentance and desires for us to turn to Him from our sins. We know that there are churches that seek to make you feel comfortable in your sins.; whose purpose is  to make you feel good about yourself. We would rather you be RIGHT with God than to be comfortable in your sins.

 

4. The people are not perfect (neither is the pastor)

We believe that God has a high and holy standard and we should aim to be who God wants us to be. We also have mirrors and realize that we all fall short of His standard. Being hypocritical is to pretend to be something that one is not. Being realistic is to admit that we don't always live up to even our own standard. Thank God that He offers repentance and forgiveness when we do fail.

 

5. The place of worship is not flashy

Yes, our services still feel like church. People are smart; they know when churches are trying to camouflage religion in the culture of the world.  We do not attempt to hide they Savior behind smoke, mirrors, and entertainment. Jesus is the purpose of the church. He moved in our churches in our grandparent's day and still has the power to move today. When God moves we do not need man's substitutes.

If you do not have a church home you are welcome to visit with us.

Words for the Worried

Five times in Matthew 5:25-34 Jesus encourages His listeners to “take no thought” of various areas of concern in life. In old English to “take no thought” meant not to fret, worry, or be anxious. What did they have to be anxious or take thought about? Many of the listeners at the Sermon on the Mount were poor. In 5:26 they worried about Food. Jesus instructs them to pray for “daily bread”. In 5:27 they worried about their Fitness or health. In 5:28 they worried over their Frocks or clothing. Many of them only owned one outer garment. These represent the necessities of life.

John Grisham, in his book A Painted House, makes the statement to the effect that farmers worry when it does rain and worry when it does not rain. Not enough rain would affect their crops and too much rain would affect their crops.

We have the same nature. We are anxious and worry over everything. Jesus gives several truths in the text that can help us handle stress.

I – Know How You are Defined

Mt 6:25 ¶ Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Jesus asks if our lives are more than the food we eat or what we wear. Another words, you are not defined by what you have but who you are in Christ.

II – Know that you are Desired

Mt 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

The fowls of the air do not work and do not save and yet God takes care of their needs day by day. While God expects us to work, there may come a time in your life when you cannot work and cannot save. Jesus takes care of you the birds in their times of need so how much more will He care for the ones for whom He shed His blood.

III – Know who has Dominion

Mt 6:27  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

Jesus asks if any of us have control over our physical health. Who can, by worrying, make himself taller? Who can, by worrying, make his life longer? Who can tell the exact day and time of his death? There are things in which we have no control over. We must realize that God has dominion or is in control.

IV – Know not to Doubt

Mt 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Jesus states that if He can clothe the field with a beautiful flowers than how much more is He able to clothe us. Then adds the statement “O ye of little faith”. He expects us to trust His ability to take care of our needs. Remember that Satan’s attack on Eve was to convince her to doubt God’s word and His love and concern for her.

V – Know on whom you Depend

Mt 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

We see the fact that the Father knows our needs. We do not have to worry about these things as unbelievers may. We are not dependent on our jobs, our abilities, or our “luck” for our needs to be met. Our Father is able to meet our needs and will take care of us.

VI – Know what you Desire

Mt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

This is a precious promise. When our heart is on the heavenly, God will take care of the earthly. We can release our concerns over the things of this life and focus on the spiritual.

VII – Know the Deliverer

Mt 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

There is no need to worry today about what may happen tomorrow. Tomorrow will have enough problems to take care of itself. We know that for every evil of the day we have a Deliverer for it. If we can trust Jesus to deliver our souls from hell, we can trust Him to deliver us from our problems.

Parenting Conference

What is a Parenting Conference?

¨ It is a three nights set aside to focus on the issues that parents are facing.

¨ It is dedicated to assist parents by providing biblical principles on parenting

¨ It is to help parents who are feeling the stress of child rearing in an age where parents are blamed for everything

What to Expect?

¨ Expect topics to be presented in positive way. The purpose is to help parents not hurt them.

¨ Expect to have fun while learning biblical principles for parenting.

¨ Expect to get help. Biblical teaching and preaching is available during the conference and a take home study guide  is available to help apply principles after the conference.

¨ Do not expect to be told what to do. You will be provided biblical principles but the parents are the God-ordained ones

¨ Do not expect for everything to be “fixed” in three days. It takes time to change habits.

Topics

¨  The importance of biblical relationships in the family

¨ The importance of biblical roles in the family

¨ The importance of biblically raising children

¨ The importance of living a biblically rich (abundant) life.

¨ The importance of realizing your children are moral free agents

¨ The importance of not reliving your childhood (Breaking the cycle)

¨ The importance of not reliving your childhood (Breaking the Cycle)

Anger in Marriage

Recently, in NC, a couple adopted a cockatoo named Peaches. Cockatoos have the ability to mimic people. They brought the bird home and soon learned that Peaches’ previous owners were a couple who is now separated. Peaches reenacts their arguments while screaming and shaking its head. I watched the video of peaches and while I could not make out what she was saying, ABC had to bleep out certain words. 

 

The link is here http://abcnews.go.com/US/peaches-cockatoo-repeats-previous-owners-marital-arguments/story?id=28890533

 

Several media outlets said that the bird captured the sounds of dying love.

 

Col 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

 

The text tells husbands two things; to love their wives and to not be bitter against them. These are two contrary and opposite things. A husband is to love his wife with the sacrificial love of Christ and not be bitter against them. Then it says not be not bitter against them.

 

The opposite of demonstrating love is to have bitterness or anger that cannot be appeased. This seems that the opposite of loving your wife is bitterness towards her.

 

The question we must ask is how do two people go from standing in a church with a gleam in their eyes proclaiming to love each other forever to being so angry and bitter that their love dies?

 

Step One: Anger

 

Anger is a natural reaction to a perceived threat. When someone does something that makes us feel threatened there is an instant emotion of displeasure. This displeasure may be useful like when we get angry at our own sin and repent. This displeasure may be hurtful when we act out of anger such as being rude to someone who we feel offended us. Anger within itself is not sin. What becomes sin is how we respond to anger.

 

Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

 

There is anger that is not sinful and anger that is sinful. Jesus’ heart was grieved with the hardness of Pharisee’s heart and he looked on them with anger in Mark 3:5. On the other hand, we are told in Colossians 3:21 to not provoke our children to anger.

 

We can be angry without sinning. In marriage, anger with your mate may be a warning sign that you need to communicate about something. We must consciously deal with anger when we recognize it. We may consciously choose to let go of the anger through mercy towards our mate. We may consciously choose to discuss what caused the anger and find resolution. Regardless of which we choose, anger cannot be ignored. Colossians 3:8 reveals that anger should be “put off” and Ephesians 4:31 that anger should be put away.

 

Step Two: Wrath

 

When anger is not dealt with it may turn to wrath. While we can be angry without sinning we cannot be wrathful without sinning. If anger is a small seed then wrath is the giant redwood that has grown out of it. It is amazing that a tiny seed can produce a tree that lives hundreds of years, over 300 feet high, and have a circumference of over 30 feet. It is also amazing how small disagreements can turn into major conflicts.

 

Wrath carries the desire for revenge with it. It is often associated with resentment and seething anger. Wrath is that boiling feeling right under the surface. When experiencing wrath there will often be outbursts of temper.

 

Wrath is so dangerous that the sun is not to set upon it.

 

Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

Many people interpret this verse to mean that married couples should never go to bed mad at each other. They believe that married couples should never go to bed until they work out their problems. Not every issue can be worked out in a day. The scripture says to not let the sun go down upon your wrath. Before the sun goes down we need to repent of our wrath.

It is said that some people have anger issues. It may be more accurate to say that they have wrath issues. The bible gives several behaviors that are associated with that angry wrath that seethes or rests in the bosom.

1 - Foolish people or those governed by their own temper instead of by the Spirit of God.

2 - People with a quick temper.

Ec 7:9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.

 3 - People who have a reputation of losing their temper.

 

Pr 12:16  A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame

4 -  People who have unproportioned responses to the cause of the anger.

Pr 27:3 A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both.

Jacob’s prophesy regarding Simeon and Levi was to curse their anger. He calls their anger fierce and cruel.

Ge 49:7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.

5 - People who are known for having troubled relationships and conflicts because of anger; work, family, lawsuits, fights, etc.

Pr 21:9 It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.

Pr 30:33 Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.

6 - People who have repeated problems associated with anger.

Pr 19:19  A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again

7 - People who habitually sin because of anger and find themselves dealing with guilt and regret over things done in anger.

Jas 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

 

We may look at these signs of angry wrath and tell ourselves that this does not define who you are. Take the time and look at these qualities in the confines of your marriage.

  • Do you find yourself quick tempered towards your mate? Do you have angry reactions towards them in ways you do not have towards others who may do the same things?

  • Is there a pattern of anger in your relationship? Are there a lot of arguments? Are there passive aggressive actions such as whispering under your breath, slurs, or purposefully doing things just to let your mate know you are not happy?

  • Are there overreactions to small situations in your marriage? Is there a lot of anger over relatively small incidents? Do major fights spring from minor disagreements?

  • Is there a constant underlying anger towards your mate? Do small things like the sound of their voice, the way they chew, or other minor things make your blood boil? Do you not look forward to seeing them at the end of the day or avoid conversations with them?

  • Are there often sudden explosions of temper towards your mate? Things like yelling, hitting walls, spinning tires, etc.?

Step Three: Bitterness

It seems that unresolved anger turns to wrath and unrepentant wrath can turn to bitterness.

 

This word bitter in the context means to have bitterness against a person means according to 1818 Webster’s Dictionary:

  • Extreme enmity, grudge, hatred, or excessive degree of implacableness of passions and emotions; as the bitterness of anger.

  • Implacableness means not able to appease or irreconcilable anger

The seed of anger that grew into a great Redwood of wrath is now an entire forest of bitterness. That anger has grown to the point it seeks revenge for the perceived offense. Revenge is not enough to appease this anger. At this point there is nothing the other person can do that will change the way you feel about them. You cannot let go of the past. You do not have capacity to forgive to the point you can have a normal relationship.

Ro 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

 

Steven Stosny who runs marriage boot camps and is the founder of CompassionPower says the following.

By the time couples come to our boot camps for chronic resentment, anger, or emotional abuse, they have developed entrenched habits of protecting their respective vulnerabilities by devaluing each other

 

……. As compassion decreases, resentment automatically rises, making common problems insoluble. If unfettered by the better angels of our nature, resentment inevitably turns into contempt.

 

Notice that Dr. Stosny theorizes that there is a correlation between decreased compassion and increased resentment.

Compassion is associated with mercy and mercy is associated with forgiveness.

1Ti 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

 

Where there is no mercy and compassion there is no forgiveness. Where there is no forgiveness bitterness will rule in the heart.

I have witnessed this bitterness first hand during marriage counselling. I attempted to help a couple which had deep problems. I watched as the wife sobbed and tears ran down her face. The husband’s response to her broken heart was anger and hostility. The same woman to whom he married, to whom he declared his love, and to whom he would have given his life he now lashes out to in anger while her heart breaks. That day I witnessed dying love.

Is There Hope?

Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

 

The first step is to stop the seed of anger before it grows. It is to respond to anger before it turns to wrath.

Next, wrath must be dealt with through repentance.

Finally, anger, wrath, and bitterness must be put off. Trying to let go of these things are not enough. You cannot put off things without putting something on.

Col 3:8-10 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth  Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Col 3:12-14 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

We must replace the negative with the positive. Anger and wrath should be replaced by kindness, humility, meekness (self-control), longsuffering, forbearing, and forgiveness.

Eph 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

We must replace bitterness, wrath, clamour (loud outbursts), and evil speaking (to and about each other) with kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness.

2015 Outreaches

 

 Lu 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

 

Our goal at Lake Robinson Independent Baptist is to both reach others with the Good News. We want to help reach the world through Faith Promise Missions. We want to help those who are hurting in our own community. We have several ways we hope to help those in our own community.

1. By preaching and teaching of the Word of God.

2. Children's Church during Sunday Morning Worship. Preacher Jason Pope uses object lessons to teach bible truth to children prior to the morning sermon.

3. By community outreaches which include Gospel tracts.

4. Parenting conference and classes to help parents looking for biblical wisdom with their most important ministry; their children. Classes are led by Missionary Eddie Watford who has over a decade experience with helping youth.

5. Grief mentoring for those who have lost a loved one led by Missionary Henry Hatchell.

6.  Dealing with abuse classes. Biblical help for women who have endured abuse led by Prison Missionary Marie Hatchell who leads these classes in women's correctional facilities.

7. MORE ANNOUNCEMENTS TO COME!

Life Lessons from the Patriarchs

In Genesis 49 and 50, we see Jacob blessing his children. These blessings were prophesies regarding the future of the each tribe. But, there is also life wisdom to glean from these prophesies.

 

Rueben: Great potential is wasted because of a lack of self-control.  

Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch. Ge 49:3-4

It seems that almost every week we read of a pastor, a politician, or business leader who throws away great potential due to uncontrolled lust. Some fall by the way of sexual indiscretion, some fall by way of drugs or alcohol, or by some other passion that they have failed to control.

 

Simeon and Levi: Uncontrolled anger harms your testimony.

Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel. Ge 49:5-7

Shepherds were nomadic people and in the ancient world were known for their crimes against settlements. When Simeon and Levi slaughtered innocent people in Shechem, they failed to live up to the testimony of one the Abrahamic Covenant.

Recently Seattle area megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll resigned after months of controversy. The Mars Hill Church of overseers released a statement that said he was not guilty of "immorality, illegality or heresy” but was guilty of "arrogance, responding to conflict with a quick temper and harsh speech, and leading the staff and elders in a domineering manner."

 

Judah: God will bless those who will repent.

Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk. Gen 49:8-12

Judah committed a great sin with his daughter-in-law while mistaking her for prostitute. When she revealed what he had done he confessed that she had been more righteous than he. Now, we see Judah being chosen to be the tribe that the Savior would be from and the tribe in which the kingdom would be established. His three older brothers had committed heinous sins as well. But, Judah displayed true repentance and was established.

Many great sins have fallen. The issue is not whether someone has lived sinless but rather how they responded to that sin. God will bless those who repent and turn to Him from their sin.

 

Zebulun: God and His grace work in mysterious ways.

Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon. Ge 49:13

Up until this point in the text, Jacob’s sons were listed in birth order but Zebulun is the tenth born son. He is also a relative unknown and is only mentioned in scripture with the rest of his brothers. Furthermore, the tribe’s borders changed without explanation. They originally went from the sea to the lake but for some reason the seaside and lakeside area were inhabited by Asher and Issachar.

We can’t put God in a box. He works in ways that we do not know and cannot understand.

 

Issachar: God blesses hard work.  

Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens: And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute. Gen 49:14-15

Issachar’s name means “hired workman” and the text refers to him as a “strong ass”. He represents someone who works hard and pays his taxes.

There are pastors and church workers who often feel that no one notices the work they do. The homemaker often feels that the endless hours of work and taking care of children goes unnoticed. There are those who take care of family members, care for the sick, and serve others in the shadows and feel they are unnoticed. The family that honors God with their tithes may feel that it does not matter. But, God notices our hard work and sacrifices and God blesses it. If we want our children to be blessed then we need to teach them the value of hard work.

 

Dan: We need to think for ourselves.

Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. Ge 49:17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward. Gen 49:16-17

Dan is compared to an adder that hides in the dirt and strikes the horse without notice causing the rider to fall off. Samson was a judge from the tribe of Dan. He is not only known for his strength but also for his cunning and his riddles.

500 years before Christ, Chinese military leader Sun Tzu was known for his military brilliance. 2500 years later his tactics are still studied in military schools.

God gave us intelligence and it is important that we learn how to think for ourselves. Developing the ability to think for yourself will help you to be creative and strategic in your thinking.

 

Gad: It is important to live victoriously.

Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last. Gen 49:19

Gad’s name means a troop. The text tells us that he shall overcome.  The tribe is known for having brave soldiers who fought with King David.

Sadly, it seems we often hear about a great saint of God who has become overcome by sin and is no longer serving Jesus.

It is important that Christians learn to live victorious over sin, self, and the world. We teach our children how to live victoriously by living in victory in front of them.

 

Asher: You can live for God even if others don’t.

Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties. Gen 49:20

The tribe of Asher has a sad history. They inherited land by the sea and became rich with trade. Eventually, they seemed to have intermingled with the people of the land to the point where they lost almost all of their distinction. By David’s time, there were no princes that represented them; no judge or great ruler came from them. But, the prophetess Anna, prophesied over the infant Christ.

Others may quit living for God. Others may abandon their separation. But, you can still live for God even when no one else does.

 

Naphtali: Embrace life.

Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words. Gen 49:21

Naphtali’s name means to wrestle. The text compares the tribe to a deer in a wild who is free. It also says that he gives good words.

Many Christians don’t live they just exist. It seems that many are waiting to go to heaven but have quit living on earth. How can we testify how Jesus changes us and makes life better if we behave like we are miserable?

God has given us only one life to live. Like a deer set free we should be vivacious and full of life and communicate to others how wonderful the Christian life can be.

 

Joseph: God is not limited by our circumstances. Gen 49:22-26

Joseph was sold by his brothers, sent to prison by Potiphar, and forgotten by the butler. But, despite all these obstacles, God still blessed him.

Ben was a stereotype by many measures. He is a minority being raised by an uneducated single mother. In his early school years he was near the bottom of his class and was picked on by his classmates. He was known for his furious temper and even stabbed a classmate. But, his mother made sure that Ben read regularly and he developed a love for learning. He learned to control his temper. In 1987, Dr. Ben Carson led a team of 70 doctors as they separated seven month old conjoined twins.

We should not allow ourselves to have a victim mentality but realize that God can overcome our circumstances.

There are many other lessons that can be learned from Joseph such as we can expect life changing events, strength comes from faith and the grace of God, everything happens for a reason, and God is the source of blessings.

 

Benjamin: You don’t have to be great in the eyes of others to be used by God.

Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil. Gen 49:27

Benjamin is compared to a wolf who kills his prey and divides the spoil. Benjamin was the youngest son which means that the tribe would be considered to be the least based on the chronology of birth. But, despite this the text tell us that the tribe would be powerful. Out of this tribe came people who are started out small but became great. King Saul, who was so insecure that he hid at his inauguration became the first king of Israel. Esther was a beauty queen and Mordechai was on older man but the two of them saved Israel from the “Hitler” of their day. Saul, who later would be known as Paul, was from this tribe. Tradition says he was under five feet tall, bald head, and had poor sight but he would become the boldest of New Testament preachers.

Although we may seem small in the eyes of others, God can still use us in great ways.

 

The Line Between Leading and Lording

This week Seattle Mega Church pastor Mark Driscoll resigned after being on leave for several weeks as charges of pastoral abuse were being investigating. Driscoll and I will disagree on many points but this isn’t the purpose of this article. I simply want to address the charges of pastoral abuse. Mar Hills Church Board released a statement with the below assessment.

  • Arrogance

  • Responding to conflict with a quick temper and harsh speech

  • Leading the staff and elders in a domineering manner

Other leadership allegations surfaced which was not addressed by the board

  • He visited message boards under a fake name where he would attack critics.

  •  It is said that he would push anyone out of the church who did not agree with him

  • He had the by-laws changed to ensure he was control of everything.

  • There was a lack of transparency and accountability in which only a few people knew what he was paid and where the money went.

The disturbing thing is that many readers could probably replace Driscoll’s name and Mar Hills’ name with the name of other pastors and churches.

Pastors are warned of overstepping the bounds of authority.

1Pe 5:3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock

2Co 1:24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand

Peter tells pastors to take the oversight but not to lord over the flock. That is, we are not the Lord, Savior, or Sanctifier of His people. It is important for pastors to lead and warn but realize that he cannot take the place of God in people’s lives. Paul warns that we cannot have dominion or lordship over people’s faith. Pastors often seem to find it difficult to trust God with His people.

 A well-meaning pastor may overstep biblical bounds because of his attachment to the flock. A pastor will pray for the people, will preach to the people, will carry burdens for the people, and will serve the people. This deep emotional, physical, and spiritual investment can often make the actions of people very personal to the pastor. When a person not does not take biblical advice, when a person does not respond to preaching, or even gets out of church, the pastor may take this as a personal affront.

Sometimes a pastor mistakenly believe that it is his job to make people live right. A pastor who believes this may overstep the biblical bounds in an attempt to help others live for God. This pastor will often attempt to control all areas of a person’s life in attempt to ensure that they are right with God.

There are times in which pastors misunderstand their level of accountability before God. They believe that they will stand in account for everything that takes place in the lives of the people they lead. Pastors will definitely give an account but not for the actions and choices of other believers. They will give an account of themselves before God.

But, there are times when pastors act solely in their own interests. The churches they pastor often become the feather in their cap. They intervene in the lives of others because they see their actions as a personal reflection upon themselves. Another words, people will judge the pastor’s abilities, standards, and success based on the lives of the people he pastors. Some pastors will attempt to make others live right so they will look good in the eyes of other pastors.

Pastors also struggle with not being overbearing because many are so passionate about what they believe. Many are passionate about the Word of God, biblical doctrine, personal convictions, and many other things. The things clearly stated are matters of black and white and it can be discouraging when people reject light. But, pastors are also passionate about our convictions and standards (questionable things). Pastors can be so passionate about these things that they demand that everyone else live like they do. Sometimes the bible is taken out of context to support these matters of conscience. Again, it can be difficult to trust God with His people on these matters but it is something that must be done to maintain the biblical role.

As a pastor, I have struggled with many of these things. There are things that I believe passionately about and may not agree with church members when I see them do those things. But, if it is a matter of conscience or a difference in application of a biblical principle then I must trust God. There are times when I see people going down the wrong path and I have realized that I can warn them but not stop them. There have been times that I have been too invested in people’s lives and wanted to help them by making decisions for them. There were times earlier in my pastorate that I felt it was my job to make people live right and was accountable for it. To be quite honest, there were times that I was concerned about what others thought about me and it motivated my behavior.

Another confession is that I have not always handled things the right way. There have been times when I have been too harsh, arrogant, and quick to anger.

I am still seeking to be a balanced pastor. I don’t want to compromise God’s word and I don’t want to overstep the biblical authority of a pastor. It’s can often seem like a thin line to walk. I don’t know if I will always be able to walk that line but I will continue to try. I will probably make a few mistakes along the way but I still must continue to try.

The Suffering of Serving Others

Joh 11:35 Jesus wept.

We find Jesus weeping with the mourners of Lazarus. Later we read that he wept over Jerusalem.

The definition of ministry is to serve. In order to serve you must be willing to pour yourself into others. This means pouring yourself into others spiritually through prayer. It means pouring yourself into others emotionally by rejoicing when they rejoice and mourning when they mourn. It may even mean pouring yourself into others by being there for them physically.

When you pour yourself into others you open yourself up to the possibility of being hurt. This is one of the things that hinder us from serving others. There is the possibility that the people we serve will endure hardships that are beyond our abilities to help. Having poured yourself into them means that you suffer with them; hurting and helpless. Other times the people you try to help will refuse to be helped. You will be forced to watch them go down paths to their own detriment. Again, you will find yourself hurting and helpless. Sometimes those who you pour yourself into will turn on you. They may reject you, they may not appreciate your service, they may use you, or simply just respond with dislike. Once again, you find yourself helpless and hurting.

But, does the fear of being hurt justify not serving others? Should we go into a shell and isolate ourselves?

Our identification with Christ means being partakers of His sufferings. But, we must not look at the pain of serving others as just arbitrary suffering.

 Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

There may be suffering but there is also joy. There is joy in knowing that we are doing the will of the Father. There is joy in being conformed into the image of Christ. There is the joy of obedience. But finally, there is also the joy of those who actually are helped. I don't know the ratio between those who you try to help and those who you can actually help. But, it will make a difference in eternity. After all, someone else as served you.

 

The Sayings on the Cross

A Prayer for Forgiveness

Lu 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do

Forgiveness is available for all who will receive it.

A Promise for the Future

Lu 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise

Salvation is available for all who will receive Him.

A Plan for His Family

Joh 19:26-27  When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!  Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother!

Jesus offers tender care for those who are hurting.

A Plea to His Father

Mt 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Jesus suffers separation from the Father so man does not have to experience it for eternity.

 

A Plea for Fluids

Joh 19:28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

Jesus fulfilled all prophesy concerning Himself.

A Plan is Finished

Joh 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

A Person's Spirit is Forwarded

 Lu 23:46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

Perils of Pornography

 I Co 6:9 -10  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God

 

The word pornography is the combination of two Greek words. In our KJV the word "Fornication" comes from the Greek word "Porneo". The suffix "graph" means something written. So, pornography is the practice of writing or showing acts of fornication.

 

I Co 6:9 lists the sins that are associated with pornography.

A – Sexual Sins Listed

   1 – Fornicators; where we get the word “porn”

  • Sex outside of biblical marriage

   2 – Idolaters; heathen practice of temple prostitution

  • Prostitutes and whoremongers (men who use them)

   3 – Adulterer; married person going outside of marriage for sex

   4 – Effeminate; means soft; a man with the qualities of a woman

  • A young man kept for homosexual purposes
  • A man who gives his body for the use of other men
  • Note: Probably a cross-dresser could apply

   5 – Abuser of self with mankind

  • Sodomite/homosexual

 B – Sexual Sins Lusted

 

   1 – This sin is powerfully addictive;  it is called the New Drug and a group called “Fight the New Drug” writes this about it

"It's a discussion of brain chemistry: Viewing pornography is like pushing a button in the brain that releases four pleasure-inducing chemicals -- so you feel good. But here's the catch. The more chemicals released -- the more you want. It's a cycle, and it can get beyond your control. Your brain starts needing even-raunchier images to achieve the same high and it's hard to stop."

One counselor who helps with addiction writes

"Interestingly, dopamine is a neurotransmitter which causes desire, not pleasure. What this means is that many clients who come to mental health experts for help because pornography is destroying their relationships report not getting any pleasure from watching pornographic materials but are still unable to stop."

 

   2 – This sin is problematic

  • Users of porn suffer same issues as other addicts as it interferes with their relationships, jobs, finances, etc.
  • It is tied to feelings of guilt, depression, isolation
  • It destroys the bond of intimacy between couples
  • Porn users become more dissatisfied with mate and eventually must act or fantasize about the images just to be intimate with mate
  • 56% of all divorces involve at least one mate involved in it
  • Many people use the dopamine high associated with porn to fight depression; unfortunately, it causes more of it

 

  3 – This sin is prevalent with Church people

EX:50 percent of men viewed pornography within one week of attending a Promise Keepers stadium event… 54 percent of pastors said they viewed porn within the past year in a Pastors.com survey… in a 2003 Focus on the Family poll 47 percent of respondents said porn is a problem in their home.

 

   4 – This sin is prevalent with women

  • 1 in 3 porn site users are women and 10 million American women visit porn sites monthly
  • Women are a new target market for porn makers
  • Note: They have taken the characteristics of the romance novel and upped it
  • Many are wives, mothers, and active in church
  • Reasons for women porn addiction; Sexual abuse, exposure to it as a child, Loneliness,“Wimpiness” of men today as the men are often dominating and taking control in porn

 

 

  5 – This sin is prevalent with youth

  • Seven out of ten teens have been exposed to pornography.
  • NOTE: If they have unsupervised internet access assume they have seen it either accidentally, on purpose, via text from friend, etc.
  • Average age of initial exposure is 11
  • It is the premier tool teens use to educate themselves about sex
  • Note: As the internet kids come of age in the next ten years, porn addiction is expected to be an epidemic for the next generation.

 

This sin is becoming the biggest moral issue of our day. Those involved must break free from the bondage of sexual sin through repentance. There are many in the bible who were once bound by sexual sin but later lived for God faithfully. Some are David, Bathsheeba,  Rahab, and others.

Love of Convenience

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 

Christ’s teaching on love is often twisted or at the very least misunderstood. Instead of the sacrificial love that Jesus teaches, we often practice a love of convenience. Let us ask ourselves a few questions regarding love.

 

I – Is it based on Selfishness?

Years ago the singer Whitney Houston sang a song called "The Greatest Love of All". In this song she sings these words

The greatest love of all Is easy to achieve Learning to love yourself, It is the greatest love of all

She sings that the greatest love of all is learning to love yourself. Yet Jesus teaches that there is no greater love than laying down your life for OTHERS! I believe that most people are fully aware of how to love themselves. By nature we are selfish and self-centered. Often the deeds of love we practice are not done for the good of others but of self. We will often do good because we like the way it makes us feel. It makes us feel good about ourselves if we give to someone in need.

Often the emotion of “love” is not based on Christ’s premise of selflessness. The emotion is often confused with fear. We hold onto people very tightly not because we love them too much but because we fear how letting go will affect us. Is it that we love our children too much or are we afraid that we cannot handle it if something bad happening to them? Do we love our mates too much or are we afraid that we couldn’t handle it if they were to leave? Selfishness finds an easy hiding place behind the lofty ideals of love.

 

II – Is it based on Sacrifice?

Love is measured by sacrifice. We often hear of a “mother’s love” as an example of sacrificial love. I know mothers who risked their own lives and faced death in order to give life to a child. Even in the “easiest” pregnancies and deliveries there is the sacrifice of the mother’s body, the pain of delivery, then the late night feedings, the lack of sleep, and all of the other sacrifices of motherhood.

Using the comparison of the mother, does the following sound like sacrificial love?

  • Ignoring the cries of the infant because the mother doesn’t feel like getting up?

  • Using disposable income to pay someone to get up with the child?

  • To continue living as she always has with the assumption that somebody else will get up with the child?

You see, laying down a life means more than being willing to die for someone. It means being willing to live for someone else. The sacrificial love of the mother doesn’t end with facing the pain and (at times) possible death to deliver the child. But, it means to continue to sacrifice for the child after it is born. To continue to sacrifice for the child after it is born is laying down her life.

Now compare this to how we love each other and how we love the Lord. Many will state that they are willing to take a bullet for the Lord or for people in their lives. But, are you willing to lay down your living? Are you willing to leave the comfort of your home after a hard day’s work to visit a shut-in? Are you willing to call the lonely yet long-winded saint who is all alone? Are you willing to go out on a cold night to share the gospel with someone? Are you willing give up a Saturday hobby to participate in a church work day; willing to help work so others won’t have to work so hard? Are you willing to risk embarrassment to give a sinner a gospel tract?

 

III – Does it result in a Stirring?

Does the love you proclaim to have stir you? That is, does it move you? Does it drive you to action?

Today, we often think that emotional love is enough. The thinking is if we have feelings towards something it is sufficient. The bible does not say that God so loved the world that he sat around and thought about it and felt emotional about it. The bible says that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son. Does the mother sit around and feel bad for her crying baby because it is hungry or does she get up and feed it?

Do not be deceived into thinking that because you feel something towards someone that you have loved them. You have loved them biblically when you have sacrificially taken action towards demonstrating that love.

There is also often the mindset that someone else will do it. Someone else will do "something". The problem is that often everyone thinks that everyone else is doing something while in fact nobody is. There is a soul untouched, a shut-in left lonely, a grieving person left uncomforted, a desperate person left without hope, and so on. While everyone is "feeling" something nothing is getting done. People go to hell, feel unloved, go without comfort and hope while God's people sit around feeling emotional about them.

When is the last time you did something for someone else in which it inconvenienced you or really cost you something?

Moochanaries

Thought of the Week – Moochanaries (August 30, 2011)

A brother was in a gospel meeting in which there were several missionaries present. There, he heard one unidentified pastor joke to another, “Look at all the mooch-anaries here.”

While most churches and pastors have experienced a bad apple in the mission field, something is wrong when all missionaries as a whole are labeled in such a way. I don’t think the problem is that there are too many “bad” missionaries, but the problem is that there are too many good missionaries that are having a hard time getting to the field. IF the above example represents a prevailing attitude among pastors, then no wonder so many missionaries have such a hard time getting to the field.

Let us consider a few things. First of all, missionaries are operating according to the system that is in place. The ideal way for a missionary to be supported would be 100% through their sending church. But, for most churches, this is not possible. We have the current system in which missionaries raise support through local churches. When a missionary calls and asks to come our churches, yes, he is looking for financial support. Yet, we expect him to pretend that it isn’t the real reason he is calling. We expect them to say they covet our prayers or just want to share their burden. If they are truthful and say they want financial support in order to carry out their burden, they will often get labeled as someone who just wants money. Is this really fair considering that this is the system in which they get the money they need in order to get on the field?

Second of all, let’s consider the way many missionaries are treated by pastors. By the time a missionary makes it to the field, most have been on the road for several years and have been through hundreds of interviews. I agree that pastors need references and need to know what missionaries believe. But, some pastors attempt to force missionaries to answer questions that are way too personal in nature. Some expect them to answer questions that a pastor would never answer if they were questioned by their church. Just because we have something that they need, gives us no right to make them jump through hoops in order to get it. And, if a missionaries isn’t a member of a particular board, out of a certain school, or run with a certain crowd, many have no chance of getting support in certain circles. Is the Holy Ghost limited to leading us to only support missionaries from only one certain camp?

Lastly, let us remember that we are in this together. We may be able to reach our Jerusalem without the help of missionaries, but we will never reach the uttermost part of the world without them. How will the local church fulfil it’s comission without the help of missionaries?

The next time a missionary comes to your church, what will you wee? Will you see a “mooch”anary who wants your money? Or will you see a MISSIONARY who is helping you carry out The Great Comission?

Rememering 9/11

Pastor’s Thought of the Week – Remembering 9/11 It was a Tuesday morning, I had worked night shift at Mar Mac Wire, worked out, took a shower, and was watching the News before I went to sleep. I remember the initial report from Matt Lauer of the Today Show; “It appears a small plane has hit the World Trade Center”. Little did I know at the time that the events about to unfold before me would keep me awake all day. America would not sleep today either. Then, several minutes later many of us witnessed in horror as a passenger plane hit the other tower. The buildings burned and burned. Then the we began hearing of an attack on the Pentagon and the thwarted attacks by the heroes of Flight 93. This is the event that defines my generation. I wasn’t alive during Pearl Harbor or the assassination of JFK. But, there I sat with Brenda, dumbfounded, and not believing what was unfolding before me. We all have our stories and memories from that day. There are images that are etched in my mind; branded, like cattle. Some of these memories are that of people hurling themselves off the towers instead of burning to death. Who can forget the people, grey with soot and debris, running from the sight? Who can forget the brave reports of the heroes of Flight 93 who gave their lives in order to save others? Who will ever forget watching the firemen and police officers running towards the crumbling buildings while others ran out? I had the opportunity to go to NYC in 2006. The place I wanted to go above all others was Ground Zero. The tour bus let us out at a church across from Ground Zero. We waited in line to sign poster-sized paper and leave a message of condolences to those families who lost loved ones. Then we went across the busy road to the fence surrounding the construction zone where clean up was still going on. NYC is a very noisy city. But, five years later, there was a strange calm and quiet there. Sure there were cranes and construction workers making noise. But, not the regular noise of the city. It was if I was standing on hallowed ground. The first thing that shocked me was the size of it. Pictures did not accurately tell the story. Secondly, the amount of destruction that was still there years later. There were thousands of tons of debris left. Some partial staircases still standing. Some buildings still needed to be demolished. These buildings were too damaged to be occupied but did not fall. There were beams from the buildings that were destroyed placed outside of the contruction zone. These steel beams were twisted like they were made of rubber. There were pictures of the fallen heroes of that day. Being a history buff, I tried to explain to my children the significance of what stood before them. There were many just like me. We stood, we took pictures, we were emotional, and in awe. But there were some other tourists there. These were Muslims. The ground I stood on was just as hallowed to them as it was to me; but for different reasons. I remembered watching news reports of Muslims celebrating in the streets, shouting for joy, dancing, and praising their god for the death and destruction created. It is no accident that they are building a Mosque there. This sight is holy ground to them. I watched as the Muslim “tourists” take their pictures. They spoke quietly in Arabic to each other as I stared intently at them. I felt the anger rise in me. I wanted to say something. I wanted to ask them what satisfaction they received from this sight. Better judgment said that I should not. What many do not understand is the attackers of 9/11 practiced a religion which is foreign to most of us. This religion calls for the death of all those who refuse it. This religion makes no distinction between church and state. They teach that the state is run by the religious law and enforces it. It is not immoral to kill, steal, rape, etc. unless it is done to a fellow Muslim. All those outside of their religion are free game. Why would people living in caves attack a nuclear super power? Because they teach that the next great Inman will come at a time of Nuclear War. They teach that the Jewish Holocaust never happened. They reject that Israel has a right to exist. If they have their way, they would rip up our constitution, install strict religious law, and demand those of other faiths to convert or die. Knowing these facts, then why is Islam growing so fast in America? Ten years ago brave fire fighters, police officers, passengers, and ordinary citizens did what Jesus said was the greatest love. This is for a man to lay down his life for his friends. Americans are converting to a religion that takes lives instead of saving souls. How can this be? Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Mt 5:13. Could it be that Christians have lost their influence? Could it be that a watered-down, world-loving, self-centered form of godliness displayed has left a bad taste in the mouth of sinners? If American goes to hell, it is going to be because churches and Christians have failed.

Reality in Christianity

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. Galatians 5:16-17

 

The reality of Christianity is that there is nothing about God, Christ, or spiritual things that appeals to man. The desire for spiritual things is solely based on the Spirit of God which dwells within the Believer. This means that the only way to live the Christian life is in the power of the Spirit. Outside of the Spirit, man has no desire for God. Not only is there no desire but there is resistance to spiritual things.

The problem is that many Christians live in denial of this reality. Instead, there is a promotion of a form of Christianity that is not real. Living a form of Christianity that is not real will inevitably lead to a life of hypocrisy.

So what are some signs that we are living a form of Christianity that is not based in reality?

First is living in pseudo-victory. There are those who pretend that they don’t stuggle; they don’t struggle with temptation, they don’t struggle with discouragement, they don’t struggle to do what is right. According to them, there is no such thing as a valley. If you struggle, they will accuse you of lacking faith or living in sin. You may find yourself in the midst of people like this and wonder what is wrong with you.

The next sign is pride. The closer we get to God, the weaker and more sinful we will seem in our own eyes. Isaiah’s declared, “Woe is me” when in the presence of God. People who glory in their “Christian accomplishments” aren’t living in reality. We hear them brag about how clean they live, how they always pray through, how they are a bold witness, how they give, etc. We hear them testify of their strength. But, Paul learned the lesson that God’s strength is made perfect in weakness. The reality of Christianity is that we are in constant awareness of our weaknesses and inability to do anything without Christ.

We also see a “world-based” form of Christianity. This form does not distinguish between the spiritual and fleshly. The world is the world system that lives as if there is no God and God has no authority in their lives. It is based upon the lust of flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Those who hold to this form do not resist those naturally tendencies. They embrace them and say that they can do these things. Their claim is that any moral or scriptural restriction is legalism and those who hold to a standard are judgmental. This form of “Christianity” is basically a license to sin. The argument is that they claim they have trusted in Jesus and their particular act won’t send them to hell. So, if it won’t send them to hell it’s not wrong.

You may be reading this and your estimation of yourself is that you cannot live the Christian life in your own strength. You have realized that every time you attempt to live life in your own strength you fail. The longer you walk with God, the weaker you see yourself. You have realized that there is no rule you can put in place, no good intention, no good work you can do that will make you have a walk with God. You have realized that you are weak and completely dependent on God to live for Him.

Congratulations, this is real Christianity.

Where Discernment Begins

Genesi 27:4And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring [it] to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.

Discernment begins with obedience. This is a simple statement that many people do not like. I have had people attempt to argue this point with me. They are sure that they can discern the Lord’s will regarding life’s decisions while living in blantant contradition and opposition to God’s written word. Many act as if the bible has nothing to do with the decisions they make. They marry, spend money, live, choose careers, and attend churches with no regard to what the bible says about it.

Isaac attempted to bless Esau in contradiction to God’s word. In Genesis 25 we learn that God meant the blessing to go to Jacob. Isaac knew this but he let his personal preferences lead his decision making process. He allowed his senses to guide him along this process.

22And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If [it be] so, why [am] I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD.

23And the LORD said unto her, Two nations [are] in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and [the one] people shall be stronger than [the other] people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

In verse one we read that his eyes were dim. Isaac was to live by faith and not by sight. When he rejected God’s word, he gave up the only vision he had.

He could not trust his eyes and he begins to doubt. In Genesis 27 verse 20  he asks how the meal could be prepared so quickly. In verse 21 and 22 he is looking for assurance that this was Esau. He hears the voice of Jacob so he feels his hands. In verse 24 we see Isaac still isn’t sure because he asks if it is really Esau. In verse 25 he mistakes his favorite meal, venison, for goat. In verse 27 he smells Jacob.

But it APPEARED that everything had worked out. His testimony may have been that God “worked it out”. God provided the venison so it was prepared quickly, he got “assurance” that he was taking to Esau, and he blessed him. But this assurance did not last long before he realizes that he had been deceived. He not only was deceived by his wife and son but deceived himself as well. His eyes, ears, touch, taste, and smell failed him.

Many people today live by their senses and “feel” they are in God’s will or believe they have some sort of extra-biblical assurance. They are confident they are doing the right thing. Then an unexpected event reveals that they missed the will of God.

Please remember that you cannot go against the bible and be right.

Pressure to Bend

The Chick Fil A controversy brings our attention to more than just traditional marriage. It is a peek at the attack methods of those who dislike biblical Christianity. First, there was economic pressure in way of a boycott. This goes further than boycotting a policy but boycotting a belief. There is no policy to refuse service or employment to gays. Cathy stated a belief that he supported the biblical definition of marriage. Secondly, there is name calling. Cathy and all patrons of Chick Fil A are beingcalled “haters”, prejudiced, homophobes, and many other names. Some have claimed Cathy supports the Ugandan law of executing homosexuals. The truth is that he gives money to the Family Research Council who lobbied to have the language of a congressional resolution against Uganda changed. The FRC did not support violence against gays but wanted the language that stated homosexuality being a “right” removed. But, most people get their information from the liberal media spin masters and do not know this.

Thirdly, there are instances of vandalism and verbal abuse against Chick Fil A and their employees.

This pressure is meant to silence those who oppose the views of the pro-homosexual agenda. There is already talk from liberals regarding limiting free speech. The argument is that if someone’s speech incites violence

Gospel Preaching in postmodern times

Pastor’s thought of the Week: Gospel preaching in postmodern times

1Co 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

The heart of any ministry should be the preaching of the gospel. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ still has the power to save souls and deliver them from the penalty and power of sin.

But, there seems to be a disturbing movement in modern Christianity away from preaching and the gospel. The definition of preach is “to proclaim or make known by a sermon”.  A sermon means “a discourse for the purpose of religious instruction or exhortation, especially one based on a text of Scripture and delivered by a member of the clergy as part of a religious service.” Preaching is held in regard in the bible. Preaching is the mechanism which God chooses to use to save sinners.

1Co 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

But if God holds preaching in such high regard then why is it so despised in modern Christendom? Why is it that preaching is the very part of the service that is minimized and disregarded? Experts on church building tell us in order to grow a church there should be an emphasis on music and to keep the sermons short and non-offensive. Churches are filled with drama teams, music bands, puppeteers, and all sorts of entertainment packaged as “Ministry”.While these things may have positive or even religious themes it does not meet the definition of preaching. Preaching is an unwelcome necessity of many church services. We expect this attitude from the perishing who see preaching as foolishness but not from professing Christians.

1Co 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

So, why the disregard for preaching? Here are a few possibilities:

 

  • Many people who profess to be Christians really aren’t

 

  • Many people in churches are worldly and have little use for the spiritual

 

  • Many do not even know the difference between the spiritual and fleshly

 

  • Many preachers are powerless

 

  • People do not want to face their sinfulness

 

  • Many preachers want to build congregations but not people

 

  • Many preachers just aren’t called

 

  • We are in the last days where people are lovers of their own selves. They want to focus on self and not on God.

 

 

What is your attitude toward preaching? What does it say about you?

Worry

Thought of the Week – Worry

Worry has been defined as “ to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; fret.” “To torment with cares and anxiety.”

Notice the word “torment” in the definition. Torment means to afflict with suffering. The rich man in Luke 16 described hell as a place of torment. Worry is a self-inflicted punishment or “hell” if you will. It is a place not only of emotional and physical suffering but often leaves its occupants without hope and believing there is no escape.

We realize that worry is a natural reaction of man to the circumstances in one’s life. Worry is the human reaction to what is beyond our control. The supernatural response to those things beyond our control is faith.

In Matthew 6:25 we are told to take no thought for our lives; that is the necessities of life. Jesus goes on to ask if any of us can add to our stature by taking thought of it. It appears that worry manifests itself in our thought life. We are led to believe that we have no say over our thought life. The quote “I can’t keep the birds from flying overhead but I can keep them from making a nest on my head” has been attributed to Martin Luther. We can’t keep the fiery darts of worry from going through our minds but we do not have to dwell on them.

Fortunately, Ephesians 4 tells us a lot about worry.

1. It takes right kind of praying to overcome worry Php 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Php 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Notice that the text says to be careful for nothing. That is the same Greek word translated as taking thought in Matthew 6. Instead of worrying we are to be praying. This serious praying should be mingled with thanksgiving. We should never be blind to current blessings because of current problems. This prayer is “giving it to God” or letting go of our worries. We often confuse worry with love. Somehow we tell ourselves that if we are not tormenting ourselves with worry then we don’t really care about a situation. But, it is only through letting go that the peace of God can keep our hearts and minds. We can’t hold on to our worries and have peace at the same time. Jesus encourages us to cast all our care upon Him.

2. It takes the right kind of thinking to overcome worry Php 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

We have to choose which thoughts nest in our minds. We must direct our thoughts on positive things. First of all, positive things are spiritual things. Many have found comfort in memorizing scripture, meditating on the things of God, and counting their blessings. But, secondly, focusing on positive things is looking for the positive in bad situations. Joseph’s response to his brothers was that they meant their treatment of him as evil but God meant it for God. Paul’s thinking regarding false preachers who preached Christ in order to add to his bonds was to rejoice that Christ was preached. We must look for the silver lining, we must look for the good, we must look for the hand of God in our circumstances. Positive thinking does not make our problems go away but it can effect how we deal with our problems.

3. It takes the right kind of living to overcome worry Php 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Notice that the right prayer gives us the peace of God but the right kind of living gives us the God of peace. We cannot be filled with the Spirit as long as we aren’t doing what we know is right. Not living right will never render peace.

Pr 28:1 ¶ The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion. Having unconfessed and unforsaken sin in our lives brings shame, paranoia, and worry. There is help for the worried mind!

Great Co-Mission

Pr 29:18 ¶ Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

It seems that almost all businesses and organizations have a vision statement. A vision statement tells what an organization wants to be. A mission statement gives the purpose of an organization, why it exists, and how it will achieve its vision.

God gives theses to us in the word of God.

Mt 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen

We find that EVERYBODY can take part in the Great Commission.

1 . PRAY

Lu 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.

There are some that are no longer able to “Go”. They may be elderly and unable to go like they once did. They may have a disability that prohibits them. But, this does not mean that they are not part of the Great Commission. There is a great need for people to pray that the gospel be spread. The problem is that many see prayer as a secondary function. Some may think that praying is almost like doing nothing. But the effectual fervant prayer of a righteous man (or woman, of boy, or girl) availeth much.

2. GO

As part of the local church you have the responsibility and priviledge to be part of the Great Commission.

Ac 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

You may never have the opportunity to go to other nations but you have the opportunity to reach your part of the world. You have the good news of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. You may be a part of this through sharing the gospel with your friends and neighbors, passing out gospel tracts, or through church outreaches.

3. SEND

You may be able reach those in your area but what about the uttermost part of the world that the bible talks about? We have the opportunity to send where we cannot go through giving to missions. Giving to missionaries through the local church enables them to give the gospel in their part of the world. Whether it is in prisons or the most remote parts of the world your financial support and prayers help share the good news with those with whom you will never meet. Only heaven will reveal the souls your prayers and financial support may have touched.

4. BAPTIZE

Baptism has deep theological significance as an ordinance of the local church. It is an outward demonstration of one being associated with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. One is baptized by a local church into fellowship with the assembly. This baptism speaks of adding people to the local church.

Ac 2:47 …. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved

God does not intend for people to get saved and that is the end of it. God means for His people to use their gifts and talents in the local church. The local church is a place of fellowship, worship, and encouragement.

Part of the Great Commission is church planting. Our goal is not only to see people get saved but also to plant churches where these converts can grow and learn.

5. Teach

Part of the mission is teaching them to observe all things. We see much of the New Testament being written to local churches and pastors. It is the duty of the local church to teach converts “all things”. This is a balanced approach of learning all the doctrines of the bible. God uses pastors and appointed teachers to help teach new converts.

No individual can achieve all aspects of the Great Commission. But, no one is left out of it either. God has a vision and mission for the local church and each saved person has a duty to be a part of it

blog post

Pastor’s Thought of the Month – The other side of romantic love

 

Ge 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man Ge 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.Ge 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.  

February 14th is Valentine’s Day.  This is the day that romantic love is celebrated.

Few things are desired more today than romantic love. Go to Amazon and you will find countless books dedicated to romance. These books cannot come off the presses fast enough to meet the desires of the eager readers. Somehow romantic love will conquer all obstacles.

Romantic comedy movies fill theatre seats. It starts with attraction, then some conflict that keeps those lovers apart then ends with some dramatic scene where true love wins out.

RUNNING A RABBIT FOR THE MEN. WOMEN PLEASE SKIP THIS PARAGRAPH. First of all Men, if you behave like the men in a romantic comedy you may get arrested. Most women do not want you showing up at their wedding to win them. If you stand under their window playing songs it’s considered stalking. Secondly, Hollywood demasculates men. Most women aren’t attracted to the hyper-sensitive types portrayed. If you act like that you may end up very lonely.

 There are even websites dedicated to Christian singles. They advertise that they can find God’s match for you. The claim is if you are tired of waiting on God, then He wants you to be proactive and give Him a hand.  

There are churches that have programs that will help singles find that romantic love they desire. There are many messages on romantic love using the above text. Adam and Eve are pictured as the ideal couple. There was no other woman in the world for Adam. She was taken from his side showing their equity.

The goal is to find that one person who was especially created just for you. You will have all of these butterflies and gooey feelings. And just like a fairy tale you will live happily ever after in romantic bliss. 

The problem with this? It isn’t real. Adam and Eve did not live happily ever after in a state of glorious romantic love. But, they did live till death do you part in a state of committed love.

Eve was deceived and this forced Adam to choose between his wife and obedience to God. Adam blamed Eve for his sin. Their first born, who they probably thought was the Messiah turned out to be a murderer. Their second son was murdered by him.

While they were hiding from God in the garden were they staring longingly into each other’s eyes? While God pronounced the judgement on each of them did “love butterflies” sweep them away? While they stood over the body of their murdered son were they overcome with romantic bliss?

Adam and Eve’s love was greater than the shallow Hollywood love of today. It was a love of commitment. Too many people today are looking for a good feeling instead of true love which is a life long commitment to one person.

This is the other side of romantic love; the side they don’t show you.

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Pastor's Thoughts

Who is Welcome at Lake Robinson Baptist?

Matthew 22:1-14 1And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, 2The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 4Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. 5But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: 6And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. 7But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 10So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. 11And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14For many are called, but few are chosen.

Having been rejected by the religious rulers, Jesus demonstrates how the gospel would be shared with "all" people. So, who is welcome at Lake Robinson Baptist?

  • "Religious" and "Lost" are welcome. Religious people believe in living a moral life. They may pray and occasionally go to church. Lost people are hanging around the highways and hedges and do not seem to have any spiritual direction in their lives. Both "religious lost" and "regular lost" need the wedding garment to attend the marriage supper. They both need the righteousness of Christ.
  • Rich and Poor are welcome. The ones who were originally bidden to the wedding supper were probably those with financial resources. The ones at the highways are probably the poor. Both rich and poor need to repent of their sins and believe the gospel. The gospel is the great equalizer as no one is so wealthy that they do not need it and no one is so poor that they cannot obtain it.
  • "Good and Bad" are welcome. Jesus said that He did not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. There are what considered "good" sinners and those who are considered to be "bad" sinners. You may be living in sin and yet are keeping your head above the proverbial water. You seem to be handling your sin - the "good" sinner. You may be the "bad" sinner. Sin has overwhelmed you and has cost you much, such as your family, your job, your health, or even your freedom. The gospel is what the good and bad sinner needs and both are welcome.
  • Nationals and foreigners are welcome. In Matthew 20:19 Jesus commands believers to go to all nations. People born in the USA are loved by God and have a precious soul. People born outside of the USA are loved by God and have a precious soul.
  • Red and Yellow, Black and White are welcome. Re 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; ​Revelation tells us that people from all families, all languages, all peoples, and all nations will be represented in heaven. Every person with every color and pigment of skin need Jesus and are welcome.

If you are reading this then you are welcome!

Christians and Lazy Thinking

People, by nature, are lazy thinkers.

This is not an insult but a fact. Studies suggests that what we have already learned has strong neurological connections. To learn new things we must build new connections between neurons which causes discomfort or what we may call "brain strain". These connections are strengthened through repetition; practice, homework, meditation, and memorization until they are strong enough to be easily accessed.  

It is hard to learn something new or to think differently. When presented with a problem we usually rely on those old neuron connections to come up with a quick solution. If we are forced to create new neurological connections to solve a problem it takes more concentration. There are many things that can hinder this such as distractions, temptations, and fear. For instance, schools have been providing breakfasts and lunches for students under the theory that if they are not distracted by hunger they learn better. It has been proven that students with poor eyesight improve performance after getting glasses; if they are concentrating on the subject matter instead of trying to see they learn more.

One of the biggest obstacles to problem solving, proper decision making, and thinking is the biological make- up of our brains. We automatically have a bias based on what we have already learned.

Yale Professor Shane Frederick developed the "Cognitive Reflection Test" which demonstrates this practically. The test question is "​A bat and ball together costs $1.10. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?"

  • What is your answer? If you answered that the ball costs $0.10 then you are wrong and guilty of using lazy thinking in this instance. The correct answer is $0.05.  
  • If you said the ball costs $0.10 and the bat is $1 more then the bat would cost $1.10 by itself making the total $1.20.
  • If you said the ball is $0.05 and the bat costs $1 more then the bat would cost $1.05 by itself making the total $1.10

The above example reveals one of the biggest problems with "lazy thinking". When relying on what we already know instead of looking at something analytically we often come to the wrong conclusions.  

Examples of lazy thinking are prevalent in our society. Take the recent election for instance. Most people supported the candidate based on their biases (the old tried and true connections). Those biases are often strengthened by surrounding yourself with people who believe exactly the way you do and getting news from sources that echo those biases. The result of this is people repeated talking points without actually understanding the points they are making.

Take these same biases, the echo chambers which reinforce those biases, and now add an emotional investment to those biases. Maybe these biases bring social acceptance, a sense of identity, or perhaps a person has invested a lot of time or resources into it. Let's say that a person has become active in one particular political party, has donated his time to campaign for the candidate, and gave money to the candidate. It is now almost impossible for this person to critically look at the candidate.

Now take the biases, the echo chambers, the emotional investment and add "evidence" to it.  For instance, if this person is a Clinton supporter the evidence she won the popular vote emboldens their view. If  this person is a Trump supporter the evidence that he won the electoral vote emboldens their view.

But what has this to do with church, religion, or God?

Lazy thinking with its strong neurological connections along with their biases and emotional attachments do not have a cut-off switch when someone goes to church, prays, reads the bible, or gets saved.

Here are a few questions:

  • What do you believe?
  • Why do you believe it?
  • What led you to this conclusion?
  • Can you defend it?
  • How do you know the will of God?

Many people may know what they believe but have not analyzed it to make it their own beliefs. They are much like the political crowd which echoes the voices around them but have no idea why they believe it.

God does not want you to turn off your brain. Psalm chapter 119 is the great chapter on the Word of God. Five times in verses 15, 23, 48, 78, and 148 we are encouraged to meditate "in" the scriptures. This means we are to do more than just read the scriptures and commentaries. We are to mediate in them, ponder them, and think in them. This means that we examine them closely before reaching a conclusion. This results in having to think analytically about them. Before we can do this then we have to forget everything we thought we knew.

Our prayer life is more than just talking to God but listening and meditation. In Psalm 5:1 David asks God not only to hear his words but to consider his meditation as well. God often speaks to us as we meditate on the scriptures while in the Spirit. We often look for the answers to prayer in "signs" or evidence that reinforces our bias. We ask God something, we have a bias towards it, and then we see a sign that we believe reinforces it. This is dangerous because we will be convinced that this is God speaking to us when it actually may be completely wrong based on our biases. We often miss the will of God and answered prayer because of a failure to think and analyze.  

Paul tells the Philippians to "think on these things". The answer to worry is to think on good things. The more your thoughts are on the positive things the stronger those connections become. The less you think on your problems the weaker those connections become.

Paul also tells the Philippians to work out their own salvation. This is working out what God has worked in us. This is personal and it takes the ability to personally knowing the will of God for your life. We often miss the journey of sanctification because of lazy thinking. It is easier for someone else to tell us how to live, how to dress, where to go, etc.

There is also amusement which means without thought. We often do not think because we have turned off our brains with the constant thirst for amusement and entertainment. There is a constant stream of television, movies, music, social media, and other stimulus that hinders us from thinking. Some studies suggests that smartphones have hurt our ability to think.

​How often are you really thinking? Here is the average Christian:

  • Believe whatever is said in church
  • Bible reading is shallow that rarely feeds the soul
  • Prayer life limps along looking for signs that God has answered
  • When they do think its about problems which makes them seem worse
  • Do not have any personal convictions but follow the crowd
  • Are afraid of opinions and thoughts that do not align with the crowd
  • Must be entertained even in church
  • Preaching that entices thought cannot hold your attention

Christians, God has given us a marvelous brain which should be used for His Glory.  

Bearing Your Cross

Mt 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Matthew 16 reveals who Jesus is. Peter proclaimed that Jesus is the Messiah. But, when Jesus reveals His suffering and death, Peter rebukes Him. The disciples still saw Jesus as only a political Messiah and had political aspirations. Jesus tells Peter that he does not savor the things of God but the things of man. It is with this background that Jesus tells them the true cost of discipleship.

 

I - Cost our Pleasure (deny self)

Prosperity teachers claim that Christianity is about our personal pleasure. Even a casual reading of the New Testament reveals the opposite. Hebrews chapter 11 does not offer a list of prosperity preachers in its Hall of Faith but those who suffered for their faith. In the Book of Acts we as Christianity spread across the known world  Saints were scattered by persecution. History tells us how the apostles suffered for their faith and all but one died as a martyr.

The purpose of God is not our personal pleasure but for God get glory from our lives. He does this by conforming us into the image of Christ. Paul reminded the Philippians of this.

Php 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

When we think of denying self some obvious things come to mind.

  • Denying sin; the need to resist unto blood, striving against sin.
  • Deny self interest through serving others. We are to put God first, others second and ourselves last. When is the last time you did something for someone else while expecting nothing in return?​

There is another avenue of denying self that we often do not think about. That is denying self-identity. Romans chapter 6 tells us that when Jesus died on the cross that we died and were buried with Him; the "Old Man" is dead. The person we were before Christ no longer exists.

One of the reasons that people resist the gospel is that it calls for a look at our identities. One may think that he is a good person but the gospel reveals that he is not good enough to please God as he is and needs the righteousness of Christ.

Romans teaches us that through resurrection power, we walk in newness of life. This is God's Spirit living in and through us. Salvation is not only a changed life but an exchanged life.

 Ga 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Our identities are now wrapped up in Christ; we are known as Christians. To deny ourselves is to deny our identities outside of Christ. Our identites in Christ supersedes all other identities. We are no longer just husbands and wives but Christian husbands and wives. We are no longer just business men but Christian business men. The only identity that is eternal is our Christian identity. There will be a day when we may be widowed and no longer have a spouse and a day when we are no longer able to work. There is no marriage in heaven, no worldly possessions in heaven, and no worldly occupation in heaven. We are Christians in heaven who have laid up their treasures in eternity.

Denying any identity outside of Christ can be difficult because being "lovers of their own selves" is part of our make-up in then flesh. Teens often identify themselves through their peer group and adults often identify themselves through their jobs or possessions.

What happens when a person feels their identity is being attacked? During the Stock Market crash many traders committed suicide as their identity of success faded away. Empty nesters often have marriage struggles as their identity as a parent has changed. A missionary or pastor who have their identities wrapped up in the ministry may be tempted to quit if their door to service closes.

To follow Christ will cost our pleasure but it will also.....

 

II - Cost our Pride (take up cross)

The cross of Christ is synonymous with reproach. The Old Testament reveals that a person who dies on a tree was considered to be accursed of God. The Roman criminal who died on a cross was considered to be the vilest of criminals.

The disciples were looking for their place in His Kingdom and even debated who would sit on the right and left hand of Jesus. Instead of the glory and prestige of being part of Jesus cabinet, they are offered the shame and reproach of being identified with Him.

Modern Christianity has attempted to take the reproach of the cross away. In the 1970's the sound track and play "Jesus Christ Superstar" attempted to make Jesus cool. Today, churches across America peddle a "cool" brand of Jesus. The music is "cool", the preacher is "cool", the light and sound production is "cool", the lifestyle is "cool", the morality is "cool", and the message is "cool". Modern Christianity teaches us to be politically correct and non-offensive to everyone. The ultimate goal seems to be accepted by the same world that Jesus said hated Him and would hate the Believer as well.

The writer of the Book of Hebrews does not tell us to be "cool" but tells us to bear His reproach without or outside of the camp. This is the place outside of public acceptance and applause. The Old Testament scapegoat bore the sins of the people and was driven from the camp. Jesus is our Scapegoat who bore our sins and reproach. We are to go unto Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach and shame.

Heb 13:13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

The cross is also identified with death. To bear our cross is to go into this world with death on our backs. We have died to self, sin, society (the world), and anything else that is outside of the will of God

Theologically, death is defined as separation of soul and body. The cross represents the things from which we are separated. These are not the things that we deny in the name of separation but the things that are separated from us because of our association with Christ.

Lu 6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.

The New Testament Christian understood the pain of losing the things that were dear to him for Jesus sake.

  • Many were separated from their families; Jesus warned that a man's enemy would be those of his own household.
  • Many were separated from their synagogues as any who professed Christ were to be kicked out.
  • Many were separated from their homes due to being scattered by persecution.
  • Many were separated from their jobs and livelihood as they were kicked out of the guilds.
  • Many were separated from their dignity as they were mocked for their faith

The message that Jesus had for His ambitious disciples is that there is no crown without a cross. For the modern Christian the message is the same. There is a personal cross reserved for each of us because of our identity with Christ. This cross will mean reproach, suffering, and death to us.

Mr 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

The reproach of Christ and identification with Him is a normal part of the Christian life. Jesus tells us that if we are ashamed of Him then He would be ashamed of us. The Believer's baptism is a public acknowledgement of and identification with Jesus.

To be His disciple is to take up your cross with all of the reproach and suffering that is accompanied with it.

Not only, does being a disciple cost our pleasure and pride but also....

 

III - Our Plans (follow me)

A Yiddish proverb says,  "Man plans, God laughs."

Our plans represent our dreams, desires, and personal wills. We imagine what our lives should be like. In this fantasy we see how everything just works out with little or no obstacles. Then we begin to move towards that utopia as we  plan our days, our weeks, our months, and our years to make our dreams come to pass. Our imagination paints a picture where not only have we planned out our own lives but have controlled the lives of others to make this dream a reality. Others have become pieces of our own puzzle without their own thoughts, lives or wills. This is just a price that others must pay in order for everything to make sense in our world. If our ideal life is to come to pass then we must control every aspect of our plan. 

Along the way we try to either fit Jesus into our plans or attempt to drag Him along on our journey while convincing ourselves that we are living in the will of God.

But what happens when our plans fall apart and dreams are crushed? The Christian will often wonder where they went wrong. He or she may wonder if God has abandoned them. There is often confusion because things are not supposed to go the way they are going. This is whale's belly for Jonah, the wrestling match in a cave for Jacob, the fireside chats of Peter, and the despondent walk on the road to Emmaus.

This is the life of many as they learn the difference between their own lives and following Jesus.

Jesus' command is "follow me". Following Him does not lead to the velvet robes and comfortable beds of kings but the exact opposite.

Mt 8:20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

Abraham followed God from the comforts of Ur. Matthew followed Jesus from the comforts of his career. Paul followed Jesus from the comfort of his religion. Where do we follow Jesus?

  • Follow Him to the Garden of Gethsemane  where he prayed in agony
  • Follow Him to the unfair trials
  • Follow Him to the scourging
  • Follow Him to the Via Della Rosa or the way of suffering to the cross
  • Follow Him in resurrection power

Conclusion

What happens if we get what we want out of life? What if we are able to obtain all the pleasures we want, live life while holding onto our pride without ever experiencing reproach and shame, and if we make all of our plans and dreams come true?

Mt 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

If we succeed in getting the life we want then it may cost us the life that matters. Jesus goes on to ask the question if the price of getting what we want is worth it.

Mt 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Parenting Conferences by Eddie Watford

Whispers of Hope Parenting Conferences

"Breaking the Cycle"

Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith? I Thess 3:10

  

 

 

  The Youth Exodus

 


59%  of 18-29 year olds who were once active in church have dropped out of church at one time.

 32%  of  Millennial’s have no religious affiliation.

50%   of 18-29 year olds are less active in church than they were when they were 15 years old.

 

 

 

Parents and churches do not need statistics to tell us what we already know. Young people who are leaving church and turning their backs on what they have been taught has reached epidemic proportions.

Many parents are doing all they can to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Churches are doing everything they can to try to help young people serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Is it too late to break this trend of the youth exodus? Is there anything that parents  can do?

 

Parenting Skills

 

Children are not born with an instruction tag like an article of clothing.  Most parents are just trying to figure it out as they go; they are doing the best they can with the knowledge they have.  The problem many parents face is that no one ever taught them how to parent. As one pastor said, “My parenting skills consisted of taking my kids to church, doing my best to keep them from worldly influences,  a family altar, and trying to live right in front of them.”  One parent stated, “I raised my kids the way I was raised. If it was good enough for me then it is good enough for them”.  While others share another viewpoint. “I do not want to raise my children the way I was raised”, said another parent, “I want my children to have a better childhood than I had”

 

Most parents have only been taught to parent through the personal experiences of their upbringing and the very fundamentals of child rearing.  The bible says much more.

 

Conference Topics

 The importance of biblical relationships in the family

The importance of biblical roles in the family

The importance of biblically raising children

The importance of living a biblically rich (abundant) life.

The importance of realizing your children are moral free agents

The importance of not reliving your childhood (Breaking the Cycle)

 

 What to Expect!

 

Expect topics to be presented in a positive and encouraging way. The purpose of the conference is to help parents not hurt them.

 Expect to have fun. The goal is to have some fun while getting biblical help and learning parenting skills.

 Expect to get help!

 

What not to Expect!

 Do not expect everything in your family to change during one conference; change takes time.

 Do not expect to be told what to do .

The goal is to give parents the skills and the knowledge they need to make biblical decisions and the best decisions for their family. No one can lead your home except the one God ordains to do so!

 

 

Whispers of Hope Ministries

Brother Eddie Watford began ministering to troubled teens almost immediately after his salvation.  For over ten years he and Sister Cammie Watford worked with Juvenile Delinquents placed in group homes by the State. These young people were usually between the ages of 13 and 18. While he dealt with his fair share of “street kids”, he learned that many of the teens were raised by Christian parents and attended Independent Baptist Churches.  These teens could quote scripture and had a knowledge of fundamental doctrines. Brother Watford could see the pain in the eyes of these young people who never imagined that they would ever be incarcerated. In church after church that he  visited he was approached by broken hearted parents who didn’t know what to do with their teens.  Brother Watford could not get away from the pain he saw in all those faces.

 

 Most recently Brother Watford has been working with young offenders in Turbeville Correctional Institute. Many of  the inmates are teens who have been sentenced as adults.

 

 

 Contact

 

Whispers of Hope

Brother Eddie Watford

Phone: 843-332-0270

E-mail:  whsprsofhope@aol.com

Why live in defeat?

Does this sound like your life?

  • You know that you are saved but lately do not "feel" like a Christian?
  • You find yourselves living under the power of the flesh or old man?
  • You have besetting sin in your life and sin is reigning over you?
  • You live in shame over secret sin?

 

  • The harder you try to do right the more you seem to fail?
  • Because you fail over and over again you question whether you are saved?
  • You feel that your flesh is so strong that you have no choice but to sin?
  • You struggle to pray?
  • The roller coaster you are on makes you question God's care and love for you?

 

THE ANSWER

 I - It starts with being saved

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 Jesus died on the cross FOR our sins. He took our sins upon Himself. His sacrifice satisfies the Father's wrath for sin and through His blood we have redemption.

Heb 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

The blood of Jesus also allows us to have a clear conscience. When we repent, we have confidence that the blood of Christ satisfies God. We do not have to beat ourselves up or live in guilt.

Heb 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

 

 II - Understanding the dual nature

When we got saved our old nature did not go away; it is still there. God's Spirit has moved in making us a new creature. There will be a battle between these two natures.

Ga 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary the one to the other; that ye may not do the things that ye would.

There is going to be a battle between the old and name but good news is.........

 

III - Know the Old Man has been defeated

Ro 6:3-4  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

 When Jesus died on the cross we died with him. The Old Man died and was buried with  him. HE IS ALREADY DEFEATED. When this life is over the Old Man will cease to exist any longer.

When Jesus rose from the dead the New Man rose with Him. The Old Man is temporal but the New Man is eternal. The NEW MAN gives us the power to live the Christian life.

NEXT MONTH - HOW THIS KNOWLEDGE EMPOWERS US TO LIVE THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

Who is Lake Robinson Baptist?

1. The people are not cool.

Sorry to say it but we know we are not cool nor do we try to be.  There are churches that try to be "cool" and have programs that attempt to be cool. Instead of being cool, we often call ourselves a group of "MISFITS".  Jesus was a misfit. He did not attempt to blend in  with others to be accepted.

John 15:18 ¶ If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

 

2. The purpose is not self-improvement

 

We are not interested in helping you become a better you. Why is that? Because you cannot improve the fleshly man.

 Ro 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

Jesus does not want a better you but a new you. He has the power to make you a new creature through the new birth. After that, He gives you the power to live the new life through the power of the Holy Ghost which enables us to live in obedience to His word.

 

3. The preaching does not soothe sin

Yes, the preaching may step on your toes but we are not aiming for your toes; we are aiming for your heart. Jesus loves you too much to comfort you in your sins. His first message was repentance and desires for us to turn to Him from our sins. We know that there are churches that seek to make you feel comfortable in your sins.; whose purpose is  to make you feel good about yourself. We would rather you be RIGHT with God than to be comfortable in your sins.

 

4. The people are not perfect (neither is the pastor)

We believe that God has a high and holy standard and we should aim to be who God wants us to be. We also have mirrors and realize that we all fall short of His standard. Being hypocritical is to pretend to be something that one is not. Being realistic is to admit that we don't always live up to even our own standard. Thank God that He offers repentance and forgiveness when we do fail.

 

5. The place of worship is not flashy

Yes, our services still feel like church. People are smart; they know when churches are trying to camouflage religion in the culture of the world.  We do not attempt to hide they Savior behind smoke, mirrors, and entertainment. Jesus is the purpose of the church. He moved in our churches in our grandparent's day and still has the power to move today. When God moves we do not need man's substitutes.

If you do not have a church home you are welcome to visit with us.

Words for the Worried

Five times in Matthew 5:25-34 Jesus encourages His listeners to “take no thought” of various areas of concern in life. In old English to “take no thought” meant not to fret, worry, or be anxious. What did they have to be anxious or take thought about? Many of the listeners at the Sermon on the Mount were poor. In 5:26 they worried about Food. Jesus instructs them to pray for “daily bread”. In 5:27 they worried about their Fitness or health. In 5:28 they worried over their Frocks or clothing. Many of them only owned one outer garment. These represent the necessities of life.

John Grisham, in his book A Painted House, makes the statement to the effect that farmers worry when it does rain and worry when it does not rain. Not enough rain would affect their crops and too much rain would affect their crops.

We have the same nature. We are anxious and worry over everything. Jesus gives several truths in the text that can help us handle stress.

I – Know How You are Defined

Mt 6:25 ¶ Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Jesus asks if our lives are more than the food we eat or what we wear. Another words, you are not defined by what you have but who you are in Christ.

II – Know that you are Desired

Mt 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

The fowls of the air do not work and do not save and yet God takes care of their needs day by day. While God expects us to work, there may come a time in your life when you cannot work and cannot save. Jesus takes care of you the birds in their times of need so how much more will He care for the ones for whom He shed His blood.

III – Know who has Dominion

Mt 6:27  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

Jesus asks if any of us have control over our physical health. Who can, by worrying, make himself taller? Who can, by worrying, make his life longer? Who can tell the exact day and time of his death? There are things in which we have no control over. We must realize that God has dominion or is in control.

IV – Know not to Doubt

Mt 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Jesus states that if He can clothe the field with a beautiful flowers than how much more is He able to clothe us. Then adds the statement “O ye of little faith”. He expects us to trust His ability to take care of our needs. Remember that Satan’s attack on Eve was to convince her to doubt God’s word and His love and concern for her.

V – Know on whom you Depend

Mt 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

We see the fact that the Father knows our needs. We do not have to worry about these things as unbelievers may. We are not dependent on our jobs, our abilities, or our “luck” for our needs to be met. Our Father is able to meet our needs and will take care of us.

VI – Know what you Desire

Mt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

This is a precious promise. When our heart is on the heavenly, God will take care of the earthly. We can release our concerns over the things of this life and focus on the spiritual.

VII – Know the Deliverer

Mt 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

There is no need to worry today about what may happen tomorrow. Tomorrow will have enough problems to take care of itself. We know that for every evil of the day we have a Deliverer for it. If we can trust Jesus to deliver our souls from hell, we can trust Him to deliver us from our problems.

Parenting Conference

What is a Parenting Conference?

¨ It is a three nights set aside to focus on the issues that parents are facing.

¨ It is dedicated to assist parents by providing biblical principles on parenting

¨ It is to help parents who are feeling the stress of child rearing in an age where parents are blamed for everything

What to Expect?

¨ Expect topics to be presented in positive way. The purpose is to help parents not hurt them.

¨ Expect to have fun while learning biblical principles for parenting.

¨ Expect to get help. Biblical teaching and preaching is available during the conference and a take home study guide  is available to help apply principles after the conference.

¨ Do not expect to be told what to do. You will be provided biblical principles but the parents are the God-ordained ones

¨ Do not expect for everything to be “fixed” in three days. It takes time to change habits.

Topics

¨  The importance of biblical relationships in the family

¨ The importance of biblical roles in the family

¨ The importance of biblically raising children

¨ The importance of living a biblically rich (abundant) life.

¨ The importance of realizing your children are moral free agents

¨ The importance of not reliving your childhood (Breaking the cycle)

¨ The importance of not reliving your childhood (Breaking the Cycle)

Anger in Marriage

Recently, in NC, a couple adopted a cockatoo named Peaches. Cockatoos have the ability to mimic people. They brought the bird home and soon learned that Peaches’ previous owners were a couple who is now separated. Peaches reenacts their arguments while screaming and shaking its head. I watched the video of peaches and while I could not make out what she was saying, ABC had to bleep out certain words. 

 

The link is here http://abcnews.go.com/US/peaches-cockatoo-repeats-previous-owners-marital-arguments/story?id=28890533

 

Several media outlets said that the bird captured the sounds of dying love.

 

Col 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

 

The text tells husbands two things; to love their wives and to not be bitter against them. These are two contrary and opposite things. A husband is to love his wife with the sacrificial love of Christ and not be bitter against them. Then it says not be not bitter against them.

 

The opposite of demonstrating love is to have bitterness or anger that cannot be appeased. This seems that the opposite of loving your wife is bitterness towards her.

 

The question we must ask is how do two people go from standing in a church with a gleam in their eyes proclaiming to love each other forever to being so angry and bitter that their love dies?

 

Step One: Anger

 

Anger is a natural reaction to a perceived threat. When someone does something that makes us feel threatened there is an instant emotion of displeasure. This displeasure may be useful like when we get angry at our own sin and repent. This displeasure may be hurtful when we act out of anger such as being rude to someone who we feel offended us. Anger within itself is not sin. What becomes sin is how we respond to anger.

 

Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

 

There is anger that is not sinful and anger that is sinful. Jesus’ heart was grieved with the hardness of Pharisee’s heart and he looked on them with anger in Mark 3:5. On the other hand, we are told in Colossians 3:21 to not provoke our children to anger.

 

We can be angry without sinning. In marriage, anger with your mate may be a warning sign that you need to communicate about something. We must consciously deal with anger when we recognize it. We may consciously choose to let go of the anger through mercy towards our mate. We may consciously choose to discuss what caused the anger and find resolution. Regardless of which we choose, anger cannot be ignored. Colossians 3:8 reveals that anger should be “put off” and Ephesians 4:31 that anger should be put away.

 

Step Two: Wrath

 

When anger is not dealt with it may turn to wrath. While we can be angry without sinning we cannot be wrathful without sinning. If anger is a small seed then wrath is the giant redwood that has grown out of it. It is amazing that a tiny seed can produce a tree that lives hundreds of years, over 300 feet high, and have a circumference of over 30 feet. It is also amazing how small disagreements can turn into major conflicts.

 

Wrath carries the desire for revenge with it. It is often associated with resentment and seething anger. Wrath is that boiling feeling right under the surface. When experiencing wrath there will often be outbursts of temper.

 

Wrath is so dangerous that the sun is not to set upon it.

 

Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

Many people interpret this verse to mean that married couples should never go to bed mad at each other. They believe that married couples should never go to bed until they work out their problems. Not every issue can be worked out in a day. The scripture says to not let the sun go down upon your wrath. Before the sun goes down we need to repent of our wrath.

It is said that some people have anger issues. It may be more accurate to say that they have wrath issues. The bible gives several behaviors that are associated with that angry wrath that seethes or rests in the bosom.

1 - Foolish people or those governed by their own temper instead of by the Spirit of God.

2 - People with a quick temper.

Ec 7:9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.

 3 - People who have a reputation of losing their temper.

 

Pr 12:16  A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame

4 -  People who have unproportioned responses to the cause of the anger.

Pr 27:3 A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both.

Jacob’s prophesy regarding Simeon and Levi was to curse their anger. He calls their anger fierce and cruel.

Ge 49:7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.

5 - People who are known for having troubled relationships and conflicts because of anger; work, family, lawsuits, fights, etc.

Pr 21:9 It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.

Pr 30:33 Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.

6 - People who have repeated problems associated with anger.

Pr 19:19  A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again

7 - People who habitually sin because of anger and find themselves dealing with guilt and regret over things done in anger.

Jas 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

 

We may look at these signs of angry wrath and tell ourselves that this does not define who you are. Take the time and look at these qualities in the confines of your marriage.

  • Do you find yourself quick tempered towards your mate? Do you have angry reactions towards them in ways you do not have towards others who may do the same things?

  • Is there a pattern of anger in your relationship? Are there a lot of arguments? Are there passive aggressive actions such as whispering under your breath, slurs, or purposefully doing things just to let your mate know you are not happy?

  • Are there overreactions to small situations in your marriage? Is there a lot of anger over relatively small incidents? Do major fights spring from minor disagreements?

  • Is there a constant underlying anger towards your mate? Do small things like the sound of their voice, the way they chew, or other minor things make your blood boil? Do you not look forward to seeing them at the end of the day or avoid conversations with them?

  • Are there often sudden explosions of temper towards your mate? Things like yelling, hitting walls, spinning tires, etc.?

Step Three: Bitterness

It seems that unresolved anger turns to wrath and unrepentant wrath can turn to bitterness.

 

This word bitter in the context means to have bitterness against a person means according to 1818 Webster’s Dictionary:

  • Extreme enmity, grudge, hatred, or excessive degree of implacableness of passions and emotions; as the bitterness of anger.

  • Implacableness means not able to appease or irreconcilable anger

The seed of anger that grew into a great Redwood of wrath is now an entire forest of bitterness. That anger has grown to the point it seeks revenge for the perceived offense. Revenge is not enough to appease this anger. At this point there is nothing the other person can do that will change the way you feel about them. You cannot let go of the past. You do not have capacity to forgive to the point you can have a normal relationship.

Ro 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

 

Steven Stosny who runs marriage boot camps and is the founder of CompassionPower says the following.

By the time couples come to our boot camps for chronic resentment, anger, or emotional abuse, they have developed entrenched habits of protecting their respective vulnerabilities by devaluing each other

 

……. As compassion decreases, resentment automatically rises, making common problems insoluble. If unfettered by the better angels of our nature, resentment inevitably turns into contempt.

 

Notice that Dr. Stosny theorizes that there is a correlation between decreased compassion and increased resentment.

Compassion is associated with mercy and mercy is associated with forgiveness.

1Ti 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

 

Where there is no mercy and compassion there is no forgiveness. Where there is no forgiveness bitterness will rule in the heart.

I have witnessed this bitterness first hand during marriage counselling. I attempted to help a couple which had deep problems. I watched as the wife sobbed and tears ran down her face. The husband’s response to her broken heart was anger and hostility. The same woman to whom he married, to whom he declared his love, and to whom he would have given his life he now lashes out to in anger while her heart breaks. That day I witnessed dying love.

Is There Hope?

Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

 

The first step is to stop the seed of anger before it grows. It is to respond to anger before it turns to wrath.

Next, wrath must be dealt with through repentance.

Finally, anger, wrath, and bitterness must be put off. Trying to let go of these things are not enough. You cannot put off things without putting something on.

Col 3:8-10 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth  Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Col 3:12-14 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

We must replace the negative with the positive. Anger and wrath should be replaced by kindness, humility, meekness (self-control), longsuffering, forbearing, and forgiveness.

Eph 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

We must replace bitterness, wrath, clamour (loud outbursts), and evil speaking (to and about each other) with kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness.

2015 Outreaches

 

 Lu 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

 

Our goal at Lake Robinson Independent Baptist is to both reach others with the Good News. We want to help reach the world through Faith Promise Missions. We want to help those who are hurting in our own community. We have several ways we hope to help those in our own community.

1. By preaching and teaching of the Word of God.

2. Children's Church during Sunday Morning Worship. Preacher Jason Pope uses object lessons to teach bible truth to children prior to the morning sermon.

3. By community outreaches which include Gospel tracts.

4. Parenting conference and classes to help parents looking for biblical wisdom with their most important ministry; their children. Classes are led by Missionary Eddie Watford who has over a decade experience with helping youth.

5. Grief mentoring for those who have lost a loved one led by Missionary Henry Hatchell.

6.  Dealing with abuse classes. Biblical help for women who have endured abuse led by Prison Missionary Marie Hatchell who leads these classes in women's correctional facilities.

7. MORE ANNOUNCEMENTS TO COME!

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