Thoughts from First Time Guests

The following thoughts are based upon follow-up conversations with real, first-time guests (using fictitious names):

~ Dave & Rachel: married, early 30’s with newborn

I know the bathroom was clearly marked but when I walked in there were so many walking around knowing where they were going. Some smiled at me, other stopped to ask my name. It was a friendly church. If someone would have shown me around (child care rooms, bathrooms, auditorium) I think it would have helped set my mind at ease.

~ Tom & Olivia: early 60’s, retired couple, relocated to the area Continue reading

The Kauffmans In Peru

I am very excited when folks at our church venture out to be used of God in a mission setting.  Right now Jack and Ann Kauffman are in Peru for ten days teaching block classes at The Baptist Seminary of Peru. The Seminary reaches out to local pastors and their wives who come 2-3 times a year for training.  I have included their recent update to encourage you to pray for them and to consider helping a missionary in the future: Continue reading

He Shall Wipe Away All Tears

people-crying-baby

Special thanks to Jack Kauffman for this guest post.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes…Revelation 21:4

Are you one who weeps easily?  Who sheds a tear at the least provocation?  Our granddaughter, Alana, just two months old is a “screamer”.  She wrinkles her little face into a contortion and then bellows at the top of her lungs, and she doesn’t stop until either her anger is released or her energy dissipates-and all this for no apparent reason. Yet despite all of her apparent anguish, a tear never slips from her tightly squinted eyes.  I hadn’t noticed this until my wife, Ann, pointed it out to me and reminded me that an infant’s tear ducts do not develop and are not functional until he or she reaches a certain age.

While we can’t put a finger on the cause of Alana’s sorrow at this tender age (her diaper’s dry, she gets plenty to eat and seems to have all of her needs taken care of.) there will eventually be plenty in this little one’s life over which to shed perhaps a bucket of tears, for we are “born to trouble as the sparks fly upward,” as Job reminds us. Sorrow is a dog at our heals throughout our earthly life.

Some tears are, of course, welcome.  We may weep when we hear an old, familiar hymn, when the Word of God strikes our heart in a certain way over a familiar passage or when we are blessed by the kindness of another person.  Most of the time, however, our tears are equated with trouble and grief.  We can take heart, though.  The Lord promises two times in the book of Revelation that He will “wipe every tear from their (our) eyes” when everything is made perfect; when The Kingdom is established (Revelation7:17 and 21:4).

I have often used this verse to comfort the bereaved in a card of sympathy over the death of a loved one or during some other hard situation. It should be, however, a reminder to all of us who call upon His name of the future that awaits the follower of the Man from Galilee; a future when, like Alana, we will have no tears.  But it will be far better, for the sorrow that causes those tears will be done away with for all eternity.

How to Have a Good Revival Meeting

Thanks to evangelist Ron DeGarde, preacher for Revival 2009, for this guest post.

degarde_ron1Most of the time, when we think about revival meetings, the first question that comes to our mind is, “Who is the evangelist?” Revival meetings are not about the evangelist. In fact, the church members are just as important as the evangelist, if not more important. In order to have a good revival meeting there are four ways the church members can join the evangelist as co-laborers together for God’s glory. Continue reading

I Shall Not Be Moved

Thanks to Jack Kauffman, a deacon at Bethel Baptist Church, for this guest post.

rootsThe Easter season is a time when Christians tend to look inward. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately, and more often than not, I don’t especially like what I see. Two premises come to mind as I do this: 1) I am not always the man others think I am, and 2) I am not always the man I imagine myself to be. Others see the suit and the smile but not the heart, and I am thankful that my heart is not visible for inspection, for it is not always a pretty sight. Also, I tend to imagine myself better than I really am. I judge myself more lightly than I judge others for the same weaknesses and offenses and I tend to think my backbone’s a little stiffer than it actually is. Continue reading