Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Shepastor: "Faithful to Your Part in the Process..."

6I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. I Corinthians 3: 6-7, KJV

Planting gardens can be therapeutic, fun and energizing. In general, you know what to expect. The seeds that you plant determine the color and type of flower, fruit, bush, etc., that will spring forth. In general, you can expect when the plants will spring forth…annuals, semi-annuals, year round (such as evergreen trees, pine trees etc.) But planting and sowing in “God’s vineyard” is not so simple.

In truth, we hope that the good seeds of God’s Word, love, encouragement, teachings etc., will blossom in a certain way. But we never know for sure where we are in the process. We never can be sure exactly what will spring forth. We can’t even know when it will spring forth! We may think that we are “planting,” but actually we are watering that which has already been planted by other faithful Christian soldiers. It can be frustrating not to know where we are in the process. We want to see results!

We may think it’s time to “water,” but God instead is using us to break up fallow ground…in other words, the hearts and minds where God has placed us to labor are not ready or mature enough to receive the “meat” of His Word. Their hearts may still be dry and hard. They may even be covered over with a layer of rock or cement. In those instances, our job may be to “break up” some things with loving truth, compassionate discipline, words of correction…words of challenge. This can be a difficult place. It is often a painful and sometimes lonely place…but it is a necessary place for the success of the process.

After all of that, how wonderful it would be to have the opportunity to then plant the seeds and experience the beauty of their growth. But sometimes God says, “No…I have selected another to do that part.” To our frail, finite minds it somehow feels unfair. “You mean after all of that I will not be the one to enjoy the beautiful blossoms?” “Oh yes my child, I have some blossoms for you in another garden…someone else has broken up the ground for you there.”

We are interconnected. Someone came before us. Someone will come after us. We follow someone. It is therefore important for us to be faithful to our part in the process. Each part plays a critical role. We become fainthearted and discouraged when we forget this principle. God has chosen to use us in a variety of ways in various seasons. Our role is not to covet the responsibility of another. Our role is to be faithful to that which we have been assigned.
Some plant, some water, but God gives the increase.

May we be faithful to our roles in every season that the process may be complete.
May you and yours have a blessed and gratitude filled Thanksgiving Day!

Post a comment or send me an email at

Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Shepastor: "You Can Make It..."

Separation, whether by a career/vocational change, parent/child, other kinds of relationships or death can be a challenging and devastating thing. On the other hand, depending upon the nature of the separation, strength, empowerment and clarity of identify can spring forth.

As Jesus was preparing to return to His heavenly home, He was aware of the pain, fear, confusion and insecurity this separation would cause His disciples. Therefore, Jesus encouraged them by saying…

6 But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you…12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
(John 16: 6-7; 12-13, KJV)
No doubt, the disciples were wondering how they could make it without the physical presence of their Lord. But Jesus said to them, basically, “I will be with you always and my Spirit will speak to you, guide you and show you what to do.” Jesus is not only our Savior and Lord, but our “Master Teacher.” He gave us a profound example of what it means to be a compassionate and seminal leader.

In today’s ego driven society, some “leaders” relish the idea that people must be dependent upon them. Their insecure spirits are somehow fed by the idea that wheels stop turning and the proverbial ball stops rolling if they aren’t around and spoon feeding their followers. But godly leaders prepare those entrusted to their care. Godly leaders desire to develop “well-oiled” operations that enable individuals to thrive well beyond the time of their leadership and presence.

Godly leaders seek to teach, model and instill in those who follow them principles that will sink deep down into the followers’ spirits – words of wisdom, caution, encouragement, guidance and hope that will “speak to them” as they face life. Godly leaders don’t abandon or go “AWOL” (absent without leave), but complete the work the Lord has given them to do. When the time is right and the “boosting” season is done, Godly leaders encourage their followers to know, “With the help of the Lord, You can make it!” Jesus understood that His disciples would never become all that He intended them to be as long as He was there with them. He knew that in order for them to grow strong and thrive, they would have to stand up and learn to trust Him, even when they could not see Him.

We see a marvelous example of this concept through NASA’s Solid Rocket Boosters operation. The Boosters are on either side of the “Orbiter,” (spaceship) and are used to propel it beyond the earth’s gravitational pull. At a certain altitude, the boosters separate from the spaceship and it is then freed to pierce through the stratosphere and soar into space. The interesting thing is that the boosters are not destroyed, but parachute down back to the earth and land in the ocean. They are then recovered, refurbished and reused. (Read more about this process by visiting, )

As leaders, God uses us to “boost” His people to a certain level – teaching, leading, loving and guiding them by the power of His Holy Spirit. Our role is not “to be with them always…” that’s the Lord’s job! Our role is to help them to grow strong enough to listen to and obey God’s voice, fill up on His Word and live in accordance with His will. If received, all of these things can enable them to resist this world’s “gravitational pull” of sin. Our prayer for them is that they will not only grow, but soar, becoming all that God would have them to be. The Lord then continues to use us in other places and spaces, boosting others as we go…preparing others to do the same.

May we be encouraged by Jesus’ comforting Spirit, reminding us, “You Can Make it!” May we have the grace, faith and security to do the same for those the Lord entrusts to our care.

Post a comment or send me an email at

Until Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Shepastor: “God Said it, I Believe it and That Settles it!”

12Then the LORD said to me, "You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it." Jeremiah 1: 12

Some years ago, the phrase, “God Said it, I Believe it and That Settles it,” was popular. Many criticized this mantra and said that it was a part of the “name it and claim it” mind set. However, recently as I was praying and thanking God for things seen and yet to unfold in my life, this phrase came back to my mind.

Even in the midst of my praise, the enemy began to whisper, “that is not going to happen…it’s too big…it too far out of your reach…are you sure you heard the Lord right?” In that moment, the Lord reminded me of that phrase, “God said it, I believe it and that settles it!”

At times, the Lord will reveal things to us through His Word, through situations and circumstances, through other people and even through the metaphors found in nature. Those revelations confirm for us promises found in God’s Holy Word, encouraging our hearts and our spirits to keep believing, hoping, trusting, following and obeying. Yet discouragement may still creep in and tempt us to think that those things promised will not come to pass.
When that happens, we must remind ourselves of God’s declaration…

12Then the LORD said to me, "You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it." Jeremiah 1:12

In this passage, the Lord is encouraging Jeremiah to know that what the Lord had shown him would come to pass. God said that He “watches over His Word to perform it.” In other words, God cares about His Word. What God says, God will do. God’s Word, God’s promises, “God’s Holy Spirit can be trusted.

Those things that the Lord has spoken to your spirit, confirmed in His Word trust God to bring them to pass. Know that the Lord is for you. Remember that “faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Refuse to repeat words of doubt. “Settle it” within your heart to believe God. He will bring to pass what He promises. God will make all things work together for your good. God will not forget your faithfulness. He knows the desires of your heart.

Post a comment or send me an email at

Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Shepastor: "Foregoing the Battle to Win the War..."

Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11, English Standard Version

We live in a day and age where people are quick to speak and slow to listen; quick to speak their minds and grimace at holding their tongues. Everything popular, however, is not wisdom. Unfortunately, today’s culture deifies brash, hasty and unbridled behaviors and equates humility and discretion to “door mat-ism.”

But the Word of God provides great nuggets of wisdom and instruction for those who would be “godly successful” and experience victorious living. Each day we must discern the difference between “battles” and “wars.” We must ask ourselves, “What is my end goal? Is engaging in this match of wits, argument, or responding to this ignorant remark worth my time, energy or reputation?” At other times we may encounter individuals who for whatever reason are difficult to work with. While we try to avoid such encounters, working with difficult individuals at some point in our journey is inevitable.

If we are not careful, the negative, indifferent and toxic behaviors of others can prompt us to “react” and not “respond.” When we react, we allow others to press our proverbial buttons and drag us into battles. But when we respond, by the grace of God through prayer, faith and self-control, we choose whether or not to engage. Allowing ourselves to be pulled into battles can derail our efforts to do, develop, pursue and create that which is beautiful and beneficial to many.

The writer of Proverbs said it well,
Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11, English Standard Version

What does that mean? Sometimes it means swallowing your pride. Sometimes it means letting it go. Sometimes it means quieting your spirit and pressing forward even though that which is happening to you is not fair or right. If it is not life altering, dream crippling or detrimental on any scale, it is a battle – not a war. Don’t allow the foolishness of others to thwart the larger goal given to you by God. Take a deep breath, relax and remember what you are trying to accomplish!

Post a comment or send me an email at

Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris