Shift Already!

Shift. Shift. Shift.

Nearly everyone and their cousin has been prophesying it, but why when the SHIFT comes, we don’t?

Change is inevitable. It’s going to happen with or without your permission and it does not wait on your consent. Things weren’t designed to stay the same. Everything has to evolve in some type of way or we lose touch with our society. (Can you imagine traveling now without a GPS? Can you imagine a kitchen without a microwave? Change brought that about!) (It’s okay if you don’t have a GPS or microwave, don’t lose the point!)

Have you ever seen an infant remain an infant for years? No. Then why are we sometimes so hesitant and reluctant to growth? Let me suggest that we do so because we become so COMFORTABLE with the way things are that we resist any hint of change for fear that we will be required to either step up, step out, or step away. That’s what change does; it moves things. Change brings transition. Change brings change.

The Bible calls people who are resistant to change, old wine skins. Old wine skins burst because it has lost its elasticity to stretch to hold new wine. As long as the old wine remains within the old skin, it is fine. But if you try to pour new wine into an old skin, the fermenting of the wine expands and the old wine skin is incapable of handling the expansion. What’s my point? Glad you asked? Change must be accommodated by a renewed mind or the change becomes forced and anything forced is uncooperative.

Visit my online bookstore to find great inspirational reading material. http://www.amazon.com/shops/TrueLoveChristianBookstore

You are a Garden of Creativity

For years and years, I would tell others that “I AM NOT CREATIVE”! Little did I know that I was condensing my own talents. I was hindering my own self and limiting what God, the Creator, placed inside of me. I learned a lot about myself over the years and I learned a great deal more from the theatre on last night.

I learned that what God has placed inside of each us is an art form. We are all ARTISTS in our own right. The gift to speak, write, sing, organize, lead, cook, repair, and enhance are all creative dimensions of our Father residing in us.

Something my husband said to me a while back (I love his wisdom), he said, every animal is an attribute of the Father. Whether that animal is violent, peaceful, flighty, or domicile, loud, quiet, fast, slow, large, small, furry or not, they are all attributes of the Lord’s character. (I said WOW!) Likewise, every display of creativity within us are demonstrations of the Lord’s creative knack abiding in us.

The key to releasing your creativity is your surrounding. If you are around those who push you down, curse you out, and shut you up, you may never bear what is in you, but if you are around those make you smile, encourage you, inspire, and grow you, there is no limit to what God will sprout from your life. Remember, we started in the Garden and Jesus perfected it in the Garden. Now we are Gardens of our own right. How much fruit your garden produces depends on the soil (heart), seed (word), water (Holy Spirit) and exposure to the SON. Let’s grow!!!

… and I am Creative!!!

Visit my online bookstore to find great inspirational reading material. http://www.amazon.com/shops/TrueLoveChristianBookstore

What Do You Do When You are Called to Lead a Spiritually Ignorant Church?

Here is an article I found online of interest and thought to share it.

When a Pastor Is Called to an ‘Ignorant’ Church

  • Print



34

 

0

 

Pastor-ignorant-church

Stock Free Images

The pastor had been called from his rural church to another part of the country. He was excited about the new challenge, as he well should have been. In a parting comment to a friend, he assessed the state of spirituality of the church members he was leaving behind:

“There is enough ignorance in this county to ignorantize the whole country.”
What happens when a pastor gets called to a church like that? A church where the members and leaders alike do not know the Word of God and have no idea of how things should be done (what Paul called “how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God,” 1 Tim. 3:15) or why it all matters?
A church that exists to condemn sin and sinners, that knows only slivers of Scripture, that sees ministers as slaves of the whims of the congregation and that is ready to reject as a liberal any minister who wants the church to feed the hungry in the community, take a stand for justice or invite in the minority neighbors?
We wish we could say such congregations are few and rare, but they aren’t.  Veteran preachers have stories of those churches, tales of run-ins with those leaders and scars from the battles they have waged to set matters right.
  • One pastor told the group of ministers meeting in his fellowship hall, “This building is actually owned by a member of the KKK. We rent it from him.” The rest of us were naive and thought the Ku Klux Klan had died out ages ago. Here they were, living among us in our own southern town.
  • One lady visible in church leadership told her pastor, “I don’t know what the Bible says, but I know what I believe.”
  • Another church allowed a deacon and a female Sunday school teacher to live together as husband and wife without being married. The head deacon admitted the rest of them were too cowardly to confront the outspoken couple. When the new pastor tried to deal with it, the couple turned on him and slandered him in the community. Finding himself isolated with no support from the congregation, he resigned and moved away.
It is not true that such churches know nothing of the Bible. They know snippets of it, depending on what previous pastors majored on. Some went to seed on prophecy (a typical sermon dealt with the Antichrist or the beast of Revelation) or salvation (every sermon was “get saved now!”) or works (the pastor defined the proper length of women’s hemlines and the amount of makeup they were allowed, the proper raising of children and such).
What’s a pastor to do when the Lord sends him to such a church?
1. Do not lower yourself to their level. Leaders will insist on a diet filled with sermons on sin, prophecy, judgment and the like but have no taste for extended series on one book of the Bible. Some will grow impatient when you insist the church needs a proper constitution and bylaws that spell out the right way to do things. And ministering to the poor children in that trailer park a half-mile from the church? Well, if that involves busing them to church where they can get saved and nothing else, you might get support. But if you want to feed them and clothe them and provide school supplies and counsel for their parents, you will find almighty scant support, pastor.
2. Be steady, be faithful, be consistent. Stay close to the Lord in your daily walk. Stay in the Word, on your knees and close to your people. Be willing to risk the anger of those who want to continue unscriptural practices at the church with the rationalization that “this is how we’ve always done it” and “Deacon So-and-so is not going to like this.”
3. Do not invite as a revival preacher that gimmicky showman whom some heard over in Sharptown and think you should bring here. Invite no people-manipulator to your church. Don’t invite anyone who cannot help your church become healthy and strong in the Lord. Hold to this, because some will put pressure on you. Buckle your seatbelt; it could be rough.
4. Be prepared for criticism. My wife says you should go there expecting this pastorate to be a brief one.  She may be right, as she is on a lot of things. Just recognize that the enemy does not want your congregation to know the Word, to have a strong church, to be healthy and Christlike and unified and effective. He will do anything he can to stop your efforts to grow your people, including turn some of them against you.
5. Love them anyway. Luke 6:27 pertains to “enemies,” but those are defined as people who hate you, curse you, mistreat you and would steal from you. From time to time, you will find a few church members behaving this way. When that happens, delve deeply into Luke 6:27-38 and do loving things for them: do good works to them, bless them, pray for them and look for ways to give to them. You must not be vindictive. You must not stoop to their level. You have two objects here: The first is to grow them into Christlikeness by demonstrating what that looks like. The second is to demonstrate to the teachable ones what Christlikeness looks like by the way you respond to the troublemakers in the church.
6. Remember what schoolteachers do. The math teacher, on finding that her students know nothing of algebra, does not harass them or condemn them. Instead, she gently introduces them to the elementary concepts, a little at a time, giving them a taste and hoping that some will like what they are finding. The first-grade teacher, on discovering her pupils cannot read or write, does not give up in despair. She does not blame the students. This ignorance is normal, and in fact, that’s the very reason she chose this profession. She loves to teach.  And she teaches the students gently, carefully, feeding them a little at a time until they develop a taste for learning.
7. Be gentle and firm at the same time. If your church has regular business meetings, you will want to teach the basic principles of Roberts’ Rules of Order. Some will not like being asked to follow a structure, but the others will see the wisdom in it. Take the long view. If, after a year or more, the church is doing things orderly and graciously, you have succeeded. Choose a time and place to have Bible studies that go deeper into the Word than what you are able to do in sermons (where you have to connect with a diverse audience). At first, only a few will respond, and that’s to be expected. Go with those who enjoy this. Expect their enthusiasm to attract others in time.
8. Take the long view. You will not stay there for your full ministry, chances are. But if the church is stronger and healthier when you leave than when you arrived, you have done well. And perhaps, if you have done a good job, the sweetness and maturity in your congregation may be infectious and spread to other churches. You might just healthize (and de-ignorantize!) the whole county.
And wouldn’t that be something?
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” —2 Peter 3:18

Dr. Joe McKeever writes from the vantage point of more than 60 years as a disciple of Jesus, more than 50 years preaching His gospel and more than 40 years of cartooning for every imaginable Christian publication.
For the original article, visit joemckeever.com.

Visit my online bookstore to find great inspirational reading material. http://www.amazon.com/shops/TrueLoveChristianBookstore

God is STILL in Control

I found out that God is in COMPLETE control of my life, even when it SEEMS to be spinning out of control. Even when the devil THINKS he is winning. Even when I can’t see the ground under my feet. Even when all else seems to fail, God is there. If I can’t rest in anything else, I CAN rest in THAT!

Visit my online bookstore to find great inspirational reading material. http://www.amazon.com/shops/TrueLoveChristianBookstore

His Eye is on the Sparrow and ME!

Here is a word of wisdom my husband shared with me yesterday. I was in the middle of setting up a new venture and I felt myself becoming a bit unnerved. He sat me down and said,

“As upset as I am about the bird that keeps getting in the attic, I can’t get to him unless the Lord allows it. The Lord watches out for the birds in the air and if He won’t let one fall without His allowing it, how do you think He feels about you? If God cared enough to keep that bird hidden from me, how much more does He care for His daughter?”

Visit my online bookstore to find great inspirational reading material. http://www.amazon.com/shops/TrueLoveChristianBookstore

Though We Suffer, Christ is our Hope of Glory

No one may want to hear this, but there are difficult times ahead of us, all of us. Those of us in Christ will experience more challenges of our faith such as we never had before. We are going to have to demonstrate who we are in beyond who we say we are. Much of what we see happening in religious circles will fade away, especially that which is not founded on the Rock. People are going to get tired, fed up, and many will walk away because they will become weary of the religious games that many are playing with their souls. They are going to seek out the ones who will deal with them truthfully, such as the woman of Samaria. They won’t care about getting feelings hurt, they will be tired of lies and hypocrisy and will want the truth.

The games and ‘new inventions’ of Christianity we see today will prove to be false. And the get rich quick schemes at the expense of the Church will fade as well. Only what you do for Christ will remain. We are believers of the Lord, our God, but that does not exempt us from pain and suffering. The Godly WILL suffer but we are not a people without hope. Christ is our Hope of Glory and if we are building and advancing through any other means or if our hearts are not purified before the Father, it will show.

King Asa fortified the city in time of peace. We do well to do that as well. When things are going well, fortify. Don’t wait until the trial hits your house to run to the prayer closet. Pray now. Purge yourself from all that separates you from your God because if you don’t, your way will become very hard. Train your children; the enemy has plans to destroy them since he can’t get to you. Take what God shows you at face value and stop procrastinating. Focus your eyes and fine tune your vision. Work while it is day and learn to budget.

Listen to Holy Spirit and when He opens doors, walk through them without delay. Stop pouting when things don’t go your way rather ask the Lord why it is so. Discern your environment and use great wisdom in all you do. Build your relationships on truth and nothing false. Live honest and be pure in heart so God can hear you speedily when you pray. You are favored, blessed, anointed, and called but there will still come a time of testing. We are no more special to God than David, Job, or Paul. If they went through intense times of testing and challenges, so must you and I.

Visit my online bookstore to find great inspirational reading material. http://www.amazon.com/shops/TrueLoveChristianBookstore

Know When Silence is the Order of the Day


You don’t always have to respond. Okay!!! Sometimes it pays you best to just sit quietly. I read a quote that says, Keep your mouth shut and people think you wise, open your mouth and people think you a fool. Some people talk just to hear themselves talk. Don’t you know that no one knows what’s really on your heart until you start speaking?

I was sharing with one of my spiritual daughters that one wrong word can kill someone’s vision. One wrong word can cause hatred and strife. One wrong word can destroy a family. One wrong word can kill a marriage or ministry. Just one wrong word can set a world on fire. Isn’t that what the Bible says?

James 3:6, “And the tongue is a fire and a world of sin; it is like a jungle. And that tongue by itself, while it is among our members, defiles our whole body and sets on fire the successions of generations, which roll on like wheels; it also burns with fire.”

There was a rap song back in the day with lyrics that said, “You talk too much. You never shut up. You talk too much. Home boy, you never shut up!” That was humorous but you know it’s the truth. Somebody is always running that tongue motor and most times it’s something that should have been left alone.

I could go on with this because writing is my craft, but learn when you need to speak and when silence is the order of the day. You don’t always have to say something. Wise people are often quiet because they are always learning. A fool runs off and talks about everything and nothing at the same time. Study to be wise and tame the fire between our teeth.

Visit my online bookstore to find great inspirational reading material. http://www.amazon.com/shops/TrueLoveChristianBookstore

Why Are So Many Experiencing Hard Times?

The way of a transgressor is hard (Prov. 13:15). What that means is that no matter what you try to put your hands to, there is resistance. Now, many blame the devil, but the Lord works against the disobedient one on His own. Ask Jonah. You may look at a person and wonder why things go wrong for them. They seem so nice. They seem to really love the Lord. But what you don’t see is the content of their character. What you don’t see is the hatred brewing, the envy, and the strife. You don’t see it because only God knows the depths of the heart. Jeremiah 17:10 NLT, “But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”

A study I recently read indicated that a person will only show you 10% of who they really are. The remaining 90% you will have to find out by observation. And I would add that beyond observation, one needs revelation from God and discerning of spirits to determine content of character. There are some people are who appear sweet as candy but are buffeted for their faults. There are things that God is dealing with them within and until they yield that ‘ghost’, there will be trouble.

2 Peter 2:20, “For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently?”

You know that as a child of God that the enemy has you marked, but the enemy is not the only one watching you. God is watching you too. He watches what you DON’T say and what you DON’T do. Remember the infamous words of the Lord Jesus in Matt. 7:22-23, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out demons? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.”

Visit my online bookstore to find great inspirational reading material. http://www.amazon.com/shops/TrueLoveChristianBookstore

God Is Still Blessing America


Contrary to popular opinion, God is not finished with America. I know there are many dooms day prophets who are anti-American and think that just because a few laws have been legislated that the Lord has somehow lost control of this country but nothing could be further from the truth. Just as in the Word of God where God used animals as prophetic cartoons indicating times to come, so America, with the Eagle as her symbol, is a prophetic type. If you want to know the prophetic outcome of America, go to the Word. Study the eagles in the word of God and that will give you the interpretation of our times. The eagle is not afraid of storms. The eagle is king of the birds. The eagle knows how to mount up and soar.

You can’t let society dictate the sovereign will of our God. God has not forsaken us, we have forsaken God. We have made a mess out of the church, we have worshipped creation more than the Creator, we lust for bigger and better, and we have caused the houses of God to be laid waste, spiritually and naturally. And even if the mass majority have turned their backs on God, there are many who haven’t and if God would have spared Sodom and Gomorrah for the sake of only 10 righteous men, what do you think about us? I disagree with the consensus that this nation has gone to hell in a hand-basket and I agree with the Word. If only 9 other people agree with me, God will bless and sustain America because it has been predicated in the Word of God from the very beginning. We are being chastised for our disobedience, yes, but the last I checked, chastisement is not cause for abandonment. God is still with us even when we are jacked up.

Visit my online bookstore to find great inspirational reading material. http://www.amazon.com/shops/TrueLoveChristianBookstore

What’s New at Prophetic Keys!!!

Make sure to check out the new pages I have added to Prophetic Keys. I have brand new Christian books I am listing here as well as customized key chains!! Once you place your order, you can submit your favorite verse, photo, or slogan to carry with you at all times!! I also have added my Tshirt Store, which I affectionately call the PDL T-Shirt Shoppe!! For about $5 for most shirts, you can easily add to your summer wardrobe with t-shirts from all colors, sizes, and slogans. If you think that is interesting, wait until you see my new line of “That Will Preach” T-shirts. These shirts will capture a few of my favorite sayings on your choice of black or white t-shirts for $7. Each purchase directly supports PDL Ministries and True Love Church of Refuge.

So check out the Pages section of my website and be sure to keep coming back because I am constantly adding inventory to both the Book store and  the T-shirt Shoppe!