First Free Will Baptist Church

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being picked by the team

Posted on June 22, 2018 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (0)
Yesterday, there was a big television event which had millions of people watching to see what would happen. It was the NBA draft. Everyone had an agent that was setting up appointments to meet with teams and show how much they deserved to be picked. The teams looked at the different players seasons, their workouts, interviews, and the teams personal needs, to decide who is the best person to pick for their team. There were many times on television leading up to the draft, where everyone was debating who should or would be the number 1 pick. As history has shown, the one who is picked number 1 is not always the best player, nor has the greatest impact to the national basketball association throughout their careers. Yet, the author cannot remember a time that the GM's would go out and try and find the puniest, most unathletic person to be the star of their team. Obviously, you may be thinking, since their job is to do whatever is necessary for their team to be successful and win the championship. As great as a championship is, it only lasts for one season and the promises of salvation never end, they can only be forfeited by the one who was lucky enough to be picked to be on the everlasting life team. How were they chosen, did they try out for God or have some special skill that God wanted? the answer is no. Jesus died for the whole world, which none of the people could have been picked because of talent or being good. Honestly, were are all( because of sin) the puniest, most unathletic and unworthy people, yet Jesus literally left heaven and made it possible for all to be part of his team by faith. Simply, believing in the Lord Jesus Christ and accepting his invitation to be on his team with all the benefits on earth as well as in heaven.

Being acceptable to God in an unacceptable culture

Posted on April 30, 2018 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (0)
One of my favorite parts of psalm 19 is verse 14 which states, "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer." One of the reasons that this verse becomes dear to me is that it comes after most of the psalm reminding us about God's perfect judgements and statutes that man are suppose to follow. So, what? you may be saying at this moment. The reason why this is important is that it gives us a clue about how we can live an acceptable life in an unacceptable culture that is doing everything it can to take away our abilities to love and serve God. So here are ways we can live an acceptable life: 1) Recognize who God is in relation to our imperfections 2) Recognize that God has given us his word to help shape the thoughts and intents of our heart 3) When you recognize these things make the right choice to live an acceptable life(This is the biggest hurdle) 4) Be as determined as you are when you choose to show up to work when sick as you should be to consistently live an acceptable Christian life 5) Find a group of believers that life this life so you can learn how to live acceptably.

Spring

Posted on April 9, 2018 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (0)
Spring is always a fun time of the year with new life blooming and the weather changing to a less cold environment for some. If one does not have allergies it can bring great amounts of joy to some. When I think of spring I am reminded of a song by Jeff and Sherry Easter-Roses will bloom again. This song is a call to be reminded that no matter how difficult the day is or the situation someone is facing eventually life will spring up and the fragrances of love will your life again. The book of Deuteronomy reminds us that we are not to fear because the Lord will never leave us nor forsake us, which is God's way of reminding all of us that the winter time will soon be over and spring will arrive at the right time and in the right way.

For this moment

Posted on August 3, 2017 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (0)
Many people wait for the right moment to do many things; have children get married pop the question have the daughter bring home her boyfriend to meet the dad. All of these things are good things to wait for, yet how often do people wait for the right moment to put their faith in Jesus and the moment passes them by. Perhaps you were waiting for the right moment to talk to someone about Jesus but something happen and it was too late. Some things are good to wait for the right moment about, whether it is the things listed above or patiently and faithfully waiting for Jesus to return, yet waiting on anything else concerning the things of God could be eternally fatal either to you or someone else, so quit waiting for the right moment and make right now the right moment.

Relationship Series 4-Dealing with Conflict in Relationships

Posted on March 9, 2015 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Key verse is mathew 11:28-30 "Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give ye rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

1) What is Conflict?

Conflict is defined as a perceived or actual barrier to one's goals.

     A. This is happens a lot in relationships-people get into relationships for different reasons, which also would be considered goals.

     B. The past couple week we have covered 3 places that can and do cause conflict.

          1. Conversations

          2. Finances

          3. What is true love and how do you show it.

     C. We see this conflict spiritually also.

          1. God wants us to be more like him, and go to heaven. The devil wanst us to reject all things of God and go to hell.

          2. God wants us to have God honoring relationships. The devil wants us to be alone, miserable, and defeated.

The 2 Types of Conflict are inner and outer. (spiritual fits into both of those categories)

Ephesians 6:12 "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedeness."

       A. Inner-insecurites, baggage from other relationshipos, lack of Jesus and spiritual growth.

       B. Outer-others, difficulties of life(life happens), the enemy

2) Things to avoid in conflict or prevent conflict.

     A. Being unequally yoked(joined) to unbeliever. 2 Corinthinans 6:14

          1. Avoid the "I can change the other," myth.

              A. Only Jesus can change the other, so wait

    B. Don't talk out of frustration

        1. Job's wife is a good example of this in Job 2:9 she says, "Does thou still retain thy integrity. Curse God and Die."

    C. Don't let things fester. Ephesians 4:26,27 "Be ye angry and sin not: let not the sun go down on your wrath: neither give place to the devil."

         1. Take care of it at the time, when it is a small spark, to prevent it from becoming a raging enferno. Also there is a full colon after the word wrath, which shows that if you do not do what it is saying, then you are giving place to the devil.

3) Things to do in Conflict

    A. Get closer to God, like our key verse is saying.

        1. The example of the triangle is a good illustration the closer you get to the top (God) the closer you are getting to each other. Also, it leaves less room for conflict to live.

             A. Only happens by having a surrendered to God attitude. James 1:8"Draw nigh(near) to God and he will draw nigh to you."

    B. Always be willing to forgive, even if you do not think you are wrong. Ephesians 4:32 "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

         1. Ask yourself this question-Do you want to be right, or have resolution.

         2. If you do-you will be amazed at how God brings conviction to the other.

         3. If you do not-it allows bitterness, which leads to failing of God's grace, which allows hope to be defeated in your life.

   C. Make a plan for arguing

        1. Should include no yelling, making derogatory comments about the other, or any type of violence

            A. Avoid you are statements, and concentrate on the issue which is leading to conflict

       2. Try the PAUSE method by Ken Sande

           1. Prepare for the argument

           2. Affirm the relationship-you love this person

           3. Understand the other's interest

           4. Search for creative answers

           5. Evaluate options objectively and reasonable.

A verse that is shows this principle at work is Daniel 1:11-16

     1. Daniel prepared his negotiating strategy

     2. Affirmed respect for those in authority

     3. Understood the others interests (healthy and productive workers)

     4. Searched for a solution that met both interests

     5. Evaluated the options objectively and reasonably(The hebrew children were healthier than the others that ate the kings meat)



Cold

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)

     It is cold outside. Now it is interesting to think about the other places in the world that are colder than it is here in Tucson. My definition of cold at 65 would be different to some one who is living in 30 and below degrees, much different. Yet, there is a different type of cold that is universal. Sometimes we get cold to the things of God and his Word. We get to the place that we are busy all of the time in everything that is not in accordance with spending time with God. It is one of the ways the devil has put a wedge too often between his people and God. So, how do I get back to the as Jeremiah says, "his word was in me, like fire in my bones, that I had to preach."

1) Breathe.

This may seem like a simple thing, especially since we all need oxygen to life, yet how often do we not take a moment and just breathe and wait. This is a good way to refresh yourself and to listen to the still small voice of God speak to you.

2) Don't neglect praise.

It is amazing the power that God has given us to get the fires going in your hearts like praise. A person that stays constant in praising God for everything has lest stress and anxiety to worry about the many things that people worry about. It also helps to change you focus, and pretty soon you will see your relationship with God to be more and mroe on fire.

3) Read.

The bible tells us that it is inspired. This is a fancy way to say God Breathed. If you have trouble following the first point, allow the breath of God to get into your heart, by his word. Have you every tried to start a fire when there was no oxygen? Fire needs oxygen, just like we do to survive, so let God provide you a new oxygen and flame in your life.

Change

Posted on January 12, 2015 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)

     Looking outside at the rain it is interesting to see how things change. It was nice and sunny just a couple of days ago, now it is raining. Sure, there was the warning of clouds in the sky that were more black than white. Yet, there still was the desire to see the sun win and the rain to go. What type of world would there be if there was no longer rain that would fall. How good would our lives be if everything that was around was dry and dying. In a believer's life, we have the wonderful change of a living spring flowing up within us, from the dry desert of sin. We have been changed to see the promise of God in the form of a rainbow, when we see the rain coming down. How much growth would you have if not for the times when you all difficulties were drenching you like the rain does to those who venture outside in it without an umbrella? Many go to college and want to change the world in their various degrees of choice. Some wonder am I making any change at all, or when will things change in the situation that I am presently in. Change is not all bad, even though some will fight tooth and nail to prevent change. Let the God who controls the clouds and the showers and the sun, moon and stars, start making a new change in you. Put away all your fears, and the weapons used to fight against God, and let him wrap you in the same rainbow that circled the world after the flood.

New Things

Posted on January 6, 2015 at 9:30 PM Comments comments (0)

It is nice that the new year has finally arrived. We can put to past the things of the past and concentrate on the things of the new year. We are reminded in scripture that old things have passed away behold all things are new. This is a story that is told by many of the millions of Christians around the world, from the first day that they met Jesus and put their trust in him. As a christian we are also commended in scripture that even though our outward man perishes the new man is renewed day by day. So make today, not some time this year to put all things in the past by giving those past things to Jesus so he can make you new.

Thanksgiving

Posted on November 24, 2014 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)

We are commended in First Thessalonians chapter 5 that we to, "in everything give thanks." This is a statement that in many ways is easier said than done. When we are going through difficulty, or have been through tragic events, this is difficult, yet necessary to begin taking power over the situation. I remember many times in my life when everything seemed hopeless, and yet cultivating the attitude of thanking God even for the difficulty I was going through at tha time, started giving my life victory, and made the Devil realize he was not going to win me through these issues. So, How can I cultivate this principal in my life? Here are a few tips to help:

1) Make a thanksgiving journal. Everyday put at least five things you are thankful for or are trying to be thankful for. This helps to begin practicing thanksgiving, and soon will become a natural part of who you are like breathing.

2) Read God's word everyday. Look specifically for things to be thankful about, which will help you in your journal.

3) Pray every day. Especially ask the Lord to help you with the spirit of gratitude and thanks.

4) Do something for someone else every day. Start learning how to give others reasons for thanksgiving.

   

season's change

Posted on October 15, 2014 at 6:55 PM Comments comments (0)

     One thing one can count on is that eventually the weather changes. Here I am at December with good weather in Tucson, yet it is getting colder. Activities are going on, with little end until the first of the year. We can see the changes that scripture talk about with sin getting worse and worse. Difficulties on the horizon, where the church is called to be more of a witness of the holiness of God, despite the fact that even in the United States we may get arrested for staying true to the Word of God. As we continue to grow and grow in the Lord, we also change. The one thing that does not change is God. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. His faithfulness to his people does not change. His Love for the entire world, demonstrated by providing the only way to Salvation, which is Jesus Christ does not change. His returning and seperating the sheep(believers) and Goats(unbelivers) will not change. So praise the Lord for the changes that we see are coming, and the unchanging of the One True God.


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