Pastor Appreciation – from the other side.

Last month, Oct, was Pastor Appreciation month and I wanted to share something from the other side of the coin, so to speak. Too often the appreciation comes from the pew with very little mentioned from the Pulpit. I want to express how much I appreciate the opportunity to be the Pastor of Wilson Ave Baptist Church in Aurora, Mo. God has used Anita and me to we have served in many facets and in many areas. Each one has had it’s own unique aspects to it. We have yet to Pastor or serve in a perfect Church, because our presence there prevents that from happening.

As we prepared to come here last January, I mentioned to our folks that when God brings a new Pastor there was going to be change, because the man coming in would be different. Just how different, they had no idea. So, I want to say, from the two of us, that we appreciate you all so much for welcoming us into the fold and making us feel at home. Our prayer is that we can grow “together” as we “grow” together – closer to one another as we get closer to God.

Bob Hoffman – A Cyberspace Missionary.

We were blessed to have Bro Bob Hoffman and his wife with us at Wilson Ave Baptist this past Sunday. Bro Bob is a missionary to cyberspace. I know that sounds unusual, but he works with many Churches to better reach the internet with the Gospel When we arrived here in January, we didn’t have much of a presence on the web. A friend introduced me to Bro Hoffman and he has blessed us with a simple to use and very effective website. It is wabcaurora.com. He has spent hours working with us to maintain the site and help us get our messages out around the world with audio and written. We actually began reaching out the first of Feb and as of today, 10-21-21, we have had 807 downloads of our messages and lessons with 829 hits to our site. We have had hits from 14 total countries. It is amazing what even small Churches like ours can do to share the Truth of God’s Word in todays technology. God has been good to allow us to be a part of this new way of reaching the uttermost parts of the world. Please continue to pray for Bro Bob Hoffman and his ministry and if you know of a Church that needs assistance with their website, you can go to cyber-missions.com. Thank you Bro Bob for a wonderful weekend.

Love I Wonderful

Anita and I have been married for 51 yrs. I must admit that I was first attracted by her beauty and then as we got to know each other I realized there was something very special about her. So, being the wise guy that I am, I asked her to marry me and to my great surprise she said yes. I must make a confession – the day we got married, I didn’t really love her. I didn’t know how to love her and during those first years of our lives together it was a struggle at times. The reason was very simple – I loved me more that I loved her. Then, I began to mature (I was a slow learner) and the more I got to know her, the real her and not just the beautiful lady that she is. the more I began to see just how much there is to love about her. I try to tell her often how much I love her and also how much I love loving her.

I have said all of that because it is true, but also because there is a point to it. As God begins to reveal Himself to us through His marvelous creation and we see the beauty and grandeur of it, we are drawn to Him. There comes a day when He has shown us who we are and Who He is that our hearts cry out to Him for salvation. We see just how much He loves us, but as before we don’t really know how to Love Him. It takes time and effort on our part. We must truly get to know Him and just how much He loves us. We spend time in His Word, we talk with Him in prayer, we fellowship with our fellow Christians and see the joy and peace that only God can bring. We understand that it is far better to love Him than to love ourselves.

Jesus made a simple statement that helps us to see just where our love is directed – If you love Me, keep My commandments. The more I knew about Anita, the more I wanted to please her. The more I know about God, the more I want to please Him.

Technology Today

I have grown up (better than advanced in years) during the great advancement in technology. I can remember when the first “mega-computor” came out. It took up rooms and rooms to operate in and the temperature and environment had to be kept just right. It was called the beast. Now, we have computers that farrrrr excede that beast and we carry them around in our pockets and call people on them from around the world. All I can say is WOW!!!

But here is something else I have learned over the years. This surger in terrabytes, megabytes and whatever else wants to byte us, has left us more ignorant that we were before. Young people today communicate with emogies rather than words. Most can’t read the hands on a clock because all they have to do is ask their phone who speaks it back to them. Today, we can ask our computers or tablets or phones about any subject and almost immediately get an answer. Yet, we have dumbed down our educationsal system so that some can make it through school.

We now have a generation of people who do not know how to think for themselves. They take the word of someone that they know nothing about. And it carries over into the Church as well. I would say that there are fewer Churches out there that actually preach the Gospel and tell people that they are lost and on there way to hell, than those remaining. Paul said on 3 different occasions “I would not have you to be ignorant…” and yet ignorant we are. Let me challenge you to take your Bible and spend time with the One Person – God – Who can answer any question and meet any need. You will the wiser for it.

We Need Prayer

As a teenager growing up and trying to figure out what I was going to do as an adult, the thought of being a Preacher/Pastor never entered my mind. But, God had a plan. Anita and I have been in ministry for over 40 years and we have experienced and learned a lot. As I look back at the beginning, I remember very distinctly a big mistake that I made at our first Church. I had the idea that as the Pastor, I was supposed to always be spiritual and right with God, so I can’t recall ever asking the Church to pray for me. Boy was I wrong! I am very sure that every Pastor will totally agree with me that we need family, friends, and our members to pray earnestly and daily for us.
In talking with many Churches through the years, while helping them seek a Pastor, I have made a point to say that when the new Pastor arrives, if you have and he have earnestly prayed, then he is the answer to your prayer as God’s man of the hour. But, he will be different that the last man. You cannot compare the past with the present.
I think I can speak for most Pastors today, regardless of how long they have been serving, when I say that we will make mistakes and we will offend people, but never on purpose. I hear so often of people leaving a Church because of something that the Pastor said or didn’t say. I have a friend with whom I spoke recently who was upset because there had been contact from the Pastor in the time of need. We are human and we often do things that people don’t understand or agree with. We NEED Prayer.
When you get to the point that you realize just how much your Pastor and his wife love you, you will see that they need you. Pastors, Preachers, Staff members, Missionaries, etc. are not perfect so let me encourage you to lift them up in prayer and if there is a problem, go to them and pray together. In these last days as Satan wants to pull us apart, we need the bond of love, grace and peace.

One More In The Kingdom

Sometimes we get the wrong idea about when, where, and how a person can be saved. A person can accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior anywhere and anytime that the Holy Spirit speaks truth to their heart about their need. Such is the case with a young lady that has been visiting our Church for a couple of months. She has had a real excitement about coming and learning, thinking that she was saved a long time ago. But, yesterday, God made it very clear she had a need and He alone could meet that need. This evening she gave testimony to the fact the was truly born again yesterday. God is sooooo good. Please keep her in prayer.

Heaven Bound

Years ago there was a movie titled “All Dogs Go To Heaven”. It was a kids movie that many adults enjoyed as well. Sadly, that is the mindset of people today when someone dies. Now, I will be the first to admit that we cannot tell whether a person is saved on not for sure. But we can see in God’s Word how a saved person should act to show to the world their relationship with Jesus Christ.

Here is my point – we have seen so many people that have passed on into eternity that have a lifestyle that is filled with worldliness and ungodliness and people say “they are better off now” or “God has taken them home”. Reality check! Not everyone goes to Heaven! If a person lives like the devil, how do others think he will spend eternity anywhere but hell? God is a loving God and a Gracious God and a Merciful God, but He is also a Righteous God. The Heavenly Father sent His only begotten Son to die for man’s sin, but man must chose to accept that marvelous gift or your choice is to spend eternity in the darkness of fire and brimstone separated from God and all others.

If you are sure, without a doubt, that you are saved and on your way to Heaven then do all you can to reach those who are at deaths door. We never know when our time will come to leave this other with no option to be saved.

83 Years And Counting

Yesterday, we celebrated the 83rd Anniversary of Wilson Ave Baptist Church. It was a great day with Bro Tom Hanson and Bro Randall Moody coming in to preach for us and well as provide some special music.
I want to express my appreciation for all of those who were involved in the services as well as those who spent hours with the decorations and preparing the noon meal. As always, it was beautiful and delicious.
I also want to say that after 83 years in Aurora, MO there are some things that are still the same and some things that are very much different. Obviously, the membership has changed somewhat and the ways that we are able to reach people with the gospel has advanced. But, we still preach the same message of salvation by grace, through faith in Christ’s death on the cross. We still hold true to the KJV and we are still a welcoming and loving family of believers. Thank you to those who have been a part of this ministry for such a long time.
If you are seeking a Church home, pray and come visit with us. If you are born again, God has a place for you to grow and serve and you need to be there.

Labor Day

Tomorrow we celebrate Labor Day. A day that was set aside to recognize those who have worked hard to make our country prosperous and growing. How do we define “labor”? What is stressful work for some is very enjoyable to others. My dad worked with Oklahoma Natural Gas Co. for many years before he went to Heaven. We also lived on a farm where he spent most of his weekends taking care of what needed to be done. It was not uncommon for dad to spend his Sunday afternoons on the tractor plowing or mowing or any number of things. One day the Pastor asked dad why he worked on Sunday and didn’t he think this was a bad testimony? Dad’s reply was that he worked mon – fri but when he was seated on that tractor it was his time with God – watching the the fresh earth turn over by the plow or seeing the crops come in. You see, we never missed going to Church where he served God leading the music for many years. That was his true labor of love.

So, as you celebrate Labor Day think about that which brings you sweat and toil and that which brings you a sense of peace and contentment. Ask yourself this question, “are you serving man or God”? Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount that we should seek Him first (priority) and all these other things will be added. Matt 6:33 Hope you have a great time with family and friends.

Don’t Miss Out

THE SITUATION

In Washington , DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About 4 minutes later: The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

At 6 minutes: A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

At 10 minutes: A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent – without exception – forced their children to move on quickly.

At 45 minutes: The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

After 1 hour: He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music. This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities. This experiment raised several questions:

*In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?

*If so, do we stop to appreciate it?

*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made . . ..

How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?

Enjoy life NOW .. it has an expiration date!