Friday, January 25, 2008
Today I received a message from a young man who said that Christianity was just draining the life out of him because he tried to force himself to believe in Christ. This is sad but I'm afraid many men today are searching for Christ but don't seem to find him. Why is that? Are Christians today failing as witnesses for Christ? There is a book called "Why men hate going to Church", I have not read it but many men do hate to go to church. Why? What do we do?
The following data is from: www.churchformen.com
• "The typical U.S. Congregation draws an adult crowd that’s 61% female, 39% male. This gender gap shows up in all age categories.
• On any given Sunday there are 13 million more adult women than men in America’s churches.
• This Sunday almost 25 percent of married, churchgoing women will worship without their husbands.
• Midweek activities often draw 70 to 80 percent female participants.
• The majority of church employees are women (except for ordained clergy, who are overwhelmingly male).
• As many as 90 percent of the boys who are being raised in church will abandon it by their 20th birthday. Many of these boys will never return.
• More than 90 percent of American men believe in God, and five out of six call themselves Christians. But only two out of six attend church on a given Sunday. The average man accepts the reality of Jesus Christ, but fails to see any value in going to church.
• A significant number of churchgoing men attend out of habit, unaffected by what they hear.
• Quite a few men go to church simply to keep their wives/mothers/girlfriends happy.
• The majority of men who attend church do nothing during the week to grow their faith.
• Relatively few churches are able to establish or maintain a vibrant men’s ministry."
A successful business person once said, “Your system is perfectly designed to give you the results you’re getting.”
Does the Word of God need to change? No, of course not, it was effective when it was written and is still effective today. So maybe the church needs to change or maybe, just maybe we are the ones needing a transformation. We do need to pray for our churches today. Look around your congregation, who's there, who's missing? Why are people leaving the church?
I have been doing some soul searching myself. I don't have all the answers but I hope this blog will cause people to think about their walk with the Lord. I pray that we will ask ourselves difficult questions. What are we doing to win others to the Lord? What are we doing to strengthen our relationship with Christ? If we do not want to go to church, what is the reason?
Wherever you are in your walk with Christ, whether your male or female, do not get discouraged. If your walk with the Lord is not moving forward then it is stagnant. Read the Word, pray and ask God for wisdom. Jesus is listening. I will be praying for you.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8-9
We are saved by grace and by grace alone. It has nothing to do with who we are, what we've done or where we are from. Our works can be an expression of our love for Christ but to boast about what we have done for the Lord is wrong. Works will not get you into heaven. Only the sacrifice of Jesus and through God's abundant grace. You must accept Christ for what he has done for you and ask him to forgive you. His grace does the rest. We do not deserve salvation but God's grace allows us to be a child of God. It (grace) is a gift; accept it, it's free.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
A person came up to a preacher and said, "I do not like your style of preaching." The preacher said "I guess I do not either. What are you doing for the Lord? How are you witnessing? Are you preaching"? The person said "No." The preacher said "I think I'll keep doing what I'm doing". For those who feel that Joel Osteen's messages are not deep enough read 1 Corinthians 3:1-7. Sometimes people are not ready for anything other than what draws then to the cross in the first place. Joel has a ministry to the people in his city, I will not judge him for doing what he feels he is lead to do. "Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not mere men? What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow." 1 Corinthians 3:1-7
I have been touched by the words of this man and have felt God's anointing on his life. Before you judge Joel or anyone ask for God's grace. God give me wisdom to know when I have sinned, not my brother.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Many of the comments I hear concerning Christianity are very negative about those who follow Christ. Again, we are NOT perfect nor do we claim to be. To judge us based on someone whom you dislike on TV is not only unfair but an insult to the one we believe in and try so hard to follow, Christ himself. We are forgiven only because of the grace of God and the blood that was shed for us by Christ. I try to be Christ-like but I am not; I fail daily. To judge me because I'm human screams that you think you are actually the one who believes they are better. I love Christ and those who have read my posts in the past know that I am what I am, nothing special but very sincere about my faith in God.
Jesus is Lord and I'm not ashamed to say it. The only reason I talk so openly about my faith is because Christians believe they have a responsibility to tell others about the Lord. I am human, I make mistakes, but the difference between me and a non-Christian is that I have been forgiven for my sins. I have hope for tomorrow. If Christians are wrong then they've lost maybe 70 years if they are lucky living not only for today, but also for eternity. If non-Christians are wrong then they have lost out on eternity living only for today. What a risk to take. God is REAL, Jesus is REAL, I know it in my heart, and no one can shake my faith.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Have you ever just had one of those days where everything went wrong? You took your car to the garage for what you thought was a simple fix and before you know it, you're out of money or they say, "I can't fix your car today." Of course you've had those days and you will continue to have those days as long as you live. The key to dealing with certain events in your life that cause disruptions is your attitude. You can let "things" upset you or you can say "thank you God for preventing a disaster." Who knows (well God does) what would happen if you didn't fix that clunker of a car. Maybe, just maybe you could have been seriously injured or killed in an accident.
We need to trust God more in our lives. We must trust him with the big problems as well as the daily frustrations. Today say "I'm going to have a good day". A positive attitude will help you succeed.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Winter can be a beautiful time of the year, but for some it brings sadness. Many people suffer depression during the winter months simply because they are not getting enough sunlight. If you are feeling down then maybe you need a change of scenery. Go outside, the very act of walking outdoors, taking a break from a stressful day or event will lower your blood pressure.
We need to take care of ourselves (I'm guilty of not doing this very well) and stop to smell the roses or in the winter just stop and relax. I have been examining my life recently and I'm trying to de-stress it. I need to remove or correct what causes me anxiety and replace the worry with joy. People so often do things not because they think it's right but because "people" tell them it's right. We all must search our hearts for the truth. You can listen to a preacher but if you never read the Bible yourself then you are living your life based on what a man says and not God. God wants us to communicate with him not third party through another person but direct. Pray for wisdom and direction and God will answer your prayer. He loves you and wants you to be happy.
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Sunday, January 6, 2008 is my first granddaughter's "first birthday". I dedicate this post to her. Ava Grace is such a sweetheart and she has already learned how to melt my heart.
Ava, Grandpa loves you so much and will always be there for you.
Happy Birthday #1 Ava Grace