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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

TOO AFRAID TO FIGHT


I read a very thought provoking story in the thirteenth chapter of Exodus, today. (Ex 13:17-22)

God had delivered Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, whom they had been enslaved by for four hundred years.

The Scripture says there was a shorter and more direct path from Egypt to the promised land than what they took (through the wilderness and Red Sea), yet God didn’t direct them down the shorter more direct path. He knew it would require them to go to war with the Philistines. The bottom-line was Israel would have rather went back to Egyptian bondage than fight.

God is merciful, so He took them through the wilderness and then parted the Red Sea for them. They finally got down to the Jordan River where they could actually see into Canaan, the land of promise. Canaan was an incredibly fertile land. In fact, it was described as a land that flowed with milk and honey. When they realized inhabiting the promised land was going to require them to fight giants, they went back, choosing forty years of wandering in the desert instead. They would rather walk around in circles, never inheriting God’s promises, dying horrible deaths in the desert, than go to war.

There is a great falling away in America. People’s love for God and His kingdom are eroding. He has delivered them from sin (Egypt). He has led them around the land of the Philistines, making their paths smoother, because He knows they’ll immediately go back if they have to fight. He has parted Red Seas for them (working miracles on their behalf). He has brought them down to the Jordan River, allowed them to see the glory, love, joy, peace, and goodness of Jesus. He has offered them a fruitful and fertile land–a victorious Christian life
but they have chosen to go back to bondage. They have chosen to take their children back into death as opposed to showing them what faith and God’s glory looks like. They would rather drag their children through a desert than give them revival.

Here’s what I want to say:

TO THOSE THAT ARE GOING BACK ... STOP. It’s idiotic. You’re going to die out there. Your children will almost certainly die out there, too, and it will be your fault. 

TO THE CHILDREN OF FEARFUL PARENTS: God has a plan for you. In this story, although all the parents died in the desert, their children survived and eventually went to war, defeating the giants! God fought for them just like He would have their parents. God gave them the promise despite their parent's failure. 

You can love God even if your parents don’t. You can be powerful even if your parents aren't. You can live for Jesus if no one else around you will. You can fight giants because you belong to the giant killer.

TO JOSHUA AND CALEB: The only two adults that God allowed to survive the wilderness was Joshua and Caleb. They wanted to go fight the Canaanites, but they couldn't do it by themselves. They ended up having to go back into the wilderness with all the fearful and ungrateful people. God honored their faith and courage though.  He didn't forget them. They also inherited the Promised Land!

To all the leaders that are getting discouraged with people that keep going back ... THIS IS WAR! God has a plan and a people that will bring that plan to fruition. You may not conquer Canaan with the people you thought you would. It may end up being the little children running around in your church that destroy the giants of your city. An aged D. L. Moody said if he could start his ministry over, he’d minister exclusively to children. Don’t underestimate God and His plan. Stay faithful. Your time is coming.

Let us be willing to go to war. Whether we live or die is inconsequential. I want more life in my years than I do years in my life. Being in His will is everything. Experiencing His favor is everything. We must fight the good fight of faith for our children’s sake, for Christ’s sake. If we don’t ... Christianity will fade away in America.

2Ti 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

I MIGHT BE FAT, BUT AT LEAST I DON'T DRINK ALCOHOL!



THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMM: Evidently, a major Christian denomination has just reversed their tough stance on alcohol consumption after the convention threatened to introduce an obesity resolution. Their point was the number one killer of Americans is heart disease (not alcohol consumption) and the primary cause for heart disease is an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and being overweight. So in summary, the number one killer of Americans is the abuse of food.

If were honest, whether we agree or not, this should cause us to take a closer look at this subject. The Scripture says:

1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.


I've heard a lot of sermons preached on tobacco and alcohol, but none on overeating and being overweight. We don't really have to wonder why. Most of us preachers (and those on the pews) are guilty. I'm wondering if we don't have a little hypocrisy to deal with here. I know I'm feeling convicted.

Hey, just some food for thought. I found it an interesting read.

 
Peace. Love. Hope.
David Lamb
See you at the gym.0

Saturday, December 2, 2017

DOES CHURCH MATTER ANY MORE?

It can be difficult for a pastor to write about certain subjects because of the intimate nature of their ministry. Revival Tabernacle isn’t a mega-church, but we have enough people that regardless of what I write about, someone in our church might be guilty of it and potentially take it personally. Another thing I’ve noticed is when a minister writes, whether it be on a blog or just a Facebook post, people automatically assume they are venting. So instead of having deep, spiritual conversations with the readers, the comment section is filled with well meaning people’s words of encouragement. What is meant to be insightful becomes a mere pity party.

I’m writing today because I’m concerned–and I’m not just concerned about Revival Tabernacle. I’m concerned about the American church that my children are growing up in.

I've been reading statistics on church attendance. Some studies show that a mere 13%-20% of Americans attend a weekly church service now. That’s so scary. We’re about two generations away from being a totally apostate country. This statistic tells us several very important things. First, the church isn’t evangelizing the world; they aren’t telling unconverted sinners about Jesus. Secondly, parents aren’t passing their faith onto their children in a convincing manner. Christianity is a casual thing for them and their children aren’t interested in it. Parents that go to church two or three times a month are raising children that won't go at all.

The bottom-line is the church is not reproducing and anything that doesn’t reproduce will go extinct. God help the good ol’ U.S. of A.

WE’VE HAD A LOT OF SICKNESS LATELY
 
This particular article isn’t directed toward the unconverted sinner. It concerns people that profess to be saved–people that even admit church attendance is important–yet aren’t faithful to their church. Pastors all across the country are telling me their church’s attendance is at an all time low. People that once attended are coming less and less.

We pastors can be such hypocrites. People ask us how many people we have coming and we stretch that number way out there. Pastors will claim five hundred members, but when you visit their church there’s about fifty people actually in attendance.

“Hey, doc. I thought you had five hundred?”


    “Well, we’ve got a lot of people out sick today.”

“Four hundred and fifty?”

We pastors are very inventive when it comes to finding a “valid” reason why our two hundred member churches only have thirty people in the pews.

    In the SUMMER it's due to the Summer Slump.
    In the FALL it's due to people working more.
    In the WINTER it's due to people being sick.
    In the SPRING it's due to people working more.

MANY CHURCHES ARE DEAD!

I hope you know I’m not trying to brow beat anyone. I want to be as fair as I can. There are a lot of people that aren't going to church because the church isn't meeting their spiritual needs. When that’s legitimately the case, the church is at fault. Pastors, this is something we must consider. I know on those days when I walk into the pulpit and see half the church not in attendance, my first thought is toward myself, not the people. I wonder if it's my fault. Is my preaching so powerless and shallow the people have no interest in it? Can they not grow under my leadership? What do I need to do to become better equipped? Should I resign and allow someone else to take my place? That's where my mind goes first. I try to always self-evaluate. I know I need to go deeper. I know I need to continue developing myself so I can effectively feed the flock of God He has set me over. 

So the church may be at fault. The leadership may be at fault. When that’s the case, we must fix it.
And if you're attending a church that you don't want to go to, find another church. It's that simple.
 
The thing is–whether I am a novice preacher or not–some of the men that are telling me their church’s attendance is abysmal are phenomenal preachers. I know them and I know their congregations. The people could learn a great deal from their leadership if they’d just show up, but they won’t. And I know what some of you are thinking. “He might be a good preacher, but is he living right?” Yes! The men I’m referring to are godly, God fearing men–not charlatans. These are godly pastors that are great preachers. They aren’t to blame for their congregation not being faithful.  

SHOULD WE CANCEL OUR MID-WEEK SERVICE, TOO?

I used to mock churches that canceled their mid-week and Sunday night services. I DON'T NOW. Whether I agree or not, I understand why they are doing it. The church is there to serve the people, to teach, and to lead them into a deeper walk with Jesus. The mid-week service (Bible study, Small group, etc) is made available to promote discipleship. It is meant to promote spiritual health to the members. But if the people aren’t interested in coming to it, what can the leader do? They want to spend time with their families, too. Many of them work two jobs and are tired, too. Why should a chef spend hours preparing a meal that no one wants to eat? Ministers often feel like they’re wasting their time. (Pastor, if that's you ... refocus. You don't work for people. There will be those that will never reciprocate your sacrifice, but Jesus has already done more for you than you'll ever do for Him. You work for Jesus and that's an honor regardless of how hard it is.)

Christmas Eve will fall on a Sunday this year and we will most likely cancel service. WHAAAT? Tell me about it. I can remember when I thought it was blasphemy to cancel church on Christmas or Christmas Eve. I would say churches that did so were going straight to hell. My thinking was pure and very simple. We don’t cancel church on Easter, so why would we cancel church on Christmas? Christmas is about the birth of Jesus, so why would we not celebrate it at church? That makes sense, right?

I guess I’m getting soft in my old age because canceling one Sunday service a year on Christmas or Christmas Eve doesn’t bother me like it used to. First of all, I highly doubt any truly born again Christian is going to backslide after missing just one service. Secondly, practically speaking, Christmas is a very family oriented holiday. People are traveling, dinners are prepared, gifts are given and received, and people spend time with loved ones they may not see all year long. Just because we cancel a Sunday church service doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate Christmas. Our family always gathers in the living room on Christmas day to read and discuss the Christmas story. We sing carols, we share what we’re thankful for, and then we pray, thanking God for the birth of Jesus. We have church at the house on Christmas day regardless of what day it falls on.

The third reason I don’t have an issue with pastors canceling service on Christmas is there are typically only a handful of people that are going to attend that service anyway. And out of that handful of people, the vast majority of them would like to be sitting around the fire place in their PJ’s, drinking coffee, listening to Christmas music, and enjoying family time like everyone else. Most of the time, they only come because they are super committed or simply don’t have anywhere else to go.

TO CHURCH OR NOT TO CHURCH? THAT’S THE QUESTION.


So, ministerially, I find myself in a complex dilemma. I’m stuck in a straight betwixt two very real issues. On one hand, I feel compelled to tell people that church attendance doesn’t save them–Jesus does. That message is typically reserved for those with legalistic leanings who think going to heaven is nothing more than adhering to a rigid religious regimen–a check list of do(s) and don’t(s). 

On the other hand, I know belonging to a church and serving with the saints in a local assembly is absolutely and indescribably imperative to the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. Biblically, I know God’s plan for the evangelization of the world and discipleship is attached to the local church (Eph 4:11-13). Therefore when people are unfaithful to God’s house and refuse to participate in the church’s ministries souls go to hell. And when souls go to hell because we failed to do our part, God will hold us responsible (Eze 3:18-19). I also know, practically speaking, people’s attitudes toward church attendance is a direct reflection of their spirituality. Almost without exception, when God’s house isn’t a priority, prayer, the Bible, discipleship, soul winning, and the souls of their children are not important to them either. 

EXCUSES, EXCUSES

Brothers and sisters ... I am concerned. I’m watching more and more people put church and church attendance way down on the priority list. People that used to be on fire in Christ; people that were soul winners; people that were engaged in the church are now pre-occupied with a thousand other things. I’m watching people that one time believed taking their children to church and teaching them to serve the Lord was the greatest thing they could do for them are now taking their children to county fairs and ball games on church nights.

They seem to think their absence is only affecting them, but that's not true. How many ministries are hindered because of people's unfaithfulness? You can't have a successful children's ministry when people won't volunteer and be faithful to it. You can't get any momentum going when there's a hundred in church this Sunday and half the church lays out the next Sunday. It devastates the leaders, discouraging them to the bone. It effects the atmosphere. It hurts the finances. It's effecting eternity whether they admit it or not.

If I had a Benny for every time I heard an excuse for why someone isn’t coming to church on a particular church service, I’d be richer than Richie. These excuses seem to make sense to those rendering them, but they’re really nothing more than admission of their spiritual anemia.

Explain to me why it makes sense for someone to be too tired to go to an hour and half church service (7:00-8:30) one night a week, yet they’re never too tired to get up at 5:00 o’clock in the morning and go to work! Am I to believe they aren’t tired on Monday morning? Are they not tired at 5:00 o’clock on Friday morning? Of course they are. But do you think they call in to work every time they wake up and don’t feel like going in? Absolutely not! Why is this? It’s simple. Their job is a greater priority than God's house. They feel like they need money more than they need preaching, teaching, discipleship, and fellowship. They believe their children need Iphones and Play Stations more than religious training. Church is an option-their job is not. When you aren't too tired to work forty hours a week, but can't muster up the strength to attend an hour and a half church service during the week, there's a deeper problem.

Here’s another thing! It doesn’t take a genius to see America is a crumbling cesspool of moral debauchery. Any sane person can see it, but why aren't people drawing closer to God? I would think when a parent sees how strongly the world is pulling at their children’s souls they would try to put them into a spiritual atmosphere. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

THE REAL REASON

We can pretend and make up a million excuses, but the truth is pretty evident. People aren’t coming because they’re not interested in coming. Church isn't important to them anymore. It isn't a priority. There is nothing there that appeals to them. For many, church is an inconvenience. They only go when they don't have something else more important to do. 
 
The Bible told us this day would come.

2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first ...

Mt 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith ...

Lu 8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

There it is. It's a sign of the last days. People are falling out of love with Jesus. They are backsliding. They are getting caught up in the world and cares of life. I may sound legalistic, but I’m not trying to be. Even a blind man can see America is going to hell. And as long as there is no spiritual force countering Satan’s attack, tomorrow will be worse than today. In forty years there will be only a handful of churches left. In forty years, Islam will be the predominant religion in America.

The question is will you make the necessary changes to ensure you perpetuate Christianity in your world? You can start by allowing Jesus to take over your home. Then get up and go to church faithfully, rededicating yourself to Christ and His service. 

CHRIST IN THE LOCAL CHURCH IS THE ONLY HOPE FOR AMERICA! DON'T SEND YOUR CHILDREN AND THEIR CHILDREN ON A TRAJECTORY TO HELL. LET'S MAKE A DIFFERENCE. IT MUST START IN OUR HOMES!

Monday, October 30, 2017

WHEN OLD MEN KILL YOUNG MEN ... GOD IS WATCHING!

(MAY GOD BLESS ALL THE CALEBS AND JOSHUAS OUT THERE)

Somewhere around 605 BC, the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, invaded, conquered and enslaved the Israelites–this captivity lasted 70 years (Jer 25:11-12). The Babylonians totally destroyed their house of worship (Solomon’s temple). This was tragic. Solomon’s Temple was the wonder of the world. No expense was spared when building it. Tons of gold, the rarest jewels, and the finest lumber and cloth in the world was gathered and used to build God’s House. When the Babylonians were done there was nothing left but ashes and memories.

Please, take note that these things happened because God removed His favor from Israel. He removed His favor because of their sins. (I’ll repeat this statement in a moment).

About 70 years later, Cyrus the Persian overthrew the Babylonians and gave permission for the Jews to return to their homeland. Almost 50,000 Jews left Babylon and returned to Palestine. Three years later, in 535 BC, they laid the foundation for a new Temple, thus ending the 70 years of their captivity.

For the younger men and women, it was a time of great joy. The Bible says they shouted aloud because they were so joyful. The strange thing is the older folks were not excited–they were not shouting over what they were seeing. Instead, the Bible says they were weeping and crying out loud (Ezra 3:11-13). Now, you may ask why the young people were excited and praising the Lord while the older men were sad and weeping? Let’s allow the Bible to the answer that question.

Ezr 3:12 But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:
13 So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.

 
THEY WERE CONSUMED WITH THE GHOSTS OF THE PAST!
 

These older men remembered the first temple. They remembered the Grandeur, the Gold, and the Glory of Solomon’s Temple. They remembered the old days when the temple of the Lord was one of he wonders of the world. They couldn’t enjoy what the younger people were building because they esteemed it to be less than what they had experienced. While the young men were rejoicing the older men were crying and saying:
   
Hag 2:3 Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?
       
They could see that the new temple was smaller and lacked much of the grandeur of Solomon’s temple which they esteemed to be superior, so they refused to rejoice with the younger men. I think some of those old men and women are still around today.

NEWFANGLED RELIGION


 I came up in a church world that constantly referred to “old time holiness” and the “old paths”. They fought anything that was new. They absolutely detested change. According to them, they knew what “old time religion” was and anything that didn’t look like it was worldly, modern, and newfangled. I have one major problem with their “old time religion” ... IT ISN’T OLD ENOUGH. They don’t go all the way back to the Book of Acts; they merely go back to where they experienced God. In other words, their old paths are simply the churches they grew up in the 50's, 60's, 70's, etc. They hold to that style of worship, singing, fellowship, and preaching as if it is the only way God has ever or will ever move among His people.     

But what about the Bible? The early church didn’t have church buildings, elevated pulpits, pulpit standards, Bible stands, church clothes, pews, etc–those things were introduced by the Catholic church many years later. I suppose those things have their place, but the first Christians had church in their houses, especially when it was too dangerous to go to the Jewish temples. The early church was more consumed with BEING the church than they were building sacred edifices and adhering to staunch ritualism. They were more consumed with spreading the name of Jesus than they were creating an organized religion. The only things that were sacred to them was God, His Spirit, His Word, and the name of Jesus!

Just for a side note: They had some of these grieving old men among them, too. There were those that couldn’t enjoy what Jesus was doing in the world because they wanted everyone to be circumcised and quit eating pork chops. Thankfully, the elders were able to correct them and they were able to build together (Acts 15). For me ... that’s “old time religion”.

I want to be careful here because there are some aspects of my early church days that I miss. The people’s dedication to God’s house and their hunger for holiness of heart was beautiful. I have seen God move mightily in my life. I remember preaching a seven week revival where over a hundred people gave their lives to Christ. It was glorious. It was there that God truly revealed Jesus to me. I suppose I could hang my hat there and spend the rest of my life grieving because today’s church world doesn’t look like that, but the truth is I don’t want a church that looks like that. It was eat up with false doctrine and false prophecy. The Spirit and miracles He performed were sacred, but the songs the people sang, style of worship, ignorance of the Bible, and dislike for teaching was not. I was ultimately kicked out of that church because I preached Jesus’ blood is sufficient to save. It was a glorious time, but I’m not staying there. GOD MET ME IN A STRANGE PLACE, BUT HE HAD TO ... THAT’S WHERE I WAS.

Now, I’m somewhat confused about those elder men that refused to rejoice with the younger men. It was actually their fault Solomon’s temple was destroyed in the first place. God removed His favor from them because of THEIR SINS.

DEAR ANCIENT MEN AND WOMEN ... It’s hypocritical to destroy the church and then pout when the younger men start rebuilding it. And you need to remember that ... NOT EVERYONE HAS YOUR EXPERIENCES!


The younger men that rebuilt the temple did not remember the first temple. They had no idea of what it had looked like or of the glory that had been in it. All they remembered was a life of captivity and bondage in a foreign land. No doubt many of these people had been born during the time of Israel’s captivity and all they could remember was their slavery. I believe they also remembered how God in His power had delivered them from that bondage. They could not remember the first temple, but they were thankful for what they had!

THEY WERE THANKFUL FOR THE GIFTS OF THE PRESENT!

Ezr 3:11 And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.

 
These young people could not remember the old days, but they could see that a new day of opportunity had dawned for them and they embraced it wholeheartedly! These young people had no frame of reference concerning the old days, but they were excited about what God was doing in their day.


The young people were singing while the older people were grieving. The younger people were praising the Lord while the older people were weeping. The younger people were giving God thanks for His goodness and mercy while the older people were pouting. They were sulled up because the young men weren’t doing like they had done it in the past. If that’s not selfish I don’t know what is.

They may not have had the resources King David and Solomon had, but they were bound and determined to do the best with what they had. While the older men were overcome by the GHOSTS OF THE PAST, the younger men were thankful for the GIFTS OF THE PRESENT. While the old men wept over what was, the young men built! While the old men reminisced, the young men worked for God.

I’d like to encourage the younger men and women to be respectful to the ancient men and women that simply cannot overcome their fixation on the past. Their motives may be sincere. They may not be able to separate the God that moved in their churches from the culture in which He moved in. When they attack you for doing something new and when they dogmatically fight to hold on to what was, they truly believe they are fighting God’s battle. Pray for them. Love them. Treat them with respect. You’ll probably feel the same way as they do in few years. The music you like today will be outdated tomorrow. You may not like tomorrow's music either. Our elders are allowed to like whatever music they want. They're allowed to have any type of preference they want. What's that to you?
 

I’d like to encourage the ancient men and women to be careful with how you handle this younger generation. They watch you. They hear your snide remarks. They notice when you don’t support them. They can’t understand why you won’t worship with them. They think you don’t care about them. They feel like you don’t want them in your church. They may like a different type of Christian music than you ... so what? Stand up and sing with them. At the very least stand up and support them. Pray with them. Worship with them. They live in a technologically advanced society; it’s how they learn; it’s how they relate. Get used to it. Stop accusing them of not reverencing the house of God because they’re not wearing “church clothes”. They may not adhere to your style of church clothes, but that doesn’t mean they’re not dressing up. They may not line up to your pet peeves and pious preferences, but you should be celebrating what God’s doing in their life. You're attitude could make or break them. If you break them, I promise you it'll follow you into judgment (1Ti 5:24).

Young men and women ... God will send you some older, seasoned Joshua(s) and Caleb(s) to give you wisdom. Listen  to them. Learn from them. You'll know who they are when they come along. They may not be able to keep up with you, but they will want to. They may not understand everything you're doing, but they will try. They may not like the style of music you're singing, but they'll be glad you're serving God and singing out to Him because they like you.

But regardless ... don’t ever allow sulking, weeping traditionalists stop you from building the kingdom of God in your day! Keep rejoicing. Keep praising God for what He’s done for you. Serve God in your generation. Reach your world regardless of what anyone says. If you have to, shout so loud that it overrides the negativity of those that want you to stop! You are called to reach this world. If you don't, those that are standing in the corner crying about what was sure aren't going to!

Peace. Love. Hope. 
David Lamb

Friday, October 6, 2017

ARE WE REALLY THAT STUPID?


I try to stay informed, but as I listen to these leftist libnoramouses that fill the news forum my head almost explodes. I cannot believe people can be this oblivious to reality. I fear for our future.

Liberals are wanting more gun laws to stop people from buying guns that are already outlawed. They want to enforce more gun laws when it is an absolute fact where there are more guns there is less gun violence. In fact, in the past 13 years there's been a 56% increase in gun sells and a 49% drop in gun violence. Look at Chicago! Liberals own and run that city. They have some of the most stringent gun laws in America, yet it is known as "The Murder Capital the World". You know what's crazy about that? Chicago is NOT the murder capital of the world-it is only the third worst in the United States. The title of "Murder Capital" actually goes to  Washington D.C.-perhaps the most liberal city in America! 

Where liberals rule, crime soars, and the innocent die. All more gun laws do is keep law abiding citizens from having them and ensure criminals do. It simply guarantees the innocent will be molested by the wicked without the fear of having a rapidly speeding lead projectile hitting their dome.

But the issue is actually far worse than that, my fellow Americans. I would think that everyone would know these things, but they don't. Some don't know there are other things to learn, some simply don't care. The ignorant masses of sheeple are being led to the slaughter all the while dancing to the soothing music of the pied piper.

The second Amendment isn’t about protecting your home or going deer hunting. It gives us the right to do those things, but it wasn’t established for those purposes. Our forefathers thought those issues were a matter of common sense (something terribly lacking in these days). The second Amendment was actually created so you and I could assemble an armed military (militia) and to go to war with our government if we need to. Believe it or not, governments sometimes get power hungry and want to strip the people of their rights. They take control of their educational system. They take control of their health care system.
They take their property. They take their money. They take their guns. They basically don’t quit until they rule the people through tyranny. Our forefathers said, “What has happened in the past will never happen again. If our government tries the same thing Great Britain did in the 1700's we will go to war with them.”

That’s what the second Amendment is about: our right to fight back against our government.

Now ... Do you wonder why there are so many government entities that want our weapons? It’s all about control. If they take away our means of defense, we are at their mercy.

You know what is kind of funny? My inspiration for this article was actually the new Cam Newton situation. If you don’t know who Cam Newton is ... He’s a quarterback for an NFL team. If you don’t what a quarterback is ... Well. Cam Newton was asked a football question by a woman reporter. Cam Newton laughed and said it was strange to hear a woman talking about football. That’s it. He didn’t say women shouldn’t be talking about football. He didn’t say women aren't qualified to talk about football. He just shared a little from his cultural perspective. He probably came up in a culture similar to mine. In the world I grew up in, men played, talked about, and watched football. The women got angry because the men weren't spending time with them and/or painting the nursery. Sorry if you don't like that, but that's reality. Where I come from men watched football and women watched Soap Operas. Things have changed and that’s great, but it doesn’t change the cultures we grew up in. It doesn't change the past. You can tear down monuments, you can force men to stop watching football and make them watch soap operas, but it doesn't change the past.

Should Cam have known to be a little more careful with his wording in his ultra liberal media world? Probably. He’s already lost sponsors ($$$$$$$$) because of this. But I don’t really care about Cam Newton or the Carolina Panthers and I couldn’t care less about the NFL.

Here’s what messes with my head: He could have spit on the American flag and he would have been applauded. Had he got naked, draped the flag around his waist using it as a loin cloth, and ran around the field screaming “allahu akbar”, he would be called a hero. Had he cursed Jesus, threw a high handed bird at the Almighty, paid homage to Gaia, gave a million dollars to abortion clinics, or burnt a million Bibles they would have said he is a revolutionary leader.

But don’t say it’s strange to hear a woman talk about wide receivers running route patterns ... you’ll be finished.

Welcome to America where imbeciles own the media and therefore dictate what the masses consume and believe.

Friday, September 29, 2017

RELIGION VS. RELATIONSHIP?


Have you ever had someone try to pull you into a debate using a fallacious presupposition that created a false dilemma? I have and I'm sure you have too (whether you realize it or not).

Let me give you an example. If someone asked me, "What's the best tasting pie in the world: Cherry or Apple?" ... I'd say, "Neither. I like blueberry."

The question creates a false dilemma, presupposing there are only two types of pie in the world (strawberry and apple) when in reality there are thousands.


These type of false dilemmas are presented daily in the church world.

Evidently, it's trendy to no longer be "religious", but "relational". Trust me, I understand the dangers of man made doctrines and the deification of church traditions and personal preferences. I do agree that a great deal of church going people have nothing more than an outward standard, a religious check-list, and almost no relationship with Jesus. Millions of people are slaves to a cold system of beliefs as opposed to being alive in Christ. It's true, if you don't have an intimate relationship with Jesus you have nothing more than religion.

A couple of years ago I watched a Youtube video a man named Jefferson Bethke uploaded. It was titled "Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus". It is essentially a poem about why religion is bad and a relationship with Jesus is good. Jefferson makes some very candid and relevant points about the church world that I wholeheartedly agree with and preach about often. The official video has been viewed nearly 33 million times. Jefferson has told tens of millions of people that Religion and Relationship are contrary to one another and all the people said, "Amen!"

This wasn't a new idea (religion vs relationship), but his video seemed to solidify it in the minds of a lot of people, particularly Millennials. It seems that Jefferson has made it trendy for some people to attack that demon called Religion!

Although Jefferson's poem is creative and well written; and although he spits some powerful truths, there are a few major problems with Jefferson's video. 

(The inspiration for this blog post wasn't Jefferson Bethke's video, I'm just using it as an illustration.)

1. A FALSE NARRATIVE

First, it creates a false narrative. He proposes that all religion is bad when in fact the Bible clearly states that is not the case. Look at what James wrote:

Jas 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's RELIGION is vain.
27 Pure RELIGION and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

According to the Bible there is a pure and undefiled religion that is useful and valuable to us. Jefferson's video doesn't distinguish between true and false religion. He doesn't distinguish between pure and corrupt religion. He simply tells the world religion is bad. In doing so, he has set himself in opposition to the Word of God. By not specifying a relationship with Jesus is better than a false, corrupted religion, he has attacked James 1:26-27. Though it is true, you can't have pure and undefiled religion without a relationship with Christ, according to Jesus, a relationship with Him will lead you into it.  (Mt 25:41-46)

You cannot separate Jesus and pure religion.

2. IT'S A LIE! EVERYONE HAS RELIGION!

Any time I hear someone say they don't want, need, or have religion--they have a relationship--I nearly throw up. All they have to do is look the definition of the word up to see that's a shallow statement. Since you may not feel like looking the definition of "religion" up, I did it for you.

RELIGION: 1) the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods; 2) a particular system of faith and worship.
 
Technically, when someone says they don't have religion they are saying they don't believe in or worship God, nor do they have a specific system of faith. Now, I know, practically speaking, most of the people that say they don't have religion actually do. They believe in God and have some system of faith. The reason this is confusing is they are trying to change the meaning of the word religion. But do not fear! No matter how grand their attempt the meaning of the word doesn't change. It's like the old man of God said, "Words mean something, dummy!" 
 
So religion is an intellectual system of belief. To have religion simply means you believe something. You could even be an atheist and tell me you don't believe in anything, but not believing in anything is actually a doctrine, therefore a religion.

Do you believe in the virgin birth? Do you believe that Jesus became a man and walked among men? Do you believe He died on the cross? Do you believe He was buried? Do you believe He was resurrected? In the Theological world those are subjects covered in the doctrine of Christ's Incarnation. The Incarnation is part of the systematic study of Christology which would be under the umbrella of Theology-all parts of a system of faith, aka ... religion.

Do you believe, through faith in Jesus (His death, burial, and resurrection), we can saved? That's the doctrine of Soteriology which is a part of a system of faith, aka ... religion. 

When someone says they are Christians, they're saying their religion is Christianity because that's what Christianity is ... a religion. It just happens that true Christianity is true religion because Christ is at the center of it.

SIDE NOTE: If you're one of those people that say you don't have "doctrine", everything I'm saying applies to you, too. You have doctrine whether you admit it or not. In fact, saying you don't have doctrine is actually part of your doctrine. SMH

2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

3. IT'S NOT RELIGION'S FAULT ... IT'S OUR FAULT!

Whose fault is it that the Catholic church killed 50 million people during the inquisition? Whose fault is it that people are ostracized and destroyed every day by church going people? Whose fault is it when a priest or pastor abuses a parishioner? Whose fault is it when church leaders fall to immorality?

Is it the Bible's fault? Is it Jesus' fault? Bible readers know that Jesus promoted holiness of life. He promoted kindness and love toward our enemies. No. It isn't the Bible or Jesus' fault.

Was it religion's fault? That's an interesting question. I suppose we could blame religion, but remember, religion is a system of doctrines. Where did we get that system of doctrine? Religion isn't some invisible, abstract force that creates itself. No. Doctrine has a source ... men. The question is: WHERE DID MEN GET THEIR DOCTRINE? 

For the true Christian, the answer to that question is ... God. God spoke to men and men wrote down what He said. Other men gathered those manuscripts and compiled them into what we know as the "Bible". True Christians, being led by the Spirit of God, motivated by the love of Jesus, will have pure doctrine. PURE DOCTRINE PRODUCES PURE AND UNDEFILED RELIGION. Contrarily, when men lead themselves, motivated by self-love, they will produce corrupt religion. 

SUMMARY

Instead of attacking "religion", attack false, self-centered religion. You should strive to have pure, undefiled, Christ-centered religion, and speak positively about it.

You are religious and have religion whether you admit it or not. Saying you don't have religion is actually part of your religion (your systematic approach to faith). 

How about we stop allowing Christian fads and trends affect our beliefs and conversations and just rely on the Scripture. 

There is no battle between RELIGION AND RELATIONSHIP. There is only a war between FALSE RELIGION AND TRUE RELIGION. 

Pure and undefiled religion requires us to have an intimate relationship with Christ. An intimate relationship with Christ will create a pure and undefiled religion.   

Peace. Love. Hope.
David Lamb 

 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

WHO ARE YOU RIDING WITH?


The critical fault finder typically has a ton of dirt under their own rug. They don't see it, and if they do, they either won't admit it or find some ludicrous way to justify it. They chop others down to make themselves feel better about their own short comings. It gives them the illusion of rising while they are, in fact, sinking into the quagmire of self-righteousness and sin. They rip others to shreds for being fickle and fake while they themselves are fickle and fake. They're simply the opposite sides of the same coin.

One prostitute sleeps in a roach motel, another sleeps in a penthouse. One smells like perfume, the other reeks of sweat. They're both still prostitutes.

Watch out for these type of people. They will bring you down. Be careful who you spend your time with. Be careful who you listen to. You become what you associate yourself with. You can easily become your environment. If you're leaning away from God, perhaps you need to consider who you're spending most of your time with. Are your friends and family a healthy influence on you? Is their gossip and critical spirit causing you to be critical? Would you be doing what you're doing if they weren't doing it? Are you led by the Spirit or are you being led by someone that gives you a license to cater to the flesh?


1 Corinthians 15:33 (AMP)
Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character.


Look around you! Are your friends spiritual or carnal? Are they on fire for God or are they spiritually dead? Are they leading you toward Christ and His service or do they make it easier on you to do nothing?


Pr 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
 

You can learn a lot about yourself by looking at the people you feel most comfortable with.

Open your eyes. Are you influences spiritual or carnal? Are they pushing you forward or dragging you behind? 

It may be time to switch who you're riding with.

Peace. Love. Hope.
David Lamb

WHO'S RIDING WITH YOU?


We limit God with our preconceived notions. We often attach our destiny to people that aren't interested in our journey. When they stop traveling with us, we stand on the side of the road waiting for them to catch up. We become immobile because we think they are necessary for us to complete our journey.

This is dangerous because while you remain fixated on those that you think are supposed to roll with you, you ignore the ones that are actually in the car saying, "Let's do this".

God has given you everything you need to finish your course. If someone bails out, they weren't necessary. God's got you.

Monday, July 24, 2017

DON'T SPEND THE REST OF YOUR LIFE WISHING

In a perfect world things are perfect. This is not a perfect world-far from it. You're going to have to adapt or spend the rest of your life being its "victim". I'd rather be a victor.

I think the problem with most of us is we sit back and wait for life to happen to us and then we respond to it. We are counter punchers-and not very good ones at that. We allow other people and external circumstances to create our reality. We conform to the cosmos. Because of that we live in a perpetual state of emergency. As ridiculous as this sounds, many people like this because they can blame other people and circumstances for their miserable condition. They don't have to take responsibility for their actions or inactions. They don't have to be faithful because someone was unfaithful to them. They don't have to work because a supervisor did them dirty 10 years ago. They don't have to go to church because a church did them wrong last year. They don't have to be kind because someone was cruel to them. They don't have to give because they gave to someone else and they squandered it away. They don't have succeed because someone told them they were a failure. They can remain obese and unhealthy because someone told them they were fat and stupid.  

I am emphatic toward those that have been abused in their life. I understand that our social and economic environments have helped mold us into the persons we have become. But the truth is we are writing our own books, chapter by chapter, page by page, word by word. You may write what others tell you to write, but you're doing the writing. You choose what you allow in your book. 

You say, "I couldn't help what happened to me." 

That's probably true. You can't help what people do to you, but you can dictate how you respond to it. We are all self-made, but only the successful dare to admit it. 

Each of us must make a painful assessment. Which parts of our lives can we change for the better? Once we have settled that we must change them or we must stop blaming anyone but ourselves.

We are made in the image of God. We are created to be awesome. You must stop hijacking your divine purpose. You must walk in the Spirit, living in the attitude of Christ, allowing His presence to shine the path for you. You must make up your mind to change. Those around you will not want you to change. They will try to keep you from rising to the next level because they are not willing to go with you. You must go anyways. Stop allowing toxic people to write your story. Stop blaming the past. Stop blaming the government. Stop blaming your parents. Stop blaming the devil. Stop blaming drugs and alcohol. Stop blaming your ex. You must move forward.

Go to church! Hang out with some godly, positive people that can influence you toward a healthier life. Get involved in ministry. Make a conscious decision to give more of your money and time. Be a part of the solution. Stop waiting for someone to write you a million dollar check ... it isn't happening. Go to work. Be an entrepreneur. Create something. Write something. Read a book. Learn something new. Pray that God will revive your vision.

You were made by a creative God. You were made in His image. So be creative. 

Don't spend the rest of your life wishing.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

GO TO CHURCH!


I am sure that you will be at work Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, working 40+ hours next week, regardless of how tired or sick you are. And for those that need to mow or go fishing or whatever it is you need to do ... call your employer Monday morning and don't go to work. Do your chores on a work day, not the Lord's day. Take your kids to Sunday School, they need that far more than the bounce house. Teach them that God is your priority.

Being a part of a church isn't just about being entertained and "getting a blessing". It's about being a part of a community. It's about supporting each other. It's about hearing the Word of the Lord. It's about spiritual growth. It's about worshiping together. It's about reaching the least, the last, and the lost.

I hear some of the dumbest claims from carnally minded people. For example:

1. I CAN LIVE JUST AS GOOD AT HOME AS I CAN AT CHURCH! 

Really? That sounds like an intelligent argument to you? That's equivalent to saying you can live just as good at Walmart as you can Kroger. Let me share a secret with you ... you're supposed live holy every where you are.

2. I DON'T NEED A PREACHER. I CAN READ THE WORD OF GOD AT HOME.

Again, does that really sound logical to you? First of all, those that say those type of things hardly ever pray or read the Word of God. They never witness to the lost. I'm not sure what they mean by "serving the Lord".

Secondly, the Apostle Paul wrote, saying:

Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:


You cannot be perfected (matured) in Christ without apostles, prophets, evangelists and teaching pastors. Do you have your own personal pastor at home? Do you have an evangelist scheduled to show up at your house tomorrow?

3. THE CHURCH ISN'T A BUILDING, IT'S THE PEOPLE. 

Ok. Did you know that words can have more than one meaning? For example, the word fly. The fly is buzzing around my head. Zip up your fly. The plane can fly. My wife is fly. Etc.

The word church does refer to the body of Christ, but it also refers to the place the saints go to worship. How about these Scriptures?

Re 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

How many bodies does Jesus have? One or seven?

1Ti 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

1Ti 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Ro 16:5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house.
 
Going to church isn't about LIVING right, it's about SERVING right. You may be able to live just as good at home by yourself, but you will not serve as good by yourself. So don't say you are SERVING God if you're not actively engaged in ministry. Don't say you're serving God if you don't care enough about the body of Christ to fellowship it Sunday and mid-week.

We must stop with the empty, lame excuses for not loving God and His house. The truth is those that don't have a desire for God, His Church, and reaching the lost are simply preoccupied with their own interests.

Go to church tomorrow! Your pastor is studying and praying for the message God wants you to hear. Go to church tomorrow. Go with something in your heart to bless someone else with.

Friday, July 14, 2017

WINNING THE WINTER WARFARE


Ps 74:17 Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter.

I can remember how funny winter time was in Florida. If the weather dropped down below 50 folk got crazy. Many of them have NEVER seen snow! If it snows they render it a state of emergency. Why? They’re aren’t prepared! Us Kentuckians are driving around, having snow ball fights, making snow cream, and they’re freaking out. They have very little salt, salt trucks, plows, etc. ... Why? They aren’t prepared, but to be fair ... it almost never snows there, so they don't need to be prepared.

Seasons change and few people really “like” winter. Leaves are falling. Things are dying. I have noticed an unhealthy amount of depression among the people of God and it seems to get worse around this time of year. Why does this happen?

Here are 10 practical reasons:

1. SAD: You may have what's called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. The condition is marked by the onset of depression during the late fall and early winter months, when less natural sunlight is available. It's thought to occur when daily body rhythms become out-of-sync because of the reduced sunlight.
    
2. YOU’RE NOT MOVING ENOUGH: It’s easy to curl up on the couch and do nothing. Exercise and motion helps you physically.
   
3. YOU WORRY ABOUT MONEY DUE TO ECONOMICAL HARDSHIP
   
4. OVERWHELMED WITH FAMILY OBLIGATIONS
   
5. YOU’RE NOT EATING RIGHT
   
6. FEELING ALONE
   
7. GUILT FROM PAST LIFE SITUATIONS AND MISTAKES
   
8. OVER SCHEDULED
   
9. YOU BECOME A HERMIT, COOPED UP ALL THE TIME
   
10. UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS (EVERY THING MUST BE PERFECT)
                                   
Your attitude will determine your altitude. If you can’t think right, you can’t be right.

Pr 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he...

EMOTIONAL WINTER TIME

Ps 74:17 Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter.

Whether we like it or not, winter comes.

FOCUS IN THE WINTER (PAUL 2TIMOTHY 4)

One of the dangerous things about corresponding with writing, especially on the internet, is if you’re not very careful, what you say and how they read it are two different things.
   
You ever hear of the phrase “rose shaded glasses”? Bitter shaded glasses ... There are some people that have a disposition that causes them to read their feelings into everything they read or see. Because they feel that way, or because that’s how they’d respond, they see that in everyone else. 
   
2Ti 4:21 Do thy diligence to come before winter.
   
What doesn’t come across in the writings of Paul is his emotion. What was he feeling when he wrote these words, particularly in our text? He was facing death, abandoned, accused, alone – at the end of his life. He asks for nothing but the company of Dr. Luke, a favorite coat, and some parchments. “Do your best to get here before winter” Paul says in verse 21. But although he faces such emotional and physical trials that will end up costing him his life – Paul gives one of the most encouraging messages to his young protégé Timothy – a message that ought to keep us going when the going gets tough.

We close down during the winter time   

STAY ON TASK
   
2Ti 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
Paul is in prison here. He is suffering. He is lonely, but he is focused. Preach, Timothy. “There’s a day coming when men won’t want to hear the Word. Preach while you have time.”

We have a choice: Do we allow winter to cause us to be bitter or better?

NELSON MANDELA: Before becoming president of South Africa in 1994, Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years by the South African apartheid government. His crime? Standing up against a government that was committing egregious human rights abuses against black South Africans.

He said: Prison taught him self-control, discipline, and focus—the things he considers essential to leadership—and it taught him how to be a full human being.

JOHN BUNYAN: When John Bunyan was asked to recant in order to get out of prison, he would ask, "Christ visits me every night. Why would I want to be any where else?"
           
3 THINGS GOD DOES IN THE WINTER SEASON (JOHN 15)

Are you expecting a harvest? What must we do?

1.PREPARE & RECEIVE

When you’re in a winter season, ask God: “What” ... not “Why”.
When we start asking “What” instead of “Why” things will get better. “WHY is this happening” isn’t the most important question, but WHAT does God want to do; and WHAT is God preparing you for are the supremely important questions.

Joh 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 

Jesus said, "My father is a gardener. He knows how to process and prepare us."

TAKE NOTE: Winter makes way for Spring.

2. PRUNE & REMAIN
Joh 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Cut off (sinner) or cut back (saint) ... Everybody gets cut! I’d rather be cut back than cut off.

Joh 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

3. PROVE & REVEAL
Joh 15:2 ... that it may bring forth more fruit.

Weeping may endure for the night, but Spring time is coming! If you will submit to the process, God is going to bring forth amazing fruit in your life. Our life will reveal His glory to this world!

FOLLOWING THE PIED PIPER



I felt the Spirit quicken my heart. I had to rise and ask His design. My heart hurts. Oh, the burden!
 
Are great many are running hard toward hell. They march like mindless zombies. Their stride is in rhythm with the Pied Piper's, with Satan's hypnotizing melody. It is beautiful, but wicked. It is unlike anything they've ever known, saw, or felt, but it numbs them from feeling the sting of their conscience; the pull of the Spirit, checking them, convicting them over the crimes they've committed against God.

Even many of those that sit on our pews are dabbling in the forbidden. They move forward with a glazed expression upon their faces. They're oblivious to the thick darkness that moves upon our land; of the imminent destruction that looms near. Their eyes are blinded by the god of this world. While their life consists of little more than cell phones and social networks, Delilah rocks them into a deep coma. Like Samson, they will be afflicted.

To the luke-warm, the self-righteous pharisee, the hypocrite, the prayerless mother, the burdenless, Spiritless father: Will we reject Christ? Will anyone try and stop the lost from following Satan to hell? Will anyone lift their voices, breaking the trance? Will anyone be alarmed? Will anyone break free from the steely cords that hold them, that have them entangled, making them slaves to this deceitful world and its diabolical ruler, long enough to make an eternal difference? Is there anyone who will pray; intercede for the souls of our youth?

God, wake us, shake us, break us before it's everlastingly too late. In Jesus' name, Amen!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

IF YOU DON'T ASK, THEY WON'T TELL



My marriage is incredible. I thank God for it everyday. I've said many times it would be perfect if I wasn't in it. Fortunately, I am, so she'll have to work with what she's got.

While preaching tonight, I said the following to my 10 year old son, Josiah:

"Josiah, when was the last time you heard momma and daddy yell and scream at each other?"

"Yesterday."

An awkward silence fell upon me-which I loved-and my face took on the coloration of an albino. It was not the answer I was looking for-at all, but it was perfect. You had better be ready for the nitty gritty when you ask your children questions. They see things a little differently than we do and will tell it. Although embarrassing, it was helpful. I kissed his forehead and thanked him for being honest. He's an awesome man of God.

A couple of day ago, I spoke to my wife with aggravation in my voice. We were not yelling ... my wife will confirm it. LOL. And I wasn't really aggravated at her, I just projected those feelings toward her while discussing finances. It wasn't the first time in 19 years, but maybe it'll be the last ;) Pray for Sister Lamb. She has her hands full.

I felt encouraged and convicted at the same time.

1. I was encouraged because my son knew he was supposed to speak the truth.

2. I was encouraged because my son thought what we were doing was yelling and screaming. That means we've come a long way because we used to yell and scream a lot.

3. I was encouraged because I pastor a church that laughed at me. They didn't walk out on me. They aren't judgmental toward me. They know us well enough to know the adult reality of the situation. I love RT.

4. I was convicted because, whether we were yelling and screaming or not, my son saw what I doing as yelling and screaming. It produced fear or anxiety in his heart. Something that grieves me. I must exercise more temperance and be more gentle with my words.

I've asked my sons and daughters many times how I am doing as a father and husband. I ask them what I can do to be better. Most of the time I get an A, every so often they lay out some hard truths that are difficult to swallow. That wasn't an original idea. S.M. Davis taught me to ask my family those vulnerable questions. I thought it was a great idea and has brought forth much godly fruit.

I'm writing this because I think it's a great practice for all of us. We get so wrapped up in things we don't realize how our attitude is affecting others.
 
Fathers and mothers ... ask your children how you're doing. Don't get angry with them. Don't talk down to them. If you do, they'll never be honest with you again and you will never become a better husband or father.


Husbands and wives ... ask each other how you're doing. Ask them what you can do to make the marriage better. Be honest and sincere. Be ready for some mature dialogue.


Ask your friends how you're doing as a friend. Ask your pastor how you're doing as a member. Pastors, ask some of your congregants how you're doing as a leader. Be ready for the answer.

Jas 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.