Sunday, June 19, 2011

Honoring Dad

Exodus 20:12 tells us, “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you” (NASB). Sunday we had a wonderful time doing just that, celebrating and honoring dads.

Here are the points of the message:

1. We celebrate dads who made the decision to give up what they cannot keep, to gain what they cannot loose.

2. We celebrate dads who, in spite of all odds, maintain a consistent relationship with God and their family.

3. We celebrate dads who enjoy the journey while keeping their eyes fixed on the finish line.

Fathers play seven key roles in family life. They are:

1. The role of priest (Job 1:1-5)

2. The role of prophet (Proverbs 3:12; Hebrews 12:6; James 1:11)

3. The role of protector

4. The role of provider (2 Thessalonians 3:10; Proverbs 14:23; 18:9; 24:27)

5. The role of lover

6. The role of comedian

7. The role of visionary

For every dad that has stayed up late, or changed the oil, or repaired the nail hole, or fixed a flat tire, or tucked your child into bed, or listened to your child’s repeated stories, or laughed at the same jokes you told as a kid, or played football in the back yard, or had tea with your daughter, or etc. etc. etc.

We honor you for being an exceptional dad.

To the fathers that help children dream and believe; to dads that guide, delight in, nurture, support, protect, mentor, cherish, listen, teach, encourage, instruct, comfort, bless their children and grandchildren, love and honor…

To fathers past and present we say, “Thank you!” 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Proverbs 3:9-10

Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine. (Proverbs 3:9–10, NLT)

Proverbs 3 is a chapter filled with promises of provision and hope, but it is also a chapter filled with conditions. "If you do..., you will receive..." Verses 9 and 10 focus our attention directly on our finances.

The following letter was found in a baking-powder can wired to the handle of an old pump that offered the only hope of drinking water on a very long and seldom-used trail across Nevada's Amargosa Desert:

"This pump is all right as of June, 1932. I put a new sucker washer into it and it ought to last five years. But the washer dries out and the pump has got to be primed. Under the white rock I buried a bottle of water, out of the sun and cork end up. There's enough water in it to prime the pump, but not if you drink some first. Pour about one-fourth and let her soak to wet the leather. Then pour in the rest medium fast and pump like crazy. You'll git water. The well has never run dry. Have faith. When you git watered up, fill the bottle and put it back like you found it for the next feller."

(signed) Desert Pete.

P.S. Don't go drinking the water first. Prime the pump with it and you'll git all you can hold
(Keith Miller and Bruce Larson, The Edge of Adventure)

The NASB translates these verses as, "Honor the LORD from your wealth and from the first of all your produce; So your barns will be filled with plenty."

For Israel, honoring the LORD with the first fruits of all one's crops was a way of expressing gratitude to Him for His provisions. Today, we honor God by giving the first fruits (10%) of our paycheck to God. It is a statement about our priorities as well, which are always reflected in our checkbook. Tithing is a constant reminder of who's in charge and who is watching over us. It is a practical way of stating that God is first in my life and I completely trust him in all things.

Many people don't want to let go of what is in their hand because they are afraid that God won't let go of what is in his. However, he has always been trustworthy and continues to out give us every time.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

A Vision of Compassion

Generosity: An intentional benevolent act that serves to benefit others and reflects the Great God we serve.

The way we relate to others is a big deal for God. He takes it seriously how we are to respond to others. He is especially concerned about how we take care of those less fortunate than we are. There are hundreds of verses in the Bible that talk about how we relate to the poor. We have a responsibility to stand up for them, serve them, care for them, feed and shelter them, educate them, minister to them and make them part of us.

Leviticus 23:22, says, “When you harvest the crops of your land, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop. Leave it for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the LORD your God. (NLT)

It was some four to six years ago when Third Day band member Tai Anderson asked Max Lucado a challenging question: "When your great grandchildren learn that you lived in a day in which a billion people were hungry and 27,000 people die every day of preventable diseases, how would they gauge your response?" Lucado is convinced that compassion is the church’s best apologetic. Here is a link to a message he spoke  at the Make A Difference Tour, October 2010: Lucado on compassion

We cannot live like Jesus lived without being compassionate.

Sunday, I shared several stories. One was about Scott Harrison, founder of Charity Water. Almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean drinking water. Unsafe water and a lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of all disease and kill more people than all forms of violence, including war. Scott decided to do something about it. Here is a link to his inspiring story: Charity Water

I also mentioned several other stories about a few people who decided to take simple acts of obedience that changed the lives of so many. Here is a list with their websites:

We may not be able to do everything, but we can all do something. One practical thing Centerpointe Church is involved in is Angel Food. Every month people place orders and come to the church to pick up their order. Furthermore, people donate food to struggling families and share with them the love of Christ in a practical way. It’s easy to do, and it makes a big difference. To submit an order for yourself and/or to donate a box of food to others, you can go to:

On Wednesday, we are going to continue our conversation about compassion and look deeper into what scripture says about it.

Happy 100th Birthday Brazilian Assemblies of God

Sunday, Centerpointe Church celebrated with the Brazilian congregation that meets at 5:00 on Sundays the 100th anniversary of the Assemblies of God in Brazil. The service was filled with excited singing and dancing. They were truly grateful for the move of God in their country. This congregation has been meeting for three years now and is led by Pastors Erivan and Vania Marques. 

It was quite the party - and the food we had after the service was amazing.

I am in awe of what has been accomplished over the past century in Brazil. Because of a few people, filled with the Spirit of God, being obedient to the call of God, took the Good News of Jesus to Brazil, today nearly 27.3 million people now attend more than 198,000 Assembly of God churches in the region.

I am sure that missionaries like Alice Luce, Ralph Williams and Melvin Hodges had no idea of the impact their obedience would make over the years; they were simply following God’s leading. For more on this story, go to aginbrazil.

Simple acts of obedience can change the world. Like these missionaries, we must also be obedient. Who knows what God will do through us? 

Take a risk.