Monday Mind Dump – Spring Break Edition

Spring break is here and it is 30 something degrees outside.  I thought the whole idea of Spring break was to get a break from winter. Anyways, I will have to make the best of this week.  In spite of the freezing temperatures I am fired up about what God is going to do North of Kansas City in the community of Smithville in the Spring and Summer of 2011.  Things are about to get hot!!

I want to first start off by thanking everyone who has worked so hard over the past few months at North Lake to get us where we are at today.  We couldn’t have done it without you.  God brought together people from all walks of life, and created a force to be reckoned with.

With all of that being said, here is what is running through my mind… Continue reading

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Scotland Missions

w. Mike CrossThis past Sunday we had Mr. Mike Cross and his family come and visit Bethel, and share their vision and focus of their ministry to the UK and Scotland.  I was very touched by their desire to see lost Scots saved and to make the name of Jesus famous in the land of Western Europe.  I primarily just want to share the vision and prayer request of the Cross family. 

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” – 1 Peter 1:3

It’s that LIVING HOPE that drives the vision of focus of the Scotland Mission.

Their Vision is to raise up Scots to plant Scottish churches that are:

  • Self Governing
  • Self Supporting
  • Self Producing

They plan on accomplishing this vision by adhering to their focus and applying these Key Principles:

  • Evangelism
  • Discipleship
  • Leadership Training

Focus: Christianity is not about religion, but about relationships.

Prayer Request:

  • Currently the Cross family is on deputation which requires tons of travel – Pray for safety during deputation travel.
  • Rachel (Mike’s Wife) – Healthy pregnancy
  • Cultural adaptation and understanding
  • Financial co-laborers
  • Additional team members
  • Scots openness to the Gospel
  • Only 2% of Scotland has a genuine relationship with Jesus – Pray that many souls might be saved.

The Cross family are BMAA missionaries and are available to come and speak or share as the Lord leads.

You can contact them by visiting:

www.ukmissions.blogspot.com

www.bmaamissions.org

or by email: scotlandmissionary@gmail.com

SOAR 2009 Student Conference Recap

Soar banner

100_1990Click Here for Photo Album. This was our first year to attend the SOAR student conference, and I was pretty impressed with the outcome of it.  They brought in some awesome bands, and youth pastor/speakers from various parts of the states.  This year’s theme was “FELLOWSHIP” focu100_2001sing on connecting, unity, and oneness.  The conference was a 3 day event held at the fabulous Gaylord Texan Hotel in Grapevine, Texas.  The hotel alone was worth the trip.  It was a gorgeous facility with beautiful trails and scenery.  Room rates were affordable, and the service was five star. 

The conference w100_2009as very organized, and you can tell a lot of hard work was put into the planning of this event.  I would like to thank Donnie Parish, Steven Carroll, and everyone else who worked so hard to make this event happen.  On day 1 we arrived, checked into our rooms, and registered just in time for the welcome and session 1.  Solace Found kicked things off with some rocking praise music followed by a message from Adam Thomas on the fellowship of the Trinity.  Afterwards we went and ate dinner at a genuine Texas steakhouse the “Salt Grass”.  Session 2 kicked off shortly after dinner where Clif Johnson spoke a message from the book of Genesis titled “Why our World is so Jacked up”  SOAR Village was next followed by a late night with comedian Tim Hawkins.  Now this guy was hilarious.

100_1942Day 2 was just as exciting.  We started the morning off with my favorite band Building 429.  Some of our students actually got to go up on stage, and dance with them.  Too Cool!  Team SOAR brought a presentation, and after that we actually got to meet, get autographs, and take pics with the band.  After that we had an afternoon of free time in which we went to the Bass Pro Shop where I put my head into the mouth of a 27 foot Great White Shark, followed by an afternoon at the Grapevine Mall.  We hung out at the skatepark, got some hermit crabs, and had dinner at the Rain Forest Cafe.  During Session 4 Scott Attebery presented an awesome testimony that humbled all of us.  Many of our students were impacted by his words.  The evening closed with an awesome concert by Hawk Nelson.  Many of our students are crazy about these guys. 

100_1992The conference came to an end all too quickly, but it was great while it lasted.  Friday morning during session 5 Solace Found led in another awesome time of worship followed by a message from Steven Carroll “Vision + Preparation + Action = Outcome” from Acts chapter 10.  Each session was tied together by innovative videos on fellowship to make this event complete and concise.  Each of our students left with a sense of greater understanding of fellowship and unity which made this event as a whole a worth while event.

100_1993This week would have been perfect if it had not been for the two times that we broke down on the way home, but fortunately both times God provided some great people to help us out.  One of which was from Iowa.  Other than that this event will go down in the books as one of our greatest events of the year.  Can’t wait til next year.

“Sinking Fast” Luke 19

Click Here for Power Point Presentation >>> Sinking Fast – Lighthouse

Click Here for Audio >>> Sinking Fast – From the pulpit of Bethel Baptist Church

“Parable of the Parish”

Search and Rescue PosterOn a dangerous seacoast off the coast of Saginaw Michigan, where shipwrecks often occur, there was once a crude little life-saving station. The building was just a little hut, and there was only one boat. But the completely devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea, and with no thought for themselves, they went out day and night tirelessly searching for the lost. Many were saved by this station, so it became famous. Some of those who were saved, and various others in the surrounding area, wanted to become associated with the station and give of their time and money and effort for the support of its life-saving work. New boats were bought and crews were trained. The little life-saving station grew.

Now some of the members of the life-saving station became unhappy that the building was so crude and poorly equipped. They felt that a more comfortable place should be provided as the first refuge of those saved from the sea. So they replaced the cots with beds and put better furniture in and enlarged it to a more elaborate building. Now the life-saving station became a popular gathering place for its members, who were proud of it. And they redecorated it beautifully and furnished it exquisitely because they used it as a kind of club. Few of the members were now interested in going to sea on life-saving missions, so they hired life-boat crews to do this work. The life-saving motif still prevailed in the club’s decorations. And there was a liturgical life boat in the room where club initiations were held.

About this time a large ship was wrecked off the coast and the hired crews brought in boatloads of cold, wet half-drowned people. They were dirty and wounded and sick and some had black skin and some yellow. The beautiful new club was left untidy, muddy and generally messed up. So the property committee immediately had a shower house built outside the club where the victims of shipwrecks could be cleaned up before coming inside. At the next meeting there was a split in the club membership. Most of the members wanted to stop the club’s activities as being somewhat beneath them and an unpleasant hindrance to the normal social life of club. Some of the members insisted that life saving was their primary purpose and pointed out that they were known as a life-saving station, but they were finally voted down. They were told that if they wanted to save all those various kinds of people with different colors of skin, strange languages and odd religions who were shipwrecked on those waters, they could start their own life-saving station down the coast.

And so they did. And as the years went by the new station experienced the same changes that had occurred in the old. It evolved into a club. And yet another life-saving station was founded. And history repeated itself. And if you visit that seacoast today you find a number of exclusive clubs along that shore. Shipwrecks are still frequent, but most of the people drown.

The Church of today is much like that little rescue station which starts off saving lives, but eventually becomes just another club or organization focused on internal instead of eternal motives.  We are neglecting our duty.  Culture has infiltrated the church when the church should be infiltrating society.  We have allowed the Worldly Waves of Destruction to crash into human vessels, and hold us back from Searching and Rescuing for far too long.  We have to take a stand, and get back to our original motives of seeing lost souls saved.  It is not going to be easy.  People don’t choose to be Police Officers, Fireman, or Lifeguards because it is a simple and easy task.  They choose it, because they feel it is their duty, and they put their lives on the line daily to protect others.

Take note of these three Important Facts.

1. This world is a sea of darkness filled with waves of destruction delivering those lost broken vessels at sea to hell.

2. Search and Rescue is carried out in conditions that are rough and risky and are in the context of urgency.

3. We must overcome, Search, and Rescue.

Read Luke 19:1-10          

PRAY

This world is sinking fast, and we have a mission to do.

Our Mission and Duty is to do these two things:

1. Overcome the Waves of Destruction. Vs. 7

  • Define Waves of Destruction.
    • Waves – beat against the ship, and hold back the life boats.
    • Things that prevent Search & Rescue
    • Type of Ism – A distinct practice, theory, or system

Types of Waves

  • Out of our control
    • Pluralism – theory of more than one – Multi-religions
    • Relativism – theory that right and wrong varies with each individual – post-modernism – no absolute truth
    • Materialism – Preoccupation with emphasis on material objects –  Possessions – Security in Self
  • In our Control
    • Materialism – Preoccupation – Personal possessions Priority Over People
    • Legalism – strict adherence to religious ritualistic practices – Revolutionary tactics against legal methdology
    • Exclusivism – Excluding others based on traits and characteristics
    • Generationalism – Lack – Training the next generation

2. Rescue Sinking Vessels Vs. 1-10

History of Jericho vs. 1

       Jericho in this period was quite different from the O.T. city.  Herod the Great had obtained Jericho from Caesar Augustus and proceeded to build a fortress / monumental palace. The palace had huge pools of water, in one of which Herod actually had his own son drowned in.  But I want you to understand that this was a wealthy, luxurious palace, and King Herod was very greedy which in return rubbed off on the other politicians in his high court.  And one of them men amongst them was a rich Publican named Zacchaeus.

Zacchaeus’ nature vs. 2

  • Publican – Greek – ar-khee-tel-o-nace – tax collector 
  • Chief – Greedy – Rich – Materialistic – Legalistic
  • Broken Vessel Lost in a sea Darkness – Sinking Fast

Christ Example of how to Rescue Sinking Vessels …

1. Saw the Need – Illustrate vs. 3-5

  • Of the L.O.S.T. – Sinking Vessels – (Courtesy of the BMA)
    • L – Lonely
    • O – Outside
    • S – Separated
    • T – Tormented
      • 3 Needs (Taught in Psychology Course)
        • Love
        • Significance
        • Security

How many of us would have just walked on by and never paid any attention to him?

2. Saw the necessity for urgency – vs. 5

  • Haste – Greek – Spyoo-do – Speed – Urgently – quickly
  • Today – Now
  • Prophesy of Jude & Enoch in vs. 11, 13-15

Read vs. 6-9 Point out the Wave of Destruction – Murmuring and the genuine repentance and faith of Zacchaeus.

3. Sought to Seek and to Save – vs. 10

  • Seek – Greek – dzay-teh’-o – Seek or Search
  • Save – Greek – Sode’-zo – protect – deliver – save – rescue.
  • Lost – Broken Vessels Destined for Destruction Sinking Fast

LOST – SEARCH – RESCUE – Won’t you say that with me – Repeat

Christ was a life saver. He saw the damaged vessel at sea destined for the bottom of the ocean, but he didn’t allow the Waves of Destruction to hold him back. He reacted with urgency with only one goal in mind: to seek and to save, to search and to rescue that which was lost.

So what about our church, Are we a Rescue Station / Lighthouse, or social gathering yacht club?

And what about you, Are you a Lifeguard, or a beach house bum?

Maybe you’re that ship lost out at sea that broken vessel. You are taking on water, and you are sinking fast.

Search + Rescue

search-and-rescue

I have spent the last two days being inspired by some of God’s greatest men.  This was the first BMA Mission’s Symposium that I have ever been to so I can’t compare it to those of the past, but compared to some of the missions conferences that I have attended within different Baptist associations this one was the best by far.  The first night John David Smith brought a powerful sermon from Romans chapter ten challenging us to live out the theme of this symposium: “Search + Rescue”, and then today it was jam packed with missionaries and speakers.  We heard from John Lindsey from Ghana West Africa, Andrey and Laura Kanaykina from Ukraine, Merrit Youngdeer from New Mexico, and many others.   One missionary in particular really touched my heart.  The man came from a very religious persecuted country, and was forbidden to speak of Christianity.  They even had to stop recording the event before he would speak.  This man was imprisoned for the Gospel and faced persecution just for carrying his Bible.  If his country was to find out about him proclaiming the Gospel his family back home would be imprisoned.  I will not mention his name, but I want to encourage you to be praying for him.  I was also motivated by Rob Hager a missionary of Jacob’s Well in Chicago, Illinois, because this man is genuinely on fire for God.  Just while speaking with him it made me want to head straight up to Chicago and start telling people about Jesus. 

When we came back from break for the final session I decided to skip out on the music, and go check out Fellowship Baptist Church Forney, Texas’ youth ministry.  It was totally awesome.  It was amazing what they were able to accomplish with just a little bit of space and energy.  I spoke with both of the student pastors of FSM, and they opened my eyes to the possibilities that lie ahead for REFUGE.  Just a few years ago they were running 25 students, and now they have over 500.  One of the primary factors was that they split the Jr. & Sr. High when they reached about 50 – 75 students which was only possible with volunteers.  We still have a little ways to go to reach those numbers, but we have to have some dedicated volunteers if we ever hope to grow beyond our measures.  I as a Youth Pastor have to incorporate more parents into our ministry by partnering with them and challenging them to get involved by stepping up into various leadership roles.

                To finish off the night I headed back down to the symposium to support my pastor Brandon Cox who was preaching the closing message.  He brought an awesome sermon to a room full of preachers.  BBC Baby!  He preached from Acts chapter eight and he gave us 5 points to apply in our ministries when it comes to “Search + Rescue” from the example of Phillip.

  1. Get close to God and stay there
  2. Join God in what He’s already doing in the world around you
  3. Break through existing barriers to share the Gospel
  • a. Three Main Barriers
  • i. Geographical
  • ii. Social
  • iii. Cultural

4. Stick to the Scripture

5. Let’s go after (reach) one more

Bethel would be proud of him, and I would encourage you to check with BMAAMissions.org over the next few months when they will post a multimedia link to listen to this message.

All this would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the dedication and commitment of our BMA directors.  I would like to recognize Grady Higgs, Jerry Kid, Phil Knott, Larry Barker, Ralph Izard, John David Smith, Donny Parish, and of course their beautiful families. 

Check it out, if you weren’t able to attend this year; you missed out.  To sum up the general theme of this week we as missionaries to the here and now should engage the culture and community around us by determining what the needs of the people are.  

LOST, SEARCH, + RESCUE!