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Monday, January 30, 2012

My Worship 1-29-12

My worship experience yesterday was great. I still haven't recouped from last Sundays preaching assignments with having to go to work afterwards but we had a good time in worship.

Bishop preached like a mad man.

After church was a New Orleans buffet Sunday brunch with food, music, and games. The food was wonderful! I didn't get to stay for the whole event because I had to go home and wash our crazy cocker spaniel Rocky before the next service.

We celebrated with pastor Duane Moore and the Galgotha Church for his 3rd year partnership with the church. The service was good. There was bass player from Beacon Light that was killing it (that's a good term among musicians). I did hear a message on 2 Timothy 2:15 that has sparked interest for me to study. Never preached the text before but I am now.

Here is my fighter statement for the wk:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Let His Glory Fill His House

Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,” says the Lord. – Haggai 1:6

In chapter 1 God calls Haggai to deliver a message. The Jews were living in their comfortable house while God's house sat unfinished and uncared for because in the people's minds it wasn't time to rebuild. But after Haggai's message, the people got to work building God's house. In chapter 2, the people were motivated to continue building the temple and God will bless them (Haggai 2:5).

In short it is important to notice a few reminders for some and new revelation for others.

1. God wants His house to look just as good as your house.

2. God expects us to invest in His house just like we invest in ours.

3. Gods wants people to visit a beautiful house that speaks well of Him. Just like we want people to visit our houses that speak well of us.

4. Caring for God's house is all of our responsibility.

5. Lumber to build isn't free, it cost to build and it cost to keep on building.

6. God is watching how we treat His house.

Here's the point, your role is needed as a good steward to care for God's house with your presence, participation, and possessions (finance).

Let God's glory fill the house as we build and continue to build together.

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Sunday 1-22-12

Yesterday was a blessed day of ministering God's word. I preached for a friend and bro, Pastor F Demond Harris of New Harvest Christian church at 8:30 am. I preached Hang In There for James 1:12. The central point of the message was "You can make it if you hang in there." I got caught up (and so did the church) as I tried to explain the principle of disposition for which if tried to argue the tension of between the word, blessed, in context with testing moments or life's pressure points. Testing points in life are generally kill joys for the believer but the text says testing points are not kill joys but blessings. Which is to say we're being blessed during testing time.

The worship was wonderful and God used me to preach with passion and power. I pushed the envelope to my full capacity.

Again, thank you Pastor Harris and the New Harvest church for your kindness and invitation.

At 11:30, I preached for my friend pastor Al Johnson and Divine Direction Church. I also was able to meet pastor Lamar Simmons for the first time of Greater Mt Olive Baptist Church. He's immediate response upon the introduction of my name was, "Smith, heard a lot about you and now I finally get to meet you." I just pray he heard was of good and not of evil...lol

The worship was good and I preached from Genesis 17:1-8: Our God Is Sufficient. The central point of that message is God is all you need to make it from day to day. God blessed the message and pushed the enveloped again to full capacity. After the service Pastor Johnson commented how he appreciated the fact that I didn't anything back based on the number in attendance. I told him I don't preach for numbers I preach for changed lives. In my opinion that outweighs numbers any day of the week.

Again thank you Pastor Johnson and Divine Direction Church for your kindness and invitation.

My throat is soar but getting better. It really hurt yesterday. But it's my fault for not pushing through my stomach and using more of my throat during my whoop or what I call singing my sermon.

After church Tracy and I got some soul food from our favorite spot Carolyn's on Manchester. Sooooo gooood!

She took a nap and watched the football games (well as much as I could).

Later we got 31 Flavors and then I crashed for the night.

Both football games were good but the Giants/49ers game I enjoyed the most. I can care less who wins The super bowl I just want good football.

Until nxt time have a God blessing week.

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Sunday - 1-15-12

When I was a pastor I would write every week highlights of our Sunday morning worship. I got this idea from fellow bloggers. But when I stopped pastoring I stopped blogging about my Sunday morning worship life. But I've discovered a valuable lesson in recent days, my worship doesn't stop just because my pastorate stopped. No my worship continues despite my ministerial position and/or function in the church.

So like David, I too, will blessed the Lord at all times and His praises shall continually be in my mouth.

This weekend has been a blessing on so many levels.....

First, I participated in a leadership conference for Bishop Ervin and Church One where I shared a portion of material I wrote for the church last year entitled "The Soul Health of Leadership - Leading when It Hurts To Lead". The point of conference material is to inform leaders that hurt, stress, frustration, and pain is inevitable in leadership. However, how we respond to the hurt will dictate our effectiveness in our leadership roles.

It is my prayer that God used me to be a blessing to that leadership team and I thank Bishop Ervin for the opportunity and friendship we're starting to cultivate.

Other topics of the conference were...

Being Resourceful With Limited Resources - Bishop David Cooper

How To Deal With Conflict With Other Leaders and the Congregation - Co-Pastor Kimberly Ervin

Kingdom Stewardship: Order In the House - Bishop W T Ervin

Moving from Ordinary to Extra-Ordinary - Evang Pamela Edwards

I am praying for Bishop Ervin as his dad transitioned this Sunday.

Sunday was a good day of worship starting with Lift-Off which is Mt Pilgrim's 21st Century pattern for Sunday School. I am the Director of Christian Education at Mt Pilgrim and we're in the process of restructuring starting with a mass journey on Sun, Feb 5th with Bishop sharing the plan, purpose, and profit of Lift-Off for our grand re-opening in March.

This past Sunday I taught a lesson on understanding the Godhead (Trinity). Wonderful time! I enjoy teaching theology of this type because I believe it's essential in understanding God and how He operates in our lives to reconcile the world unto Himself.

Sunday morning was off the chain from start to finish.

After church, I went home to rest before Tracy and I went to Mission Viejo, Ca for a MLK multi-Cultural service where Bishop preached.

The service was filled with all nationalities. A Presbyterian church choir killed us and they were so excited about being there. My close friend, Shervonne Wells is minister of music at Mission Viejo Christian Church and it was good hearing her sing. I was also presently surprised to see my big bro, her husband, Bishop Kenneth Wells. Reunion! Love those guys for sure.

Bishop preached us crazy and then brought everybody together the O'Jays song "Get on the love Train".

I was reminded that there is diversity in worship services and no one worship is either right or wrong but diverse of which we can all feel the presence of our creator, God.

On the way home, Tracy and I stopped at Marie Callendars for pie to eat while watching our Sunday evening show.

We both were tired.

This coming weekend will be just as busy with leadership meeting on Sat and preaching twice on Sunday morning. I'm wrestling with a few different messages to preach this weekend to preach and praying God will lead me in the right direction.

I really do thank God for people who appreciate my ministry and what I have to offer. I used to think people thought my ministry was a joke and it would bother me to no end. But now God is showing me my ministry is not a joke and as long as keep Him first by disciplining myself in all areas of life He will make up the difference. I'm not a Paul but God has given me voice with His Word and I am so grateful to be used.

My devotional song this week is ...
"I Give Myself Away". It's ministering to me on so many levels.

I will publish my "Ministry On The Move" schedule for this weekend later this week.

Until then have God blessing week!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Thoughts On Christian Education

For the past few months I've been watching my favorite television show Good Times while getting ready for work each morning.

One episode I've watched (on more than one occasion) is relating to education. The morning starts with Florida waking JJ and Michael up so they can get ready for school. It's report card day and everyone is anxious to see grades (well, almost everyone).

Michael and Thelma are straight A students and JJ is on the verge of being held back in the 11th grade. Due to their love hate relationship, Thelma and JJ make a bet that if he passes the 11th grade he gets the bathroom first for a month and if he doesn't he has to wash dishes for a month. The bet is sealed with a twisting of pinky fingers.

Later that day, Thelma and Michael enter the house waving report cards...Michael has all As and Thelma has all As and one B. Then enters in JJ with a long face and his report card. He hands it over to Florida while Thelma pulls out the apron as she feels she has won the bet. Florida opens the report card and to her surprise JJ passed with Cs and an A in Art. Everyone is so excited about JJ passing until Florida opens his notebook to see that his test don't match his report card. So Florida and James gives him a pop quiz with one condition if he doesn't answer correctly they're going down to the school to see what's really going on. Needless to say, he answered none of them correctly so they go down to the school to have a conversation with the school principle.

To their dismay they found out that the school was pushing JJ through so that they could continue receiving government financial aide which is based on the number of students that graduate each year. James nor Florida is happy about this discovery so they leave it up to JJ to make the decision to go with the school's policy or stay back in the 11th grade. JJ choices to move into his 12th grade year knowing that he should have stayed back to get the education he needs to make in life.

I know Good Times is only a TV show but it does have some real life implications that many people in our families and in some cases (but not all) in the Church.

Biblical illiteracy is a growing trend now among our Christian community. People don't study the bible and many preachers don't study/preach the bible for accurate interpretation and understanding. This makes for an unhealthy Body of Christ.

We have to get back to making the pulpit and pew bible students. The pulpit must preach the word of God and members must study the word of God.

Ultimately, Christian education is a personal discipline for every believer.

Study to show yourself approved to God a worker who is not ashamed rightly handling the word of truth. - 2 Timothy 2:15

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 Reading Goal/Plan

Allow me to start this article by sharing my feelings regarding reading: "I hate it!"

I am not a big fan of reading books. But I heard a preacher say once that preachers should make friends with books. If that's true then my friend base is very minimal.

However, no matter my dislike for reading I understand the necessity to read regularly. Reading keeps my thinking juices flowing. It provides me with the ability to learn and see things differently. Reading helps me grow spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.

And during this season of my life and ministry I want to re-charge my sermon pistol with fresh information. Therefore, I've developed a reading plan for 2012 that I'm going to do my best to maintain and follow.

Bible Reading Plan - When I pastored First Goodwill we journeyed on a bible reading plan that I developed by reading the shortest books of the bible first. It worked pretty well for me because I didn't feel overwhelmed while reading. I accomplished my goal of reading the bible in a year and now I'm doing it again this year.

The Book of Revelation - I'm currently reading through the book of Revelation during my devotional time in preparation of teaching through it at Mt Pilgrim. The lesson series is entitled "Relevant Lessons From Revelation". It will be a 10-12 week course study that I'm looking forward to teaching.

Planned book reading:

- A Hunger for God - John Piper

- How much Does God Control by RBC Ministries

- Keeping Your Focus When Your Dreams Are Shattered - A Look At the Life of Joseph by Precept Austin

- How Can A Parent Find Peace - RBC Ministries

- Marriage Under Fire by Dr James Dobson

- Why Would Anyone Want To Be Holy by RBC Ministries

- Men of the Bible by D L Moody

- Surviving Storms of Stress by RBC Ministries

- Contending For the Faith by John Piper

- Most Of All God Loves You by John Piper

You will notice some of the writers repeated. There is a method to my madness. I pick 1 to 2 authors a year to read with hopes of following and understanding they're thought process when writing. Last year I read books by David Jeremiah and Tony Evans.

I like RBC Ministries because they're 30-50 page pamphlets packed with good material on handling life situations with heaven in view. Very practical how-to lessons.

It is also my goal this year to share highlights of book I've read as an article on my blog. This should be fun and helpful to those reading my blog regularly.

In addition, I started an online book on healing some years ago. I want to finish that book not online but as a published book. So I will began writing again soon with hopes of finishing by the end of 2012.

Have God blessing day!