Jun 4, 2019

CHANGE MY HEART OH GOD

THE ROMAN ROAD TO THE GOSPEL
SERMON SERIES

Listen as Pastor Chris Canote leads us through an in depth study of the most influential book of the Bible and the greatest letter ever written. You will learn about the true essence of Christianity and salvation by God's grace through faith in Jesus.


So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.  -- Romans 10:17 (CSB)



SERMON AUDIO PODCAST


PASTOR CHRIS CANOTE - SERMON LIBRARY

May 30, 2019

MANY GIFTS, ONE BODY - MERCY

THE ROMAN ROAD TO THE GOSPEL
SERMON SERIES

Listen as Pastor Chris Canote leads us through an in depth study of the most influential book of the Bible and the greatest letter ever written. You will learn about the true essence of Christianity and salvation by God's grace through faith in Jesus.


So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.  -- Romans 10:17 (CSB)



SERMON AUDIO PODCAST


PASTOR CHRIS CANOTE - SERMON LIBRARY

May 23, 2019

MANY GIFTS, ONE BODY - LEADING

THE ROMAN ROAD TO THE GOSPEL
SERMON SERIES

Listen as Pastor Chris Canote leads us through an in depth study of the most influential book of the Bible and the greatest letter ever written. You will learn about the true essence of Christianity and salvation by God's grace through faith in Jesus.


So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.  -- Romans 10:17 (CSB)



SERMON AUDIO PODCAST


PASTOR CHRIS CANOTE - SERMON LIBRARY

May 14, 2019

MANY GIFTS, ONE BODY - GIVING

THE ROMAN ROAD TO THE GOSPEL
SERMON SERIES

Listen as Pastor Chris Canote leads us through an in depth study of the most influential book of the Bible and the greatest letter ever written. You will learn about the true essence of Christianity and salvation by God's grace through faith in Jesus.


So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.  -- Romans 10:17 (CSB)



SERMON AUDIO PODCAST


PASTOR CHRIS CANOTE - SERMON LIBRARY

Apr 29, 2019

MANY GIFTS, ONE BODY - EXHORTING

THE ROMAN ROAD TO THE GOSPEL
SERMON SERIES

Listen as Pastor Chris Canote leads us through an in depth study of the most influential book of the Bible and the greatest letter ever written. You will learn about the true essence of Christianity and salvation by God's grace through faith in Jesus.


So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.  -- Romans 10:17 (CSB)



SERMON AUDIO PODCAST


PASTOR CHRIS CANOTE - SERMON LIBRARY

Apr 24, 2019

TRUE WORSHIP

THE ROMAN ROAD TO THE GOSPEL
SERMON SERIES

Listen as Pastor Chris Canote leads us through an in depth study of the most influential book of the Bible and the greatest letter ever written. You will learn about the true essence of Christianity and salvation by God's grace through faith in Jesus.


So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.  -- Romans 10:17 (CSB)



SERMON AUDIO PODCAST


PASTOR CHRIS CANOTE - SERMON LIBRARY

Apr 23, 2019

ASKING ESSENTIAL GOD-QUESTIONS

EASTER SERMON SERIES


In this 2-message Easter sermon series, Pastor Chris Canote tackles two essential "God questions" on Easter Sunday. 

  • 1) Why does the resurrection matter? 
  • 2) Why does a good God allow evil to exist? 

Coming to the wrong conclusion to important questions like these can poison our relationship with our Creator and cause to miss out on the abundant life God has in mind for us.



So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.  -- Romans 10:17 (CSB)





SERMON AUDIO PODCAST


Message #1 of 2

Message #2 of 2

Mar 22, 2019

JESUS HAD A SWEET BEARD!

Over the years, I have read too many stories about people who claim to be Christians but who are also not accepting of people who are not like them.  I submit that those people probably ought to spend more time reading their bible and less time judging others.


I read a story about a church which had a new family come for a visit. 

Their single first and last visit was for a regular Sunday morning worship service at the church.  This family had a father, a mother, one daughter, and one son.  And that one son was sporting a bright blue mohawk hairstyle.

Well, wouldn't you know it, one fella from the congregation took it upon himself to make fun of said bright blue mohawk hairstyle.  He also went on ahead and let the father of this boy know it was a disrespectful way to come into God's house.  Of course he did, because that is what Jesus did and would to...right?  Wrong.  You will find zero indication of such in the Bible.  Needless to say, that moment sealed the deal for this family.  They would not be returning to this church.  Chances are they may not visit any church in the near to distant future.

Just to keep things on the real, am I personally a fan of the mohawk hairstyle?  Maybe and maybe not.  But, who cares?  Would I go with that hairstyle for myself?  Nope.  


But, you better believe if and when somebody shows up at my church for a visit who has a weird haircut, I will make every effort to make them feel welcome.  It will be my great blessing and pleasure to do so.

Can I just tell ya something?  Jesus died for everyone...regardless of hairstyle!  If we do not - really, for real - buy into the Biblical principle that Jesus died for all, we are more likely to reject people who are not just like us.

I recognize that probably a few people may not have a full appreciation for my beard.  That's ok with me.  I really do not care.  It's all good here in beard town.  Besides, I know they will eventually come around.  Also, Jesus came to die for me AND the boy with a bright blue mohawk.  We need to keep in mind that Jesus is much more concerned with our souls than He is with our hairstyle.

Side note:  Why do all the pictures of Jesus show a trimmed beard?  I am convinced - and you should be too - Jesus not only had a beard, Jesus had a sweet beard!  I don't see Jesus stopping by the Jerusalem Cut N Curls to get His beard trimmed up.  His beard was surely a wooly man-beard and a thing of beauty!  

Prayer - 
Father, please forgive me for giving into the human and worldly inclination to judge others who are not like me.  Help me to have a heart which overflows with the kind of mercy, grace, and love which You offered freely to me.  Amen.

There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? -- James 4:12 (CSB)

#Missions #Evident #MásDeTi

Mar 21, 2019

SET APART

Many years ago, in another lifetime and season of my life, I worked for an accounts receivables management firm.  I started at the bottom of the totem pole and over a period of over ten years, I worked my way into an upper management position.  The job was a great source of pride in my life.  During that same time, in my personal life, I had recommitted myself to God and the things of God.  

God took me from being the guy in the office who might organize a "guys night out" of bar hopping to being the guy who would pray with you and invite you to a 6 AM Bible Study at Cracker Barrel on Friday mornings.

I began to spend more and more time in prayer.  I prayed many times that I was willing to do whatever God wanted me to do.  I prayed that I was willing to go wherever and whenever God wanted me to go.

The problem was that for a long time, I didn't really mean it and God was, of course, fully aware of that fact.  I was not actually fully available to be used by God.  I was only saying the words that I was available.  I really enjoyed my job title, my company car, my office, my paycheck, etc.  The job was a great source of pride in my life.

It was only after God helped me come to a place in my heart spiritually where I was not only saying the words but also meaning the words.  As I continued to study His Word, God revealed more and more about Himself.  He was also revealing more and more of what I needed to know about myself.  He was moving me, as I prayed.  I was not moving Him.

It was only after I actually - for real - made myself available to be used by God that He was able to begin to use me in ways I had never even imagined possible.  

This happened because God had His hand on my heart with a plan and purpose for me and my life all along.  In my surrender, I was SET APART by God.  It was not my plan.  I had other plans.  I had to be willing to surrender my own plans.  I had to be willing to take risks and to step outside my own personal comfort zone.

I have no regrets about that season of my life nor would I trade it.  The job was a blessing financially to our family.  Those experiences and opportunities for professional and personal growth led me to be who I am today.  However, being in a position of a greater surrender to God and the things of God while serving God in ministry, has absolutely brought a level of satisfaction and reward beyond what I thought possible.

Can I just tell ya something?  I believe God is always calling us to something greater, to take a bigger risk, to stretch our faith, to something bigger than ourselves, to something which will require a deeper faith in Him.  What is God asking you to do which would stretch you beyond your own personal comfort zone?  Are you fulfilling your ministry?

Prayer - 
Father, I am humbled to consider all of the many ways You have worked in and through me as a man, father, husband, etc.  I do not deserve that You would even acknowledge my presence.  Your patience with me is hard to comprehend.  My heart overflows with gratitude.  Amen.


But as for you, exercise self-control in everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. -- 2 Timothy 4:5 (CSB)

#Missions #Evident #MásDeTi

MYSTERY

THE ROMAN ROAD TO THE GOSPEL
SERMON SERIES

Listen as Pastor Chris Canote leads us through an in depth study of the most influential book of the Bible and the greatest letter ever written. You will learn about the true essence of Christianity and salvation by God's grace through faith in Jesus.


So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.  -- Romans 10:17 (CSB)



SERMON AUDIO PODCAST


PASTOR CHRIS CANOTE - SERMON LIBRARY

Mar 15, 2019

WHO WAS THAT GUY?

Can you remember who you were at 16 years old?  Can you remember what occupied your mind or what you daydreamed about?  What were your motivations and inspirations for your decisions and actions?  What were your goals?  Why did you have THAT haircut?  Who was that guy?


In some ways, my life as a teenager seems like 100 years ago.  In others, it seems like it was not that long ago.  

In the 30+ years since those days, so many things have changed on so many levels.  Some of those changes are for the better...by far.  Some, maybe not so much.  I was skinny back then, barely shaving a wannabe mustache, and had a full head of hair.  But also, there was not even the slightest notion within me of the crazy Canote family circus life waiting just beyond the horizon!

Somedays, I think I would love to be that age again.  I can guarantee you one thing for sure.  I would definitely do a few things differently.  Other things, I would certainly not change one bit.  Of course, that is all a silly way to think either way.  We cannot change the past.  Yesterday was over last night - over as in, done and gone - finished.

The truth is that most attempts to analyze the past with an idea of protecting ourselves from being hurt in the future do not work. The only One who can effectively guard and protect you is your Creator.


It is easy to fall into the trap of believing we can handle our own trials and struggles in life.  

It is easy to fall for the stinking-thinking that our problems are too unique and specific, too insignificant, for God to care or to get involved.  But we cannot dwell on a problem, past or present, with any real hope for an answer to magically appear.  We must take our problems to the only One with real answers.  His name is Jesus.  He is patiently waiting for us to approach His throne in confidence, fully trusting Him to hear, understand, and to honor the promises of God.  We must reach forward with hope for what lies ahead and let go of the past.

Prayer -
Jesus, I know You hear me when I cry out to You.  And, You not only hear, but also respond to the faithful prayers of Your people.  Please forgive me for allowing the distractions of this temporary place to cause me to lose sight of who You are and who I am in Christ.  Amen.

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.  -- Philippians 3:13-14 (CSB)

#Missions #Evident #MásDeTi






Mar 14, 2019

AGING GRACEFULLY

2019 has been an interesting year so far for me.  This will be the year I turn 50 years old.  I have not been overwhelmed by that idea or even dwelling on what is inevitable.  However, there have been more than a few days where the idea has occupied some of the limited real estate of my mind.  


And, thanks to an app on my phone, I know that it will happen in roughly 41 days, 13 hours, and 5 minutes...as of the moment I write this post.

It seems, as though April 24 looms closer and closer AND there are reminders of my age on a more frequent basis.  For example, I was recently diagnosed with tinnitus caused by mild to moderate hearing loss and was prescribed to wear hearing aids.  Of course, this is not the end of the world.  However, it is a reminder nonetheless that I am not as young as I used to be.  I do have 4 grandchildren which are absolutely the delight of my life.  I went with "Papa" instead of "Grandpa".  In my mind, Grandpa's are old.  Papa's are a younger junior Grandpa. 

Last week, upon leaving our local Sam's Club - where, by the way, I was purchasing new batteries for my new hearing aids - I lost my car in the parking lot!  Not only did I lose my car, I attempted to get into someone else's car instead!  To my utter delight (sarcasm font needed), not only was someone in said car, I happen to know the people in the car.  No keeping it a secret now!  So much for aging gracefully.  If anybody needs a grandpa, I'll just be over here driving too slow in the passing lane with my blinker on.  When I get home, I guess I'll just sit on porch in my rocking chair and yell at the neighbor kids to "Get off my lawn!"

Now, of course, I am just having some fun at my own expense.  Can you remember what it was like to celebrate a birthday when you 10 or 11 years old?  


Do you remember celebrating, full of joy, excited for the year ahead, and doing something you love with the ones who make you smile?  

What would it look like if some of us who are heading through our 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond were to really celebrate our years again?  What if we began to shift our perspective from a focus on the fear of aging to a focus on the the rich, full lives God is calling us into as the years pass?

Can I just tell ya something?  If we look to God's Word regarding aging, we are reminded about grace and goodness; not fear and resistance.  God tells us more than once that growing older is an honor.  The longer we live, the more experiences we are given to learn from, and the more wisdom and perspective we gain to see life in new and beautiful ways. When we see someone in their later years (or when we look in the mirror and it’s us!) we might be reminded of what a gift and opportunity that is.  It is a gift which not ever receives.

Whether you’re celebrating your own birthday or that of someone special, remember that every single day in every single life matters. Don’t wait for a milestone in your life to make it special. Look in the mirror and cherish those gray hairs and wrinkles.  Remember how they are created.

Prayer -
Lord, forgive me for allowing my age and the physical condition of my aging body to distract me from the reality of my hope in Jesus.  I know that You are with me and that this place is only temporary.  Amen.

I will be the same until your old age, and I will bear you up when you turn gray. I have made you, and I will carry you; I will bear and rescue you. -- Isaiah 46:4 (CSB)

#Missions #Evident #MásDeTi



Mar 13, 2019

THE DAWG HOUSE DINER

In 2002, my wife and I bought, from her uncle Ben, what was for many years called the "Harrisburg Café".  We did some renovations and redecorating and re-named it the "Dawg House Diner."  

Though it was certainly a radical change in lifestyle, we did it because we felt a very strong leading from the Lord to do so.

We used the business, in part as a ministry tool in our community.  We had a new found strength and boldness in our faith as a result.  We held a weekly youth prayer breakfast there.  We even held Sunday evening church services there for a few months.

However, trust me when I say this, it NEVER made sense financially for us to attempt to support a large family through this business.  The numbers never added up.  But that did not matter to God.  It is interesting how hurtful things stick in your mind.  I remember a particular gentleman from our community who I overheard saying, "This place won't last three months!"  And, to be honest, that hurt a little.  It was a fiery dart sent in our direction meant to discourage.



But, you see God had other plans for us.  God had a plan to teach the Canote family how to live by faith.  God had a plan to teach us how to have your bills prayed in full.  

Can I just tell ya something?  God does not need a calculator.  In fact, as the Bible says, God owns the cattle on a thousand hills.  As the Martins sing, "God's gonna do what God's do!  He always up to something new!" 

As it turns out, that season of our lives, as the owner/operators of a small town café, was a financial boot camp.  Was it difficult?  Yes, it sure was.  Was it often stressful?  Yes, it sure was.  But, the truth and reality is that we came out on the other side with a much closer walk with God, a deeper faith, a stronger testimony, and a much greater appreciation for the promises of God.

Prayer -
Father, thank You for loving us enough to allow us to experience what we need to experience in order to know You better and to grow spiritually.  In my heart of hearts, I know Your plans and timing are the best even if it means stress and difficulty in the moment.  Amen.


Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you;  I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.  

#Missions #Evident #MásDeTi





Mar 12, 2019

GRAFTING BRANCHES

THE ROMAN ROAD TO THE GOSPEL
SERMON SERIES

Listen as Pastor Chris Canote leads us through an in depth study of the most influential book of the Bible and the greatest letter ever written. You will learn about the true essence of Christianity and salvation by God's grace through faith in Jesus.


So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.  -- Romans 10:17 (CSB)



SERMON AUDIO PODCAST


PASTOR CHRIS CANOTE - SERMON LIBRARY

Mar 11, 2019

JUST DO IT!

While preparing a sermon in a Nehemiah sermon series several years ago, I came across the following story:

As the story goes, three pastors were discussing prayer.  One of the pastors said he thought the best posture for prayer was pray with your hands in the air, your eyes closed, and your head bowed.  The second pastor said, the most effective praying was done on your knees, head bowed, and eyes closed.  The third pastor said the prayers which reach God the quickest are done while laying face down on the ground.

There happened to be a telephone repairman in the room working on the phone system.  He overheard the entire conversation.  He just couldn't take it and had to comment.  He blurted out, "You know the best praying I ever did was one time dangling upside down by my boots 40 feet in the air at the top of a power pole!"  Side note, in my mind, I read his statement with a serious hard core southern accent.

Can I just tell ya something?  The most important part of prayer is that you do it.  Whether it is private or public, in whatever physical position, eyes open, eyes closed, out loud, in your head, in a song, or in writing, etc...just do it.

I came across that story because I was studying prayer on account of the powerful prayer Nehemiah offered up, found in Nehemiah 1.  We can say from the text and Nehemiah's story that it is obvious the foundation of his public life was that his personal life was steeped in, bathed in, and shaped by a lifestyle of prayer.  It is obvious Nehemiah was devoted to AND dependent on God...and not just on the occasional Sunday morning, but all week, 24/7, 365.

We might examine our own lives and consider this:

If strangers were to read a biography of my life, could they honestly say: 
  1. It is obvious that my personal life is steeped in, bathed in, and shaped by a lifestyle of prayer?
  2. It is obvious I am devoted to AND dependent on God...and not just on the occasional Sunday morning, but all week, 24/7, 365.
Jesus taught us how to pray in His Sermon on the Mount in what we now call the "Lord's Prayer".  The Apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonians that we should "pray without ceasing".  James wrote that the prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.  There will be no judgment regarding the "quality" or lack thereof of our prayers.  It is conversation with your Creator and the bottom line is we should just do it.  If we are to truly be "devoted to God", we will need to be in conversation with Him on a regular basis.  

Prayer -
Father, You are worthy of my devotion and dependency all day every day.  You deserve that I would make you #1 above all other things.  I pray Father that You would occupy the biggest part of what is a limited real estate of my mind.  Help me Father to more focused on You and less focused on me and my circumstances.  Amen.


When I heard these words, I sat down and wept. I mourned for a number of days, fasting and praying before the God of the heavens. I said, Lord, the God of the heavens, the great and awe-inspiring God who keeps his gracious covenant with those who love him and keep his commands, let your eyes be open and your ears be attentive to hear your servant’s prayer that I now pray to you day and night for your servants, the Israelites.  

#Missions #Evident #MásDeTi

Prayer Partners preparing for another day of Team Ministry on the mission field in Acuña, Mexico - Dec, 2018

Mar 9, 2019

BACK IN THE DAY

Several years ago, my wife and I were in Atlanta for a conference.  While there, we found ourselves in need of a trip to WalMart.  When we travel, we always seem to end up at WalMart.  It seems to make a strange place seem more like home.  


We had survived the 1900's and were easing into the 21st century and the latest greatest technology of the day.  

This was, however, BEFORE smartphones were a thing.  Back in the day, many of us had a GPS unit stuck to our windshield just above the dash of our cars.  Today, most people use a smartphone's built in GPS for navigation assistance.  We looked up the address for what appeared to be the nearest WalMart using the world wide interwebs from a laptop in our hotel room.  We jumped into our minivan, punched up the address on our trusty GPS unit, and hit the road.

Well, a funny thing happened on the way to WalMart.  We got lost.  It was late and dark.  We were not in a good neighborhood.  Evidence of this included abandoned buildings, bars on the windows, and gatherings of folks around trash barrels with fire burning inside.  No WalMart in site.

What happened was, we used a GPS unit which we had purchased two years prior.  The GPS worked off of pre-loaded maps.  Our destination was not on the map.  The GPS units back then, did not yet update themselves through the wonders of wifi or cellular technology.  In order to update the GPS unit, you had to connect it to a computer and download new maps for roughly $79.99.  I am not the kind of guy who would EVER spend another $80 to update that GPS unit.  

On a side note, the makers of the GPS units were apparently unaware of the coming smartphone technology.  Most GPS companies now provide a lifetime of free map updates.


We had depended totally on the GPS which was not loaded with current maps.  The result was, we became hopelessly lost.  

Can I just tell ya something?  God has pre-loaded HIS GPS with a map which will lead us to our intended destination.  God's Positioning System (GPS), tells us where we are and where we are headed.  It will also lead us where we need to be.  But, here is the difference:  His maps are always updated and current.

Prayer -
Father, I know Your plans, Your Providence, and Your timing for such are Your absolute best for me.  I know You always have Your best in mind for me.  Help me to remember to seek You and Your plans and purposes for me in all things.  Amen.

You were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you previously lived according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit now working in the disobedient. We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! He also raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might display the immeasurable riches of his grace through his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.  -- Ephesians 2:1-7 (CSB)

#Missions #Evident #MásDeTi


Mar 8, 2019

MIDNIGHT NINJA

My wife is a light sleeper.  I am not.  You could drive a tractor through our bedroom while I am asleep and I will sleep right through it.  However, my lovely wife can detect a change in cabin pressure when a car drives down our road.  Then it might take an hour for her to fall back asleep.  If she gets up in the middle of the night, she can flip on the lights and do whatever she wants to.  I will never know.

If I am up while she is asleep, I must attempt to maneuver around with the stealth of some kind of midnight Ninja.  No lights - no sounds - move slowly - do not breathe.  Sensing a presence in the dark is one of her spiritual gifts.  I will think I have crushed it and suddenly, in the pitch dark, she will blurt out, "So did you just want me to get up?!?"

I made it a personal challenge many years ago that I would see how long and how far I can go in the dark.  The goal is to walk around our bedroom in the dark without bumping into something or stumbling.  


I tell myself: "I know where everything is anyway.  I don't need the light.  I know where that basket of laundry is sitting.  I know where the treadmill is, when to reach for the door knob... "  

I could use my cell phone for a night light.  But, pride tells me I can make it in the pitch dark without a night light.  Only children need a night light.

Then I bump into the bed and wake her up.  Then, 30 seconds later, pride is right back at it, telling me I can make it in the dark.  I don't need a night light.  Then I stub my toe on that box by the closet.  I say to myself, "I should have used a light."  Then, 30 seconds later, pride says:  "You don't need a light!  You've totally got this!"


We don't want to admit that we can get lost in the dark.  Loaded up with self-confidence and pride, we rely on our own memory and Ninja navigational skills.  


We think we know all we need to know.  What happens?  We stumble over stumbling blocks.  We fall.  Solomon wrote, in his Proverbs for his children, that essentially, pride actually leads us to fall.  Can I just tell ya something?  Pride gives us a false security in ourselves which is why we fall.  We must put our faith and sense of security in the Lord.  Paul says we should boast in Jesus rather than ourselves.  

Prayer -
Father, You alone provide the only real and lasting sense of security.  Please forgive me for putting too much faith in my own abilities.  Forgive me for boasting in myself.  Thank You for the promise to never leave nor forsake me.  Amen.

Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall.  
-- Proverbs 16:18 (CSB)

#Missions #Evident #MásDeTi


Mar 7, 2019

LAB VS. LECTURE HALL

Some college classes are in a lecture hall.  Some are in a lab.  Some are a combination of both.  In the lecture hall, one person must come prepared to "do" something...in fact, everything which needs to be done.  That one person makes a presentation.  Everyone else sits and listens with the option of taking notes.

In the lab, however, YOU get to actually "do" something.  Most lab classes are science related.  You get to mix chemicals, dissect things, set things on fire, and maybe even blow something up.  In the lab, you are likely to be assigned to complete group projects where part of your grade may depend on your lab team.



Lab learning is hands-on learning which is very different from the sit-and listen-learning in the lecture hall.

In the western model of what we call church, we do a whole lot of lecture hall and not near enough lab work.  In our church lecture hall, the sanctuary, one or two individuals come prepared to "do".  Professional ministry providers are the only ones who are really required to be led by the Holy Spirit during the lecture.  We might describe our outreach ministry projects as our lab work in the church.  Again, lab learning is hands-on which is very different from the sit-and-listen learning in the lecture hall.

Simply reading the manual for your car will not make you a mechanic.  Neither will having that manual read to you by someone else.  At some point, you must get some tools and get under the hood.  After giving a lecture during a time-out, the coach does not then send the entire team to sit on the bench. Five at time make up the team on the floor.  If there is no team on the floor, there is no game.



Can I just tell ya something?  Jesus did not die on a cross so that His followers could only spend a lifetime warming a pew in the lecture hall.  

That looks a lot more like spiritual respite care waiting around on Heaven.  You won't find a calling from God for that in the Bible.  We were, in fact, created for a purpose.  God's Word tells us we were planned and designed even before the foundation of time.  We were created with a purpose in mind.  We were created in order that we might be in relationship with our Creator and that we might make His glory both our desire and purpose.  And, we might look to the ministry of Jesus for our own life application.  Jesus did conduct a preaching and teaching lecture hall type ministry.  But, He also spent a great deal of time in the lab.

Prayer - 
Father, forgive me for spending too much time in the lecture hall and not enough time in the lab.  Your Word says you created me for good works which You prepared in advance.  Give me the courage to step out in faith and the humility and surrender to follow the lead of your Holy Spirit within me.  Amen.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do. -- Ephesians 2:10 (CSB)

#Missions #Evident #MásDeTi




























Mar 6, 2019

DO NOT DRINK THE WATER!

I have been doing mission work in Mexico since 2003.  Our family now hosts cross-cultural short-term missions trips in Mexico using a Team Ministry approach through our own missions agency, Evident Ministries.  We are there every year in July and December.  As a result, I have been in Mexico many, many times over the years including all over Baha,  Mexicali, Nogales, Reynosa, and Acuña.  In all these years, I have never been to the U.S. embassy in Mexico City.  But, I am certain if I were to pay them a visit, they would have some safety tips for me.  


For example, they would likely caution me against drinking water from the tap in Mexico.  

Our water in the U.S. is filtered, clean, and pure.  In Mexico, what comes from the faucet is most definitely not.  If you do drink water from the tap in Mexico, you may very well find yourself scooting around on the carpet in a day or so!  At the very least, you will be sorry you did it.  It is not good for you.  It will hurt you.

Can I just tell ya something?  The Bible tells us, in a sense, what kind of water we ought not drink.  For example, the Bible warns us about telling lies...that old chestnut of wisdom and good advice.  Lying will hurt us and others.  It hurts our testimony as Christians.  It is a reflection on Jesus and His church.  We are warned about allowing anger to cause us to sin.  Uncontrolled anger allows Satan into the picture.  Unbridled anger will hurt us and others.  It hurts our testimony as Christians.  It is a reflection on Jesus and His church.  In God's Biblical standard for living, we are commanded to not steal but instead to work for and earn our own income.  We are called to obey God.  Honoring God's commands is what it means to be obedient.

The bottom line is simple.  As Christians, whatever we do, we are to do for God.  As Christians, our perspective in all things ought to be entirely different than that of the world and of those who do not have a saving knowledge of Jesus.  Why?  If or when our perspective is no different than the world's, it will hurt us and others.  It will hurt our testimony as Christians.  It is a reflection on Jesus and His church.


Don't drink the water of this world.  It will make you sick.  It is not good for you.  


In other words, you cannot live on both sides of the fence.  It will hurt you and others.  It is a poor example of what it means to live for Jesus.  It will also begin to over time, harden your heart towards God which will tank your relationship with Him.

Prayer - 
Father, please forgive me for when I look away from your Biblical standard for living and drink the water of this world.  Your ways are the best ways.  You always have Your very best in mind for me.  Amen.

And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. -- Colossians 3:17 (CSB)


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