Tag: Church

God Knows What’s Up!

While we thank God, every day, for new grace and new mercy, we want to be mindful not to use His grace like a credit card – sin now, repent later.

I believe the main difference between a Christian and a non-Christian is that a Christian should never purposefully set out to sin.

We should never take the position within ourselves of, “Oh, God knows my heart.  He know I gotta go out and get some from Jerome tonight. I plan to repent afterward – God’ll just have to understand.”

He understands all right – He understands that you get a kick out of taking advantage of Him.

No one likes to feel used or taken advantage of.  The God we serve is real with real feelings.  The Bible makes several references in Scripture regarding how he felt when man decided to turn away from Him and do wicked in His sight.  It actually hurt His feelings.

And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. Genesis 6:6

God is searching the earth, right now, to and fro for someone whose heart is pure toward Him and who He can show Himself strong in.

God wants to bless you with all the desires of your heart and more as you seek His face and follow after His will, but as long as you continue to live in sin, or follow after a lifestyle of unrighteousness his hands are tied.

Thank God for the grace of God, but once you repent, which means turn away, determine in your heart not to make the same mistake again, and don’t put yourself in the same predicament that may have caused the slip in the first place.

Abstain from all appearance of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:22

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. 2 Chronicles 16:9a

God knows

*Originally published on Kim on the Web.

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October is Pastor Appreciation Month!

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October is a month for congregations to express their gratitude to their pastors and clergy leaders.

Since 1992 – when Clergy Appreciation Month was inaugurated by the non-profit group, Under His Wing Ministries, Inc. – October has brought joy to pastors and community members alike.

“It was a wonderful time, and I believe that not only was I strengthened and encouraged by all of this, but [church members] were blessed and encouraged by it, too,” a pastor from Texas testified in an online forum by Parsonage.org, a ministry of Focus on the Family. “There has been such an atmosphere of love and a very positive attitude in our congregation since then.”

“This past year has been tough on our church. We have struggled… This last month helped us get back on focus and on task.”

Over the years, the national holiday has grown more popular. The demand for gift cards has led Hallmark to print National Clergy Day cards since 2001.

“Your ministry has brought faith, strength, and healing to so many people. May God bless you for all you do in His name,” reads one Hallmark card.

There are more than one million full-time Christian ministry workers in the United States, including 350,000 senior pastors. Research shows that ministers are not immune to the pressures and stress of life today. Focus on the Family states that pastors and other clergy leaders “feel isolated, insecure, and only rarely affirmed.”

Christianity Today lists eight good will tasks that could lift a pastor’s day, including a suggestion to “Throw away the measuring stick.”

The Parsonage.org, meanwhile, has an online planning guide with suggestions on how to support clergy. The ministry states, “A simple card, an invitation to lunch, a promise to pray for them or an offer to babysit, wash a car or mow a lawn make wonderful statements.”

Whether it’s through a dinner invitation, a card, or a gift, the holiday strengthens pastors who carry burdens of an entire congregation. And don’t forget to include a sincere note with specific reasons you appreciate the minister’s spiritual leadership, dedication, time and commitment.

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Here are 10 suggestions to celebrate your pastor:

1. Write Lots of Letters

2. Customize a T-shirt

3. Create Original Art

4. Place Your Church in a Frame

5. Purchase Helpful Bible Commentaries

6. Make a Video Presentation

7. Give Public Thanks

8. Do an Office Makeover

9. Supply Favorite Things (candies, ties, etc.)

10. Celebrate 31 Days of Appreciation

 

Honor God by honoring His servants, with a thoughtful, personalized encouragement that fits your unique church and pastor.

Oct

CV Sunday Readers – Quote of the Week: “YOUR ATTITUDE DETERMINES YOUR ALTITUDE”

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“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus…” {Philippians 2:1-5}

Remembering Gardner C. Taylor (1918 – 2015)

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The Rev. Gardner C. Taylor, widely considered the dean of the nation’s black preachers and “the poet laureate of American Protestantism,” died Sunday (April 5) after a ministerial career that spanned more than six decades. He was 96.

The Rev. Carroll Baltimore, past president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, confirmed that Taylor died on Easter Sunday.

“Dr. Taylor was a theological giant who will be greatly missed,” he said of the minister who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2000.

PNBC President Rev. James C. Perkins said Taylor “transformed America and the world for the better. How appropriate it is that God called Dr. Taylor home on Resurrection Sunday. In both life and death Dr. Taylor gave a clarion call to the transformative power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Concord Baptist Church of Christ, the imposing, block-long, brick church Taylor pastored for 42 years, became a beacon of hope and vitality for many African-Americans in Brooklyn, N.Y., and a model for the nation. When the church was destroyed by fire in 1952, Taylor defied naysayers by not only rebuilding the edifice, but also doubling its size.

Concord, one of New York City’s largest churches, operated its own elementary school, nursing home, credit union and million-dollar endowment used to invest in the community. But for more than four decades, it was Taylor who made Concord’s pulpit “the most prestigious in black Christendom,” proclaimed author and scholar Michael Eric Dyson.

Dyson described Taylor’s preaching style as a blend of technical aspects, brilliant metaphors and an “uncanny sense of rhythmic timing put to dramatic but not crassly theatrical effect.”

The tall, charismatic pastor was renowned for the memorable sermons he spun from tales, anecdotes and Scriptures, but rarely captured in manuscripts. Taylor, a preacher’s preacher, kept his thoughts in his head before ushering them forth, and kept a black pocket Bible handy when he wanted to refer to the sermon’s Scripture reading for the day.

“When you talk about Gardner Taylor, it’s more than just the words,” said the Rev. Bernard Richardson, dean of Howard University’s Rankin Memorial Chapel.

Richardson, who first heard Taylor preach when he was a student at Yale Divinity School in 1984, said, “It’s his presence and I mean, everything about him preaches … his mannerisms, his sincerity, his love of God, love of Scripture. … When he mounts the pulpit, one immediately feels they’re in the presence of someone who is truly gifted.”

This gifted clergyman appreciated the accolades and honors he received during his ministerial career, but relished humility. “I’m appreciative that people take notice of me,” he once said, “but when I go to worship, I’m not looking for that.”

There is a divinity school series, the Gardner C. Taylor Lectures in Black Preaching at Duke Divinity School, and a street in Brooklyn named for Taylor.

Taylor also will be remembered for a thorny page in black Baptist history struck by his allegiance to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., during a tense time in the National Baptist Convention, USA. In 1960, Taylor, King and other black ministers split from the denomination after a fierce debate over King’s civil rights agenda, which many black clerics of the day thought was too politically liberal. As a result, Taylor and other King supporters seceded from the convention and formed the Progressive National Baptist Convention, of which Taylor was once president.

Those were troublesome days for Taylor, who said he lost friends as a result of the split, but his fervent preaching and ministry never waned.

When he was asked during an interview about what makes a great preacher, Taylor responded, “In the Book of Ruth, Naomi says, ‘I went out full, and I’ve come back empty.”’

For Taylor, “That was the story of life. It’s also the story of preaching; we must keep ourselves full so we can empty ourselves in the pulpit.”

In 2011, Taylor described what principles contribute to someone being a great preacher.

“I think the secret of preaching is a deep religious conviction, a knowledge of the Bible and the attempt to express it as well as one might,’’ he said. “I think that is the difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary.’’

*Originally published on Religion News.

CV Sunday Readers – Quote of the Week: “GIVE GOD WHAT’S RIGHT & NOT WHAT’S LEFT.”

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“…Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” {Malachi 3:10}