Living Faith MBC Fort Smith AR- Living Inside Out : How to Renew the mind

Posted September 15, 2013 by bigbanjo
Categories: Podcast

Living Inside Out – Eliminating Worldly Thinking

Posted September 12, 2013 by bigbanjo
Categories: Podcast

Don’t Look Ethel! It was too late…

Posted September 10, 2013 by bigbanjo
Categories: Blogs

In the Ray Stevens song entitled “The Streak” there is a phrase that is repeated several times, “don’t look Ethel!” Recently I have felt the urge to yell out “don’t look Christians!”
But I’m afraid it’s too late.

The Miley Cyrus episodes of twerking and suggestive dancing has caught the attention of many in the Christian community. Many have gone to great length to inform us how ungodly her behavior has been lately. They go so far as to show us pictures and give details that can only be known by watching the video. There has been a lot of posting and reposting about the actions of Miley on Facebook from parents to preachers. The discussion has opened the door to several questions that need to be asked.

Should Christians watch such videos? The Bible says “For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.” (Eph. 5:12) In public or secret, it’s not something that christians should dwell on or promote, even if it is to point out how wrong something might be.

Has the Christian community digressed so much that we need christian watch dog groups or christian family organizations to point out sin for us? Are we no longer able to identify wrong or shameful acts?

Why have we singled out Miley? I have seen some touchdown dances that were inappropriate in my opinion but nothing is mentioned about such acts. Why are we so inconsistent?

Many years ago I was quick to point out the sinfulness of others. But I discovered that I was not helping the sinner but only fueling the imagination of my own mind while exposing my inconsistent message. I began to pray and study the Word of God looking for a solution to my problem. I soon discovered a Biblical and better way of dealing with the sin filled world.

Don’t be against something but be for something!

I’m for the gospel of Jesus Christ! I’m for the Word of God! I’m for Spirit led living that glorifies God! I’m for decency and respect for my fellow man! I’m for the Truth that sets men free from the bondage of sin and death! I’m for a brotherly love that touches lives! I’m for hiding the Word of God in my heart that I might not sin against God! I’m looking for the return of Christ!

Why do we feel the need to expose sin in others when we can shine the light of Jesus?

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. (Ephesians 5:11-13 KJV)

So what do I think about Miley’s newest video involving a wrecking ball and sledgehammer? (DON’T LOOK ETHEL!!) I’m FOR the One who died on the cross shedding His blood so that all who believe and repent of their sins will find forgiveness and grace!

A State Trooper Who Doesn’t Love Jesus

Posted August 13, 2013 by bigbanjo
Categories: Blogs

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Blue lights interrupt our slow yet peaceful trip. A State Trooper walks up slowly beside the car I was driving and says “Sir can I see your driver license and registration?”
“What did I do that was wrong?” I asked.
“You were doing 56 mph in a 40 mph zone!”
“I’m sorry, this is not my car and I’m not used to driving it. It belongs to our youth pastor who is at Bogg Springs Youth Camp with a group of kids who need to get closer to God and some who need to hear the glorious gospel of Jesus. Being the Sr. Pastor I brought our group down this morning and I’m taking his car home. Our youth pastor went down early to get things ready for a great week at church camp where lots of people will trust Christ. My grandson and I were just singing deep and wide and about to sing Jesus Loves Me. We want everyone to know God’s Love!”
The Trooper replies “I’ll be right back.” He takes all my paper work and returns to his car and leaves me sitting and hoping that he loves Jesus too. Surely he will appreciate our devotion and love for God!

He’s an Atheists! He doesn’t love Jesus!

He handed my two pieces of paper. One was a ticket for speeding and the other was a warning citation because our (ex) youth pastor didn’t sign the back of his car registration! Really!??
I was speechless! He obviously doesn’t love Jesus, and He enjoys persecuting those who do!
The Trooper informs me of my court date and as he turns to walk away he says “Oh, God Bless!” Blasphemy!!!

There are several lessons to be learn from this experience. First, sign the back of your car registration. I believe that’s why he gave me a ticket for speeding instead of a warning ( I’m sure it had nothing to do with me speeding).

Second, why do we feel the need to use our Christianity for personal gain? We play the Christian trump card to get out of trouble or to get the upper hand. Does our Christianity serve us or do we serve Christ? Did Paul say that he was following Christ because of personal gain or did he say “what was gain to me I count loss, that I may know Him?” Do we believe in Jesus so that we can have a better life or do we follow Christ because He is Life? Wearing the cloak of Christianity for personal gain is a form of idolatry.

The truth; I was speeding and guilty of breaking the law. I was not speeding on purpose but I deserved a ticket and I was wrong for hoping my good deeds would out weigh my wrong. It doesn’t work that way with God, why am I surprised that it didn’t work that way with the State Trooper? But thankfully God is merciful and forgives our trespasses through Christ.

If you feel lead by God to help pay my speeding ticket……let me know!

Just so you know, the State Trooper was very nice and professional! I appreciate our law enforcement officers very much. We have several in our church family and they are a blessing to our church!

“For if I still pleased men; I would no longer be a bondservant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10)

There Goes The Camel!

Posted January 14, 2013 by bigbanjo
Categories: Blogs

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Our annual Living Nativity Drive Thru was set and ready for guest. We worked hard getting everything just right. Lights, sound, and scenes were set with precession and purpose ready to transport guest back in time. Then it happen! The camel got loose!

Running down the road through Bethlehem goes the camel. Wise men dressed in royal attire chasing, robes and head dress flowing against the wind. Camel bellowing, wise men yelling! One angel utter words only God could understand! (Some called it a spiritual language) One lady making bread in the market place, said ” there goes a camel……. and there goes the wise men!.

The Wise men, not thinking about what do you do when you catch a camel, tried to secure the 1400 pound beast. The first Wise men reach to grab the halter, he went air-born! The second Wise men decided to be a rodeo clown and save his falling comrade! The camel step on his toes, crushing his pride. The third Wise men went for help. Under the watchful eye of the skilled animal trainer the camel was returned to her place.

There is a new expression around our church these days. When things don’t go as planned you will hear some one say “Dang, there goes the camel!”

Life is full of surprises! Some times our plans don’t go as planned. About all you can do is smile and go on, knowing that ultimately God is in control.

Thankfully God’s plans never fail! He is faithful to fulfill what He has promised!

Church Name Debate

Posted August 10, 2012 by bigbanjo
Categories: Blogs

Tags: , ,

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Wonder if they have direct deposit? Try putting that on your check.

I have deliberately avoided the church name debate on Facebook because my views are some what twisted. But it is my blog, so here we go!
I find it interesting that when selecting a name for a church we are avoiding certain words so that we don’t offend the ungodly, when in church history it is the ungodly who gave us the name(s) that we go by now. Maybe we should allow the ungodly in our community to name the church where we serve. Imagine what that might look like. Here are a few examples.
“I Didn’t Know That Was A Church” Baptist Church
“What Do They Do” Baptist Church
“Small Mind, Tight Fist” Baptist Church
“We Don’t Do That On Sunday” Church (when you have Monday- Saturday)

Maybe the name is not the problem!

I also find it interesting that parts of our church name are more of a statement or even a wish. For example a church may go through a split. The half that leaves will usually pick a name like “Unity” or “Harmony” just to prove that it was not their fault. After all if it is on the sign, it must be true!
Instead of the name reflecting what we hope our church will be, what if the name reflected the current state of our church?
“No Hope” Baptist Church
“Boring…” Baptist Church
“Stiff Neck, Won’t Change” Baptist Church

The name on the sign doesn’t impact what happens on the inside!

Personally I like what Jesus said. In John 13:35 He says “by this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.” Is it possible to have a church and not have a name? Jesus seems to think so. If we would learn to love people as God loves us, people will know who we are and where we are.

I pray for the day when the light of Jesus shines brighter than the lights that illuminate our signs!

Well I have a lot more to say but I just got a call, the light bulb in our church sign has burned out again!

Well Done Dad

Posted August 6, 2012 by bigbanjo
Categories: Blogs

Tags: , ,

Well done Dad!
You finished strong!

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Dad was diagnosed with ALS in February,2012. We were stunned by the words of the doctor as he gave his diagnosis. We cried all the way home. Questions about treatments and amount of time left to live clouded our minds. That stormy day will always be remembered not because of the terrible news, but because of the pact that Dad and I made that day.
We were sitting in his garage, no one around but the two of us, when Dad began to share his fears and worries. We talked about death, getting things done and taking care of family. And in those few moments we cried, shared and made a pledged to each other. Realizing we could not change things I said “Dad, I need you to finish the race strong, don’t quit!” “Your grand kids, your family, I need to see your faith and know that you crossed the finish line running strong!” That afternoon he promised to try and I promised to help him.
Over the next couple of months, as his body wore thin, I would encourage him to finish strong and he would reply ” I’m still running!”
Over the last couple of weeks we talked about death and what it would feel like. We talked about heaven and what it would feel like. He was tired and struggling but he assured me that he wasn’t going to quit and he would do his best to finish the race.
On August 1st, I watched as Dad crossed the finish line of life. He was leaning forward! He finished strong! He gave his all!

Dad, I’m proud of You!
You ran a good race!
You didn’t quit!
You finished strong!

Well done Dad!
Well done…

Can’t Wait Till You Get Home!

Posted March 8, 2012 by bigbanjo
Categories: Blogs

Ever wonder what your dog is thinking and doing all day? Being a lazy dog is hard work!

This short video contains one of the secrets to living.

(For all my SOPA, Tree Hugging, save the Soft Back Tick followers, no dogs were harmed in the making of this video and everything is original and belongs to me!)

 

My Dogs Theapist Thinks She’s a Cat!

Posted March 3, 2012 by bigbanjo
Categories: Blogs

Taylor is a white miniature Schnauzer. My wife says he is normal. We bought him from a seller who was sitting in the Wal-Mart parking lot. So I’m fairly certain he was made in China.

 I would never trade him for a newer model, but he has unresolved issues. He doesn’t like change and is afraid of anything new (typical Baptist). Recently Taylor discovered he is now afraid of walking out the door of our bedroom. For three years he has walk over this same spot without a problem, but now he is paralyzed! He tries to get passed this spot but he can’t do it. Fear is stronger than experience!

  We have carried him over the spot, moved furniture and even cleaned the floor in hopes of trying to figure out what it is holding him hostage. We put a towel down to cover the spot and that seemed to help, but was not the cure all we were hoping for.

  Finally, a breakthrough! Taylor loves beef jerky! Would his love for beef jerky overcome his new found fear? Success! By focusing on the treat in my hand he seemed to forget that he was afraid. Love conquers fear!

   He still has his setbacks, but he is making improvement.  Now we are working on his Sciaphobia (fear of shadows).

The Point: Fear is stronger than experience. I have been serving God for many years and still struggle with fear. You would think after years of experience that fear would not be a problem, but fear is always nearby ready to take control and hold me hostage. 

  The only way to conquer fear is with love, God’s love. Knowing that God loves me and will never leave me gives me the strength to overcome my fears. My love for God helps me focus on Him instead of focusing on my fears.

  If you find yourself being held hostage by fear, let God’s love fill you! May your love for God give you freedom from fear.

 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” I John 4:18

Secrets To Growing Old

Posted March 1, 2012 by bigbanjo
Categories: Blogs

Here is a list of things you need to know as you grow older. These secrets are not commonly known or shared, but they are important if you wish to successfully navigate life as you grow older.

1. You need to buy a rain gauge!  

  Nothing is more frustrating than not knowing how much rain you received at your house. When old men talk about the weather, we like to brag about the amount of rain we get, especially if it’s more than your friends.  

2. You need to buy 10 pair of the reading glasses and 3 of them must be the ugliest you can find!  

  The uglier the better! You won’t wear them outside the house for fear of someone seeing you wearing them. You will never lose them!

3. You need to learn how to play “Charades.”

    Have you ever watched old people having a conversation? It quickly turns into a guessing game. Example:

         “What is the name of the lady down the street?”

         “Which one, there are many?”

         “The one who had the dog, What is her name?”

         “I don’t know!”

         “Yes you do! It begins with a ‘K.’  Her son is a preacher!  You know……!”

               (some hand gestures’ at this point)

         “Does she drive a red car?”

        “Yes, that’s her! And last year she put up blue Christmas lights….What is her name?”

      Well, you get the idea.

 

4. Always keep an “Atomic Fire Ball” in your pocket.

   If you start crying for no reason at all (and you will) and some one sees you and is wondering what is wrong. You pull out the Atomic Fire Ball and ask them if they want one, great way to diffuse the attention.

 

5. Learn to laugh at yourself.  

    Spending 10 minutes looking for your car keys only to realize that you are holding them in your hand is not normal, but it is funny! So go ahead and laugh at yourself.

 

6, Memorize Proverbs 16:31.

     Maybe you should write it down and put it on your refrigerator, in case you forget!

  “Gray hair is a glorious crown; it is found in the way of righteousness (Proverbs 16:31). 

   Wear your crown with confidence!

 

THE POINT: Life changes us as we get older. The things we once valued are no longer important. There are some things we can no longer do and there are some things we never thought we would do.  But in an ever-changing world, God does not change! Nor should our love and fear for God ever change. Whatever your age, Proverbs 9:10-11 will always be true.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For by Wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life (Proverbs 9:10-11).