A Lasting Impression

As we turned off the paved road, the sign clearly marked the way and the gravel road told us we were getting closer. With the windows down, the anticipation grew as the sound of the car tires rolling over gravel filled the air. We knew we were close.

West Virginia Christian Youth Camp holds a special place in my heart because it is where the world stops and relationships grow. Free from the cares of the world, those present cling to each other because we know we are the motivation and encouragement we really need. This is the place where new relationships begin and “old” relationships continue to grow. Even though, many of us have not seen each other in a least a year, maybe more, the smiles across each face let you know how exciting it is to see each other again.

From the morning wakeup bell to the crackling of the evening campfire, each day is a blessing. The blessing is not within us to create, but it has been created for us, by a loving God, for us to cherish. It is this blessing which bonds us though Christ’s love to serve one another each week. The week is not about the team’s points score at the end of the week, but the blessing we can be to someone else.

This past week was a blessing to my family. We needed the refreshment and the encouragement.

While I was blessed with the opportunity to speak each evening, Carrie was blessed to teach the children of the staff who were too young to be a camper. Each time I spoke, the encouragement of my brothers and sisters in Christ was beyond motivating. To look out and see young people and adults taking notes, opening their Bibles and paying attention reminded me why I love that place so much. As Carrie taught the little ones, we were reminded how innocent and how truthful they can be and how excited they get when you teach them about the blessings of God.

Truly, this is a special place.

Personally, without this small camp nestled in the foothills of the West Virginia mountains, my life would probably look different. While I have a great upbringing at home, it was being around those of like precious faith that challenged me and motivated me. The challenge was simple, live for Christ every day and let your light shine. Others did it year after year and challenged each one to continue. The motivation was to serve others. The golden rule was the challenge of the motivation – if you want to serve others in the best way possible, treat them as you wanted to be treated; whether they like you or not. The challenge was great, the motivation changes lives and both bring hope of a better life.

I am thankful I was able to come back this year after a six year hiatus. This place has held a special place in my heart since I was 12 years old and I look forward to seeing the place it will hold in my children’s lives.

Just some thoughts,


To my camp family – SEE YOU LATER!!!

 

 

Minister Seeking a Congregation

Opening up the pages of the newest publication among the churches of Christ, I always flip to the back to read the newest listing for congregations seeking a minister. As I read through each one, I am intrigued and at the same time, find it comical due to the wide variety of listings.

“…at least 17 years experience needed.”

“…must be married. (Children preferred)”

“…must be sound in the faith.” (By the way I have yet to read an advertisement for an unsound minister.)

“…must hold office hours and visit the brethren daily.”

“…wife must be willing to teach classes.” (Who are we hiring here?)

Reading through the list makes me wonder how many churches today would hire Peter, John, Matthew, Paul, Andrew or even Jesus?

While some of the requirements might be helpful, I question the wisdom of making the majority of our ministers into pastors and placing the responsibility of the entire congregation on one man’s shoulders. I wonder who many congregations passed up a growing young man, because he was “too young” for them. I think Timothy and Paul ran into the same problem. (See 1 Timothy 4.12)

So, I came up with an advertisement I would like to see; in fact, I will be the first to toss it out there and see who calls.

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Minister Seeking a Congregation

 

An imperfect minister seeks an imperfect congregation of the Lord’s people who are willing to live for Christ each day. The size of the congregation does not matter, only the size of their hearts.

The congregation must be willing to be challenged, loved, taught and share the love that Christ had for the world in their daily lives. This is not a Sunday only request, but a daily one.

The membership must not be apathetic; if there is, let it not be the majority. If it is the majority, let them be prepared for an honest discussion centered around the sacrifice of Christ.

The membership should be ready to open a Bible and discuss the greatness of God, the life of Christ and the purpose of the Spirit. The membership should be ready to have people of all races, nationalities, backgrounds, social status, economic status and jobs enter into Bible study together. The congregation must be ready to reach outside of their comfort zone to assist others in knowing Christ.

The deacons, if applicable, must be willing to serve as Christ served us. There should understand their work is not only a physical work, but a spiritual one as well. Their work will help to take care of members, the physical building, the teaching program and many other needful areas to assist with the growth of the congregation.

The elders, if applicable, must be willing to shepherd. They should not be bill payers, but leaders of the flock. They must understand they are accountable to the flock God has called them to shepherd. They should lead the congregation from the front, not beat them from the pew. They should visit the flock to know them by name.

As a whole, the congregation should be trying – trying to serve God every day. They do not need to be perfect, just willing to reach for perfection. It is Christ which makes us perfect, not ourselves.

The congregation should strive to rejoice and cry together often.

Regarding a building…not necessary.

Regarding Powerpoint…not necessary.

Regarding love…ready to grow.

Regarding hope…only in Christ.

No resume or references necessary.

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To make this discussion even deeper, if these qualifications interest you, feel free to call me at 843-437-8772. Ask for Chris, I just might be looking for you.

Just some thoughts,

 

 

My Grandmother Got Better

Marsha's camera thanksgiving 2010 209

Today, my grandmother got better.

As many of you know my grandmother has been battling cancer for 18 months. Today, at 1:27pm, she got better.

Her body has been work out throughout this battle, but today it got better. Her fleshly body faded fast, but her spiritual body was ready as it had ever been. There was nothing that would stop her from stepping out of this life and into the next. Today, she was ready to get better.

As she closed her eyes for the last time, she knew. She knew something that each of us desire to know – she knew she would get better. Her frail body will now walk again. Her breathing is no longer labored, but the best it has even been. She is better.

Today, it was hard to watch her get better. The memories of the past flooded our mind as each memory became a small tear. The tears were definitely flowing and one day they will stop, but for now, let the memories of the past be the power in the light of the future.

Leave a legacy by living your life.

Today, my grandmother got better.

Just my thoughts,

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A Preacher’s Faithfulness


 

 

A preacher’s faithfulness to the Word is not based on…

  • His age
  • The number of sermons he has preached
  • The size of the congregation where he preaches
  • How many gospel meetings he has held
  • Whether the congregation was growing or not
  • Whether he lives in the Bible Belt or not
  • Whether he a married, single or even divorced

It is time congregations wake up and see the character of the man and not the external numbers of human thought. We, the church, are losing good men because our human eyes have taken the place of God’s grace. Hiring committees and churches forget men like Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Peter, Andrew and Paul. Instead they focus is on what other preachers and congregations are doing, instead of what Paul told Timothy. Their focus continues to what type of building and who can be brought to it. I hate to break it to you, but God’s Heaven is big enough for all of us, focus on get people to His heaven, not your building.

It is time we wake up and see that God’s view of faithfulness in preaching could very well be the one we do not possess. It is time to change the glasses and see our brethren from heaven’s eyes.

Just my thoughts,

Chris 




Prove Gandhi (?) Wrong

ghandi

“I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.” (attributed to Gandhi)

The above quote has, for years, been attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, a leader of the Indian people in the early part of the 20th century. Many have disputed the quote is directly from Gandhi, but some hold to the words as his. Whatever the case, let us take a moment and consider those words.

Be angry at those words it you will. Make excuses that Gandhi (?) does not understand the Bible or those words could be said about any religion, but be honest and consider the power behind those words.

The point – The actions of the followers must imitate the actions of the leader.

Christians have a constant eye upon them, because the world knows they are called to a higher purpose, by the Son of God. The world knows, somewhat, the overall teaching of the Bible, but wants to see it in the lives who proclaim to follow the one known as Jesus Christ.

Maybe today, you will be the shining light as Jesus has called you (Matthew 5.14-16).

Maybe today, you will prove Gandhi wrong and imitate Christ (1 Corinthians 11.1).

The choice is yours – the choice must be made, the life must be lived.

How can you prove Gandhi wrong?

 

Read the text of Christ – Take into your mind that which you should be doing. For the actions of Christians to match the Savior, it starts long before “WWJD.” The process starts in understand What Jesus Already DID! You must dive into the words of Jesus and begin living, ever day, like He did. Listen to His words, cherish them in your heart and let me out in your actions.

Stop Talking and Start Doing – Christians can talk of the word all day, but they must act on their beliefs. Isn’t that what true faith is – actions based on beliefs? The writer James says, “Be doers of the word, not hearers only.” (James 1.22) I would also read how those faithful allowed their faith to come through in their actions, see Hebrews 11.

Love Must Prevail – If you can feed the poor, teach the rich, give of your means, convert the lost, but have not love, how has your life been changed. Paul understood the power of love and actions in 1 Corinthians 13 – give it a read, but more than that, give it a light in your life.

Just my thoughts,

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