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Posts Tagged ‘Obedience’

My heart is stirred today. God has been working overtime on me the last couple of months, challenging me at the deepest levels of everything I thought I knew about the Christian life.

This morning turned out to be the culmination of all that God has been doing in me. We had an amazing service with our LifePoint Church family… one of those inexplicable encounters with God that none of us could have planned if we had tried. I walked towards the platform to bring the message, clutching a handful of notes that were “scrambled thoughts” at best. I had struggled all week, trying in vain to take all the things God has been teaching me these last two months and somehow condense them all into a logically organized, well outlined, sensible sermon. Well, that didn’t happen! (more…)

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The very first words ever spoken to us as a new church were spoken by a man with more than 50 years of faithful service in the Lord’s work. We had all gathered in his home one evening to commission this new ministry, and we knew that his vast experience in church planting and missions work on numerous continents would provide us with some highly valuable insight as we prepared to take this huge step.

Looking back on that night, I’m honestly not sure exactly what everyone expected to hear, but I do know that what we did hear was not even close to what we were anticipating! I suppose in some innocent, naive way, most people expected him to pat us on the head and tell us how proud he was of us for starting a new church. After all, when you’re embarking on a brave new endeavor, it’s nice to hear words of affirmation. It tends to add credibility to what you’re doing. Well, we got a little more than we bargained for that night! (more…)

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One Sunday morning a while back I was sharing some key principles with our church about serving the Lord and being obedient to His calls in our life. It went something like this…

  1. When God’s call comes, it will never come at a convenient time.
  2. God’s call rarely comes with all the details in place.
  3. You will never feel fully qualified to answer God’s call.
  4. When God’s call comes, you will almost always lack the resources to do it.
  5. But… God’s faithfulness always outweighs the risk of the call.

When I first began teaching years ago I prayed a simple prayer, asking God to always keep me real and never let me teach from His Word without living it out in my own life. Between you and me, there are times when I almost wish I hadn’t prayed that prayer, because God continually gives me opportunities to “practice what I preach” if you know what I mean, and sometimes the lessons are pretty painful.

About two months ago, Sandy and I received a phone call that we knew right away was going to have huge implications — very difficult ones — on our entire family. (more…)

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The Deep End

This has been a long time coming.

People have been bugging me for years to start writing in one form or another, but with the never-ending flood of books and blogs already being pumped out, the lingering question for me was always, “Does there really need to be another voice out there?” After all, Proverbs 17:28 offers the rather sharp and somewhat sarcastic reminder that even a fool is thought to be wise if he keeps silent. Don’t know about you, but that doesn’t exactly leave me clamoring to want to be heard.

But during a recent conversation with a friend of mine, (a guy who speaks the Word of God with remarkable boldness and candor), he issued a challenge to me completely out of the blue. We had never even spoken once about this, but he said, “Phil, I want to encourage you to start writing!” And there it was again… for the umpteenth time. What exactly was going on here? Why have so many people been asking me to write? I mean, nobody has been asking me to sing, or paint, or dance. (Although you should see my moves!) This writing thing was just something I couldn’t ignore any longer.

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