Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Visit to 'The Holocaust Memorial' in Detroit

This week I went with a group from our church to the Jewish Holocaust Memorial in Detroit. It was a very moving experience. We took a tour of the facility and had a wonderful guide who gave us a passionate and informative overview of the Holocaust that happened in Europe during WWII. I could not help but wonder how it is that people could be so cruel and inhumane to other people. We are shocked by the atrocities that Nazism perpetrated on the Jewish population of Europe.

Yet today there are atrocities and genocide being committed every day. Humanity is surely sick. It is my conviction that the precious gospel of Jesus Christ is the only true antidote to the moral ills of our world. When people are changed by the good news of Jesus Christ they are transformed from being selfish, arrogant, mean spirited, and potentially dangerous people to those who are lovers and worshippers of God.

What makes this change happen? It is the gospel of Christ. By the preaching of the gospel men are transformed and made holy. Our lives are turned around and we are given the desire to treat all men with kindness and dignity. This is the miracle of the New Birth. Jesus said, "Ye must be born again." I am greatly saddened by all of the terrible suffering that the Jewish people endured during the Holocaust. And I am saddened by all of the tragic suffering that so many people are facing today. The answer to all of this, however, is to proclaim the unsearchable riches of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ makes the difference in our lives. And Christ is the need for our country and for our world.

When I became a Christian the Lord taught me to love my enemies, treat all men with love and respect, to die to self, and to be like Christ in my dealings with my fellow man. The Gospel of Christ teaches us to walk with God, to be unselfish, to be generous, to be thoughtful, to be compassionate, to be approachable, and to be holy. This is the goal of Christian living. I pray for all of you to know the Lord and to be conformed into His image as you live your life in this fallen world.

God bless you all.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

This Sunday is Father's Day. When Moses was leading the children of Israel through the wilderness he came to the Promised Land. Because of his own personal sins and failures the Lord did not permit Moses to enter into the Land of Promise. But He did allow Moses to help lay the ground work of their entry into the land. One of the things that Moses did was to remind the children of Israel of God's promises and of God's laws. In the Ten Commandments we read that we are to honor our fathers and our mothers. This is found in Deuteronomy 5:16. As we gather in church on this Sunday it is my prayer that we will all take time to thank God for His many blessings and gifts to us and that we will also take the time to thank our fathers for all that they have done for us as well.

Recently I read a wonderful book by Mark DeMoss on leadership principles. The book is called, The Little Red Book of Wisdom. This is a book that every Christian father, and leader should read. I was deeply touched by how tenderly Mark DeMoss spoke of his earthly father. Mr Arthur S. DeMoss died a number of years ago. After his death he left for the work of the Lord a large fortune that he had put into a foundation to ensure that the work of the Lord continued long after he had gone to heaven. Arthur DeMoss was a great man of God. His impact on his son Mark was very evident in this book written by his son Mark. In this book Mark DeMoss tells of three things his dad taught him that he never forgot and that changed his life forever. Here's what he learned from his dad:

1. Give to God the first hour of the day. Arthur S. DeMoss would spend the first hour of every day in his morning watch. He sought after God like a man seeking after some great treasure. His hunger for God made him come to the Lord every day to seek fresh manna from God.

2. Give to God the first day of the week. Arthur S. DeMoss set aside each Sunday to be a day of rest and worship. He made sure his family was in the house of the Lord each week. This was a lesson that Mark DeMoss never forgot. We do our families a great disservice if we neglect to take them to the Lord's house for worship each week.

3. Give to God the first dime of every dollar. Arthur S. DeMoss tithed on all that he made. To fail to tithe is to rob God and to lose many blessings that would have been yours if you had been obedient to God's command.

Arthur S. DeMoss was a man who loved God. May we each be those who love God as well and leave for our families a legacy of love, trust, example, and faithful Christian living so that those who come behind us will see our lives and be led to Christ.

I trust that you will all have a wonderful Father's Day this Sunday!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Book Recommendation...

May I recommend a wonderful book by Charles Spurgeon? It is C. H. Spurgeon on Spiritual Leadership. Every Christian who takes seriously the command to disciple the nations should read this book. There are keys to being a great leader that are often overlooked in many circles that discuss leadership. From a Christian perspective we must consider the things that matter most to God. This book will enable you to focus on these different aspects of leadership that are essential to being a truly great leader.

Here are some of the aspects of spiritual leadership that Spurgeon addresses:

1. Having a passion for prayer
2. Having a faith that endures
3. A committment to holiness
4. A heart for service
5. A love for the Lord and for His Word
6. A willingness to suffer
7. A passion for souls
8. The power of a single focus

Here are a few quotes from this book.

"The best spiritual leaders are those who are always learning. They're the ones who ask, How can I do this better? How can I have a greater impact? How can I inspire the people around me upward and onward in their Christian growth? How can I glorify God more?"

"If any of you should ask me for an epitome of the Christian religion, I should say it is in that one word--prayer."

On the subject of faith Spurgeon said, "Go in for great things, brethren, in the name of God; risk everything on His promise, and according to your faith shall it be done unto you."

On holiness Spurgeon said, "We are watched by a thousand eagle eyes; let us so act that we shall never need to care if all heaven, and earth, and hell, swelled the list of spectators. Our public position is a great gain if we are enabled to exhibit the fruits of the Spirit in our lives; take heed, brethren, that you throw not away the advantage."

I would encourge all of you to purchase this book and to devour its contents. It will be a great blessing and will transform your life and help you to become a better spiritual leader for the Kingdom of God in the days and the years to come. God bless you all,

Pastor Dickie