a word fitly spoken

Last week I was meeting and visiting with a family at the funeral home, and I had a true blessing happen to me.

I was in the middle of a long, full week. I was busy and tired. I wasn’t lacking focus. I was just dialed in and moving swiftly from one responsibility to the next.

This moment I was at the funeral home talking with a family that I had never met before as I was preparing for a funeral that I would do the following day. After those conversations were over I was headed toward the entrance when a new gentleman stopped me and introduced himself. We spoke for about 2-3 minutes about the deceased and this gentleman’s relationship to him. He said what most people say in that he appreciates me being there for them during this tough time. We had a nice, little, cordial talk right there in the hall way. Then he proceeded on, but just as we were walking away, he turned around and said,

“Hey, You’re Awesome!”

It stunned me. That was about a week ago, and I am still being impacted by it.

Not because I am awesome. I know I am not. (Jesus is.)

Not because he said it. I can understand him being thankful for visiting his family without knowing them. And thats his way of saying thanks. And people sometimes say random things to people.

It stunned me because Words have power! Words build up! It made me feel good. It really did. And that doesn’t mean I am shallow. It means words can build people up. I walked out of that funeral home cheesing like never before. I was skipping and singing. All because of his words to me.

God says:

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” -Proverbs 25:11

and

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” -1 Thessalonians 5:11

and

“…but only (talk) such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” -Ephesians 4:29

It has been 7 days since that happened. And I am still thinking about it. I wonder if the way I speak to people ever makes their day better. I wonder if anyone goes home after talking with me and for days is smiling because of something I said to them.

That gentleman sure did pick me up last week. Just by saying a few words to me that built me up. Thank you sir. My day and life are better because of those words. Just as God says in His word.

Lets Give it a try! Lets start using our words to make people better. Lets start being used by God with “fitly spoken words.”

if a picture is worth a thousand words–then speak to me!

I took this photo last summer while we were serving in the jungle of Ecuador.

I don’t know anything about this young guy. I don’t know his name or his age.  All I know is where I was when I took this picture. We were standing right on the bank of the Napo river at the edge of the jungle in Ecuador.

I love this picture. I can’t stop looking at it. It grabs me. Here are some questions I have when I look at it and think about it:

*   Does he know his parents?

*   Does he have shoes?

*   Who are his brothers and sisters?

*   Does he get hugs or tickle-attacks from anyone?

*   Is his belly being that way a serious problem?

*   Is he hungry?

*   Does he have to be home by a certain time?

*   Does he have a home or a bed?

*   Would he like to play ball with me?

*   Does he like to sing?

*   Does he have a Bible?

*   Does he know the great stories in it like David & Goliath or Noah and the flood?

*   Does he know the best story ever – Jesus dying in our place?

*   Has anyone ever told him that God loves him and Jesus died for him?

*   Is anyone going to tell him that?

My mind goes racing with tons of thoughts about this boy. He is so cool looking. I wish I could adopt him. JJ and Eli and Noah would love to have him as a brother. I know they would. They speak his language already. Can’t you see him playing in their room?  Can’t you see him in our nursery at church? Or if hes older, cant you see him playing with all the kids at Super Church?

My heart is heavy as I think and type and pray. My eyes are misty as I feel God drawing my heart to go and give and live and love.

As I am ending this blog post, I am praying that God will work in your heart. That God will lead you to go on a mission trip. That God will lead you to adopt a child. That God will cause you to do something, anything with your life that will make a BIG difference. Maybe you could go tell this kid? Maybe you could be answer to most of those questions I listed above?

I am praying that God will use me and you for his glory. Please feel free to share this with anyone.

my favorite CD ever (i think)

I am not sure if I have a favorite album. I don’t listen to music all that much really to even have a favorite. I just find something I like and then keep listening to it over and over again.

In college, I was introduced to Shane & Shane. To this day, they are still my favorite to listen to.

Of all their albums, my favorite is still that first one I heard in college titled “Psalms.”

One of the songs I like on this album is called “Breath of God.” You can watch a YouTube video of them performing it live here. Or I have it posted at the bottom of this post.

For the past few weeks, I have listened to it countless times. I pray God lets people see Him through me in Fairdale. That is what this song talks about.

 

Here are the lyrics to the song “Breath of God.”

A life you cannot define; a purpose thats benign

They need to see and believe; be led to the rugged tree

The on which he cried not for his pain but for our debt; the very same tree that he conquered death

It was an unfair deal on the part of Christ; he got my sin, I got eternal life

Make me the breath of God

And I’ll show them the one that means the most to me

They’ll see the face of love

be touched by the very one who died upon the tree

Small talk is a better choice; a way to avoid your voice

I need to feel the dust on my knees; and lead them to the tree

will you follow me, lead them to the tree

Can’t you just believe, will you take a knee, for eternity

 

 

the only true account is the man himself

I am just beginning to read some Martin Lloyd-Jones. And already I am being so impacted by his great preaching.

Check out this quote from a sermon of his from May 15, 1927:

“Do you wish to find an account of what the gospel has done? Well, you must not turn to books for it. Look rather to the reformed sinners–see the lame walking, and the blind seeing and the deaf hearing. The true history of the church is to be found in the lives of the converts that it has produced. You can never really write an account of the conversion of a sinner, the only true account is the man himself. That is why the church has always relied more upon preaching and public testimony than upon documents and the written word.”

“the needs of these people press upon my soul…”

Lottie Moon was a great missionary to China in the 19th century.

Southern Baptist churches take up a special offering every Christmas season in which all of the money goes to support International Missions. This special Christmas Offering is named after Lottie Moon.

Our church is doing the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering throughout all of December and January. For the remaining Sundays, we will designate a small part of our Worship Service to helping our people become more familiar with Lottie Moon and her great zeal for Christ and His work.

Let me share a few excerpts from tomorrow morning’s segment:

“The needs of these people press upon my soul, and I cannot be silent.  It is grievous to think of these human souls going down to death without even one opportunity of hearing the name of Jesus.” 

“It fills one with sorrow to see these people so earnest in their worship of false gods, seeking to work out their salvation by supposed works of merit, with no one to tell them of a better way.”

Why does money fail to be forthcoming when approved men and women are asking to be sent to proclaim the “unsearchable riches of Christ” to the heathen? 

My, my, my, oh how I wish I could have known Lottie. Her fire for God is contagious even now!

You can read the entire piece here.

“him who looks after me”

Genesis 16:13 “So she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.”

This morning while reading through Genesis I was blessed by these words spoken by Hagar. Hagar is the Egyptian servant to Sarai, Abram’s wife. After Abram and Sarai’s plan to have a child went wrong, pregnant Hagar ran away into the wilderness. It was there that God “found” her, spoke with her, listened to her affliction and blessed her.

Hagar found great strength and comfort in the bright truth that God sees and cares for his people. When we are full of doubt, worry, insecurity, stress, confusion, may we be strengthened by what we know about who God is. He sees and cares for his people.

He is a God to his people. He is a Father to his children. He is a Shepherd to his sheep. He is a teacher to his students. He is a guide to his followers.

May you feel the joy and strength that comes from knowing God sees you and looks after you! Here are some more thoughts on this idea.

The ancients used to express it this way = “God is all eye.”

“In Scripture, when God sees he cares.” –Gordon Wenham

Psalm 139:1 “O LORD, you have searched me and known me”

Psalm 44:21 “For he knows the secrets of the heart.”

Psalm 33:13 “The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man”

Hebrews 4:13 “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

Charles Spurgeon– “It is one of our choicest privileges to be always under our Father’s eye, to be never out of sight of our best friend.”

Matthew Henry– “This thought should always restrain us from sin and excite us to duty: Thou God seest me.

the reading plan I’m doing in 2012

Earlier I posted about the various Bible Reading Plans that there are out there.

Many of you have expressed interest in doing this along with me. I am excited to be beginning it. Well I have chosen one that I really like and will be doing this year. I began on January 1, and I am already really liking it. It allows for 6 readings a week, which means every week you have a free day to catch up if you are behind.

It is called the Read the Bible for Life Chronological Plan.

You can see a 2-page plan of it here. Or you can see a nice detailed booklet plan of it here.

E-mail me at jgreene@fbcfairdale.org if you will be doing this Reading Plan too.

 

 

blessed by a teenage bike rider

Drew Dillman is a Senior at PRP High School. He is a very focused and gifted bike rider.

He is also a member of our church, First Baptist Fairdale.

Over the last few years, Drew has grown a lot in his relationship with Jesus Christ. He has become very involved in the life of our church. He and our Youth Pastor, Nate Martin, have become great friends. Drew was a Youth Summer Intern this past summer. It is a pure joy to see Drew growing into a godly man.

That is why this article is so cool. Drew is a big time cyclist. He rides various types of bikes, but his favorite is Cyclocross. He recently returned from another trip to Europe to compete in some worldwide competitions. While there Drew was asked to write a journal entry about his life, cycling, and the trip. You can click the link above to read Drew’s perspective on his life with Christ in cycling.

You can also click this link about Drew on the EuroCross website.

Drew is a fine young man. God is working in his life, and I am thrilled and humbled to be his pastor. You can pray for Drew as he is praying about what college to attend in the fall.

 

Lets read the Bible in 2012 (reading plans)

Each year we talk about a New Year resolution to read the Bible more, better, and consistently.

 

This year, I would like for some folks to join me in choosing a Reading Plan and then sticking with it throughout the year. I am going to make a list or group of folks who are all doing this with me. I will keep you encouraged and updated in the process.

Justin Taylor (his blog post on the The Gospel Coalition) has done us all a favor and compiled many of them together making it much easier for people to choose. You can click here to check it out.

I plan to choose a plan that will take me through the entire Bible in one year.

If you would like to join with me in this goal and be held accountable to sticking with this, then e-mail me at jgreene@fbcfairdale.org

I am eager to see who wants to join me in this. May 2012 be the year that you and I grow in God’s Word more than any other year before!