Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Preacher Gets Hit At Super Bowl

Tony Miano was preaching on the streets during the Super Bowl. He encountered a few hecklers. Unfortunately, one took things further and tossed a burrito at Tony.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Falling in Love With HIStory!

We are in the middle of a series on understanding the Bible at South BrandonWorship Center and the Sunday Night Remix Church.  The following is an outline of the initial message, entitled Fall in Love with HIStory “The Story.”  Thank you Pastor Chuck and Pastor Brian.

1.  HIStory is about Him!

To understand the Bible you have to realize that it is about God.  The story of the Bible begins with God. The Bible is about God’s nature, his character, and his love.

Gen. 1:1  “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

Really emphasize the first four words. “In the beginning, God” It is all about Him.  No need to use it as a form of proof.  The statement establishes that God is.

Ps. 8:1-5  “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your Name in all the earth. You have set your glory above the heavens…when I consider Your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him?”

2.  HIStory is about Us!

The Bible is also the story about man.

Gen. 1:26,28  “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in our image, according to Our likeness… God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.  Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.”

Note, that it says, “Let Us” That points to the involvement of all three persons of the Trinity in the creation.

At the end of each day, God said it is good, it is good, it is good.  With the creation of man, he said it is very good.

Gen. 2:15, 17 “The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden to work it and watch over it. And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat it, you will certainly die.”

Here is a thought.  He had an apple tree.  He had a pear tree.  He had a banana tree.  He probably was near an orange grove.  He had access to mangoes.  Adam, why did you let Eve hang out near the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Yes, HIStory is about us, and more often than not, we know how to mess things up.

Gen. 3:4-5 “You will not surely die, the serpent said to the woman.  ‘For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

We all know in every good story their has to be a villain.  With us, there is Lucifer.  He was the most beautiful of the angels, yet he was jealous of God.  In his hatred, he feel bringing 1/3 of the angels with him.  God loves man, therefore Lucifer/Satan hates man as well.

This story was not about the fruit.  It was about man, abandoning God.  Man had a choice, and we chose sin.  Eve ate the fruit.  Adam followed.  They chose to sin, then they ran to hide from God.  Today, we choose to sin then we decide to run and hide from God.  How often do we use the phrase, did God really say.

3.  HIStory is about Him Restoring Us!

Despite the tragedy of Gen. 3, there is hope.

Gen. 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.

Satan and his demons will war with humanity.  But the child will crush you.  That was done on the cross.  The greatest rescue operation ever.

            Why is it that man has this desire to rescue someone.  God has put that in us.  Because created in the image of God, we are a shadow of his nature.

Man still has problems.  In the OT, God rescues the children of Israel, but they constantly complain.  God raises up judges, but man continue to do things his way, not God’s way…see Samson.

Then God raises up kings.  First, Saul who fizzles out quickly.  Then there is David, a man after God’s own heart.  Except his problem with Bathsheba.  David is followed by his son, Solomon who possessed wisdom and had a great start, but even with him, things fell apart.  And after Solomon’s death, the Kingdom is separated.

Through this time, God raises up prophets, trying to steer His people to Him. But for the most part, they ignore Him.  Then God’s people is in exile.  And after a period of time they return to Israel… but then there is silence.  No prophets.  No voice from God.  400 years of silence.

Then the silence is broken.  A man in the wilderness, eating bugs.  John the Baptist.  He talks about preparing the way of the Lord.  Then, Jesus shows up on the scene.  And he performs miracles.  But he is really on a mission of restoration.

Jesus is a King, but he is not the king that the people were looking for.  He went from being exalted to being condemned (crucify).  He hung on the cross for 6 hours.  Everything went black.  For several days everything is quiet.  But then Sunday morning comes.  Jesus reversed everything that happened in Eden.

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Son's Last Words to His Father

 A couple of days ago, I met an interesting man by the name of Tom Curtis who shared the following story with me.  In retelling the story, I hope I accurately captured the facts as related by Tom.  Tom shared this story after we told him we were doing a Bible Study put together by former PGA Golfer Wally Armstrong.  In telling the story, Tom told us how he met a gentleman by the name of Wally.

A man named Wally said to Tom, you need to know personally know Jesus.  Initially, Tom was inclined to throw him out of the office.  Over the years, Tom had many ups and downs.  Up to this point, mostly downs.  Because about nine years before Wally approached Tom, tragedy had struck his family.  The meeting with Wally would lead to the end of one journey and the beginning of a new journey.

Tom and his wife had a son by the name of Nick.  Although young, Tom was a successful businessman.  On one particular afternoon, Tom was out on a yacht.  Nick was at home playing a game of tag with some friends.  Nick tried to avoid a tag and ran into some barrels that were near the house.  Earlier some men, who were working on the yard, left a gas container on top of the barrels.  The container fell and Nick was soaked.  At this point, one would wonder what runs through the head of a twelve year old boy.  Because a young boy will come up with things that at the time seem funny, but in reality could be dangerous, or even fatal.  As Nick stood there soaked in gasoline, one of his friends decided to pick up a match and throw it in Nick’s direction.  This resulted in an explosion.  Nick was on fire.

This occurred nearly 40 years ago.  This was before the days of cell phone.  Someone managed to contact Tom on the yacht and he got to his car and was headed straight for the hospital.  On the way to the hospital, he heard a story on the radio that indicated there was an explosion in one of the neighborhoods and a child had been severely burned.  Tom knew that it was his son.

Again, Tom was a successful businessman and he had his son moved from the local hospital in Ohio to a hospital in Massachusetts that specialized in the most serious burns.  He stayed with his son for nearly 3 months.  Then things started to happen.  Tom’s son asked him if he could be baptized.  Tom thought it was an odd question because through family tradition, Nick had been baptized as an infant.  Apparently, people who visited Nick shared the Gospel with him and encouraged him to get baptized.  The arrangements were made, but Tom was not present for the baptism.

Sometime after the baptism, Tom was at the hospital sitting at Nick’s bedside and holding his hand.  Twelve year-old Nick asked his dad, “Do you know, Jesus, personally.”  Tom thought that was a strange question.  How could anyone know Jesus, he’s been gone for nearly 2000 years.  And he said, “Nick there is no way anyone could know Jesus personally.”   As Nick held his dad’s hand, he responded, I know Jesus and at that moment he passed away.

So later, Tom approached two different pastors about his conversation with Nick and neither could give him a straight answer.  One said something along the lines of kids say the strangest things. 

So nine years later, Wally is standing before Tom and tells him that he needs to know Jesus.  After exchanging a few words, Tom decides to go to church with Wally that evening.  Tom heard the Gospel for the first time and he gave his life to the Lord that evening.  The question that haunted him for years was answered and for Tom, a new journey had begun.

Today Tom has an active ministry entitled to SOSEvents.  If you attend the Strawberry Festival in Plant City, be sure to look for Tom’s booth.  Tom also has sons who are pastors or involved in other forms of ministry.

When Jesus Enters Our World - A Papa Roy Devotional

A Touch of Encouragement
Today, when Jesus enters our world, he changes it. When Jesus enters our lives, he changes them. So the question for today, the ultimate question of faith, is this: "What, Lord, should I do?" So why not begin each day by asking Jesus that question?

Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?” So he said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.” (Luke 3:14 NKJV)

Every profession of repentance, which is not attended with a change of life, is mere hypocrisy. It did not condemn their profession, or say that it was unlawful to be a soldier, or that they must abandon the business in order to be true penitents. It was possible to be a good man and yet a soldier.

What was required was that in their profession they should show that they were really upright, and did not commit the crimes, which were often practiced in that calling. It is lawful to defend one's self, one's family, or one's country, and hence it is lawful to be a soldier (Law Enforcement). Man everywhere, in all professions, should be a Christian, and then he will do honor to his profession, and his profession, if it is not a direct violation of the law of God, will be honorable. (A. Barnes)

Papa Roy says, I urge you, just as John urged those men and women of long ago, to take a public stand, to acknowledge your sin, and to express your faith in Christ as your Savior. No one is saved by osmosis, by inheritance, or by mere knowledge, but by a personal commitment, a personal entrusting of yourself and your eternal future into the hands of Jesus Christ, who died for your sins, whose righteousness may be your own. Do it today!
In God we trust, so, true repentance calls all sinners to inner renewal!

Read through the Bible this year: Leviticus 3-4, Psalm 47, Proverbs 16, Luke 3
Come Just As You Are

 Here I am Lord

  Give thanks for this day of February 02/16/12 for God has made it!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Thank God for His Gospel and Seek to Share it with Others - Papa Roy

A Touch of Encouragement
Today, we are commissioned not only to congregate in His name, but also to go out into the world, sharing His Word, His peace, and His love.

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15 NKJV)

This command, often called ‘The Great Commission,’ is the second most penetrating imperative in the scripture right after, ‘You must be born again.’ The phrase “go into all the world…’ is literally, ‘as you are going.’ The world needs to see authentic believers living out Christianity in real life situations well. There are few things that turn off unbelievers more to the Gospel than phony Christians. A major temptation for us is to try to cover up our problems and to act pious and religious, pretending we are holy. The way to influence our friends who don’t know Jesus is not by leaving the impression that we never fall. We must be honest with ourselves and admit we’re no better than anybody else. Instead simply admit that if it weren’t for Jesus Christ, we’d be in big trouble. (E. Rea)

Papa Roy says, "Every morning, my personal ministry is to see as many people as possible come to the Lord through any means and to see Christians grow and go through the maturity that God wants them to reach." "I want to challenge everyone to look forward and remember that God heals the past. It's my personal mission that every soul who reads these devotions be inspired to pray that God would remove the strongholds around them so that when people hear the Gospel, they respond to it instead of react to it."

In God we trust, so, today in prayer, thank Christ for His Gospel and seek to share it with others.

Read through the Bible this year: Exodus 37-38, Psalm 44, Proverbs 13, Mark 16

Lord I Want To Be A Christian

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Why Include This Description in the Bible - A Papa Roy Devotional

Today's devotional from Papa Roy involves the anguish of David.

A Touch of Encouragement

Today, keeping our hearts aware of the inner workings of God’s Spirit in our inner being is an important part of our relationship with God.

O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your wrath, nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure! (Psalm 38:1 NKJV)

In this season of his life David is experiencing much affliction as a bi-product of his sin. The arrow of God that has pierced his heart has touched him. He is feeling the weight of God’s hand upon him. What is essential is that we connect with David’s description of how these things have manifested themselves in his life. David speaks of God’s arrow, God’s hand and God’s wrath but then he goes on to describe what he is experiencing. Sickness, overwhelming guilt, being brought down, and mourning, filled with anguish of heart this is David’s description of God’s dealings.

This passage is a gift to us to help us recognize when God is pressing us to bring us to repentance. God’s discipline is never intended to destroy us. It is rather intended to turn us to Him and to train us in righteousness. (D. Lee)

Papa Roy says, why did God put this description in the Bible? Why does David compare the consequences of sin to being pierced by arrows, being pressed by His hand, sickness, a heavy burden, drowning, smothering and no peace? Because God wants us to hate sin. If for no other reason, the consequences of sin ought to warn us against sinning. The next time you're tempted, look past the pleasure to the pain and learn to say no. Remember what David says in this Psalm. You say, "I'm a Christian. I can sin." No, you can't, because you'll reap the same consequences. God chastens His own, for He wants us to walk in holiness. (W. Wiersbe)  
In God we trust, so, in the agony of guilt David's heart for God drove him back toward God.

Read through the Bible this year: Exodus 25-26, Psalm 38, Proverbs 7, Mark 10
February 02/07/12 click on this song
Mighty to Save

Thursday, February 2, 2012

This Sunday at South Brandon Worship Center - Super Bowl Sunday Celebration

Why is the Super Bowl such a BIG event? When I was growing up, it was bigger than Christmas and Easter. We would have a huge party with family, friends, and neighbors coming over to cheer for "their" team. Everybody wants to be a winner. If we don't feel like we are a winner, then we will "attach" ourselves to one and ride their "victory high" as if it were our own.

God says you are a "winner" in His eyes. Join us this Sunday @ SBWC (9:15 am & 10:45 am services)  and invite your friends to our "Super Bowl Sunday Celebration!" (Sunday Night Remix Service at 5:00 pm with Super Bowl Watch Party at 6:00 pm)

Luke 14:23  Jesus said: "Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled!"

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

God Will Fight The Battle For You - A Papa Roy Devotional

A Touch of Encouragement

Today, God fights for us; we are to be still, and let God, rather than struggling in our own power when the world comes to bring us into slavery.
Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace. (Exodus 14:14 NKJV)

 In our human frailty we most often do exactly what is not needed. We strive to fix and address life issues in our own right. We should learn, through God's grace, that our first charge in the face of adversity is to be still; for it is only by our inactivity are we able to see what God might have us do. During our time of stillness we learn to look to the Heavens and to ask God, if he needs us; for we worship a God of great power that does not need us to affect His will. Only if God needs us, do we need to respond to trials and tribulations about us, as often these are events well beyond either our control or influence. Also we worship a God who will fight for us, and frequently all we are required to do is to listen and be still.

Papa Roy says, God still delivers today you know. It may not be exactly at the time when we first demand it, but if we, like Israel, place our small, mustard seed of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, then we too will see the action of God on our behalf. But we should never dictate to God of course how He should do this. He is the potter and we are but clay. Sometimes He will deal to the difficulties in our lives; sometimes He will give us the grace to cope with it. What He does is His prerogative. But be assured that He doesn’t fail His people! (I. Gordon)

In God we trust, so, God will fight the battle for you. And you? You keep your mouth shut!"

February 02/01/12 click on this song
God Will Take Care Of You