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Archive for September, 2011

When I was at Harding this week during the Bible Lectureship, I picked up a magazine Harding produces called Abundant Living. In this issue (volume 4, number 4, July 2011) one of my heroes in the faith Bruce McLarty wrote a one page article I really liked and wanted to share it with you (found on page 31 in said magazine).

Here it is: “Miranda Lambert’s touching song, ‘The House that Built Me’, tells the story of a girl who makes a trip back to the place where she grew up. As the song starts, she goes to the front door and begins talking to the woman who now lives there. Noticing her childish handprints in the concrete on the front steps, she remembers when the house was nothing more than her mother’s dream and how her daddy built it ‘nail by nail and board by board’. The connections are deep wherever she turns. Walking through the old memories, she sings lovingly about what she calls the ‘house that built me’.

“Yesterday, my wife and I drove across the Delta between Searcy, AR and Memphis, TN, to visit the church that built me, the Holmes Road church of Christ. My family and I moved to Memphis when I was 1o years old, and we soon placed membership there.  I was baptized there a couple of years later. I well remember standing in the hallway that night with my hair still wet, being hugged and affirmed by what seemed like everyone in the church.

“A few years later, I preached my first ‘sermon’ in that pulpit on a Wednesday night- a five minute message that contained everything I knew and required all the courage my young heart could muster. Once again, I was hugged and affirmed by the whole church. That night, a lot of older members, many of whom have now gone home to be with the Lord, looked me in the eyes and said, ‘Son, you need to be a preacher’. This was, indeed, the church that built me.

“After college, the Holmes Road church invited me to work with them as one of their ministers, supported us when we went to Africa as missionaries, and welcomed us home when we returned. I’ve been gone from there for 25 years now, but that special congregation remains ‘the church that built me’. I wonder today if that group had a sense that God had raised them up ‘for such a time as this’- to help build me and other children who grew up at Holmes Road” (article written by magazine editor Bruce McLarty in Abundant Living volume 4, number 4, July 2011, p. 31).

I really liked this article and hope you do too. God bless. Grace and Peace.

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The Need To Change.

Greetings one and all. Sorry for the long break between blog posts. I went to the Harding Lectureship with my Brother-in-law Jake this week. It was a ton of fun! Loved it.

The theme of the Bible Lectureship this year was Children of God in 1 John. The key note lectures were on loving, knowing, warning, obeying,  as children of God.

Even before going I have seen the need to change. I have done some things I should not have done and said some things I should not have said. I have deleted both my facebook and twitter accounts and do not ever think I should get on them again. In fact, if anyone reading this right now sees me get another facebook account and/or twitter account, I want as many people as possible to email me (blaisdellzack14@gmail.com) and say “Zack! What are you doing??!! Get off of that right now!!”. I’m serious. As serious as can be.

I did that before going to the Harding Lectures. While at the lectures, the key note speakers talked about changing the things they feel need to be changed in order to right with God. To be righteous as God is righteous.

I’m glad I went. No more facebook or twitter for me. And seriously, if any of you see me on facebook or twitter again,  email me immediately and tell me to knock it off.

God bless you all. Grace and Peace.

Zack

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Greetings everyone! This is a blog series I’ve been thinking about doing. So we’ll see how people like it and see how it goes.

There are a lot of ministry perspectives in the eighth century prophets. There are a lot of things God told His people of Israel through these men. And I believe these things are still things we should be wary of. We’ll start our study in Hosea.

In Hosea 1 God tells His prophet to marry a woman would be unfaithful to him. When she goes out after other lovers, God would tell Hosea to after his wife and bring her back home. This marriage and their relationship would be a vivid illustration to Jehovah God’s people Israel of their relationship Jehovah God.

In Hosea 1 Gomer (Hosea’s wife) gave birth to three children to Hosea. Their names are translated to mean “not pitied”, “not my people”, and “God plants”. When Israel looked at these children, they were to remember that God had planted them, they were not pitied, and they weren’t God’s people.

Several times Gomer would leave Hosea to go after other lovers. God would call His prophet Hosea to go out to look for her, and when he found her, pay the bride price, and bring her back home with him. Gomer’s leaving her husband to give herself to other lovers would represent Israel and their leaving Jehovah God and worshipping other deities that aren’t even real, and unworthy of any devotion. This would happen several times, pointing to Israel’s continued idolatry and spiritual adultery.

All of this makes me think of the USA. I don’t believe we have any cast iron statues, nor do we have carved wooden statues to bow down to and worship. But we do have things we do or people we watch and listen to instead of Jehovah God.

Does any of this make since? Anyone have any comments, further thoughts, questions, or anything else?

Thank you all so much for reading my thoughts today. God bless you all. Grace and Peace.

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A Tribute To Our Military.

Greetings everyone!

This post is something I have thought about often.  I don’t know anyone is going to agree with this or be totally against it.

In any rate, here it goes.

I really love and admire our military. They are risking their lives to give freedom to those who don’t have it. Some have even given their lives to give that freedom. War is never good for anybody. Many innocent people have been killed. Many of our own troops have been killed.

I am grateful terrorists such as Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden have been brought to justice. While I don’t rejoice in the downfall of anyone, but I am glad they can not bring harm to anyone any more.

As far as our military are concerned, I applaud them (especially my cousin-in-law Jay Bradley) for what they are doing to provide freedom to people who currently don’t have it. After all that’s what Jesus did for us, is it not? And for our soldiers who have given their lives in the field of battle, it makes me sad to know of anyone who looses their lives. But I can’t think of very many things that are more honorable than someone sacrificing his or her life to save others or provide freedom for others.

God bless our Military! Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of you. Grace and Peace.

Thoughts?

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Greetings one and all! Sorry I haven’t written about this in so long.

In Acts 18 Paul leaves Athens and travels to Corinth (he wrote at least four or more letters to this church, but we only have two of those letters).  When he arrives there, he meets up with Aquila and his wife Priscilla. They went to Corinth from Italy, because the political leader there forced all the Jews there to leave. Paul struke up a quick friendship with them, because they were of the same profession: tent-making. I would assume they were also believers in the Lord at this point. Even there, Paul continued his tradition of reasoning with the Jews in the local synagogue.

Paul’s companions Silas and Timothy joined him in Corinth from Macedonia. When they arrived in Corinth they freed up Paul’s time to devote exclusive time and energy to preaching the word. He reasoned with the Jews about Jesus and that He is the Messiah. But the Jews rejected Paul’s teaching, so he told them that he was free from his responsibility. He had done his best to preach to them the whole councel of God’s word. So then he turned his attention to the Gentiles there. Quite a few of them believed in the Lord and became followers of Jesus.

Word of this reached the ears of the Jewish leaders and they got real mad. They brought Paul before the judge to have him punished. But because their complaints pertained to their own laws and not the laws of the land, the judge would not preside over any of it. He had them all leave the court room. But the Jews did turn on someone to beat him, but the judge did nothing to stop it.

Paul stayed in Corinth a considerable amount of time. When he left there, he took Aquila and Priscilla with him. They arrived in Ephesus where they departed and Paul went on to visit the brethren there. He left them and went on to Ceaserea and spent time with brethren there also. From there, he went on to Antioch where he traveled visiting brethren and also through the region of Galatia visiting brethren (to whom he wrote a letter) and to Phrygia.

In the mean time,  Aquila and Priscilla met a brother named Apollos who was from Alexandria. They were both very impressed with Apollos and heard him preach. He was an excellent preacher, well versed in the scriptures, and spoke accurately about Jesus as the Messiah. But he only knew of John’s baptism. So Aquila and Priscilla took him home with them and exclaimed the word of God more accurately on that subject (I find it interesting it doesn’t say he was re-baptised, but that’s another story for another day).

From then on Apollos traveled to different places greatly encouraged by the brethren, and he greatly encouraged the brethren and debated well with the Jews about Jesus the Messiah wherever he went.

There are several things I notice in these readings. For one, I love how Paul, Aquila, and Priscilla used their vocational skills to prolong the gospel. They were obviously able to use their own funds to travel and go about their ministry. Second, I love how this church in Corinth got started, going first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles.  And third, how Aquila and Priscilla encouraged Apollos strengthening his biblical knowledge and allowing him to continue his ministry of the word.

Anything any body else noticed? Any thoughts, questions, or further comments on this?

Thank you all for your time and attention today. God bless you all. Grace and Peace.

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Greetings everyone!

Yesterday I read one of the best and most touching articles I’ve ever read. The article was written by Gene Wojciehowski of ESPN.com. It was about Pat Summit, the women’s basketball coach at the niversity of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN. She has been their head coach for the women’s basketball team 37 seasons. This upcoming season will be her 38th. I guess she had been having trouble remembering things so she went to the Mayo Clinic. They did a battery of tests on her and discovered she has early onset dementia Alzheimer’s type. She was obviously devastated about this. So was her family, the university, and her team as well. But she has decided to stay at the school and continue to coach until she can’t do it anymore. I applaud her for that, and I applaud the school for sticking by her.

Pat Summit has been a rock of stability for the school. In the past few years the university has fallen on hard times. They had a football coach for 17 years, and he was either fired or resigned. So they hired a guy who stayed at the school for one year and left when his alamater called him. Now they have a football coach who I hope will give them stability and stay there for a while. And their head men’s basketball coach for the past six years had made some recruiting violations and then lied about them to the NCAA. He’s been fired or forced to resign from the school. Now the school’s athletics director has been fired or has resigned.

Through all of this Pat Summit has been the face of the University of Tennessee. She has the most wins of any college basketball coach men’s or women’s. She has been there for her school and I am glad the school is now being there for her. (For the article, please see sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/storycolumist=wojciehowski_gene.)

Pat Summit is a great example of true spiritual leadership. In John 10 when Jesus talks about Himself being the Chief Shepherd, and that He knows His sheep and His sheep know Him; He’s talking about the shepherd who is constantly among His sheep. He knows them by name. The sheep know their shepherd’s voice.

The Apostle Paul talks about spiritual leadership in both of the Thessalonian letters. He said he and his companions treated the Thessalonian brethren like a mother caring for her little children and like a father admonishing and encouraging his children on to better things.

In other letters we have of Paul’s to other churches he planted or was associated with, he talked about how much he loves them, how he longed for them, and wants to be physically present with them. To the Philippian church he told them, they are his joy and crown. To the Roman church, he specifically named several brethren there and greeted them.

This true leadership. True spiritual leadership.

Thank you all for your time and attention today. Please tell me what you think of this. God bless you all. Grace and Peace.

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9/11 Hero Tribute.

Greetings one and all! I have some blog post ideas this week, so hopefully there will be few long post breaks.

I was watching Sportscenter on ESPN last night. They did a feature on a guy who grew up in the New York City area. His dad had taught him to carry a handkerchief  and a red bandana. The dude was a volunteer fireman. He was also a sports star and wore his red bandana during every game. He got a scholarship to Boston College and was loved by everyone. He graduated from college in 2000 and got a big time job in NYC. He got an office in the World Trade Center.

Then the September 11th tragedies happened. One of the planes crashed into the World Trade Center and smoke was pouring out everywhere. Then this man took charge and told any survivors who could hear him, that he found a stair way, and he led people down the stairs until they met NYC firemen who led the people to safety. Then the man went back up stairs to find more survivors who couldn’t get out. He was responsible for saving several people that day, but he passed.

His parents talked about him with great candor. It was very moving to me. ESPN showed a woman who was saved by their son. She would be so grateful for the gift of life she (and a few others also) were given by their son’s sacrifice.

A few months ago my Dad preached a sermon on Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the cross. The church here has a small group format a few times a month. We typically talk about the sermon and discuss several questions pertaining to the sermon. I go to small group with the young marrieds/young families. All of them said that no one can fully understand God’s and Jesus’ sacrifice until you have a child of your own.

There is no conceivable way that any parent would give up any of their children to die to save another person. Not even one. There is no way we can understand God’s love for us to allow His Son to die for mankind.

When this man’s parents were talking about their son and his heroic actions that ultimately cost him his own life they broke down crying several times during the interview. I could see they were so proud of their son’s heroic actions, but it tore them up inside to know there are a few people who are alive today because their son gave up his life to save them.

Thank you for reading my thoughts on this. I hope to write more this week.

Happy Labor Day. God bless you all. Grace and Peace.

Zack

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