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February 2008 entries

Truths About the People God Has Placed in Your Life

I am basically a teacher. While I like to blog my thoughts, it is difficult for me not to turn those thoughts into lessons. This is one of those times. To really understand what I am about to share you really need to read "The Three Amigos" again. (The blog immediately prior to this one.)

Here are some truths concerning how you respond to the people God has placed in your life.

Truth #1: Don't confuse the three. To allow a constituent or comrade into your inner circle is dangerous. They are attached to you for a reason. They are either for things you are for or they are against something (not all things) you are against. Because they are "issue connected" and not "person connected", you will quickly find yourself on the short end of the stick if you ever change your opinion on their cause. By letting them on the inside you have only armed them with information that may injure you for the sake of the cause. The constituents will not consider their actions as betrayel because their loyalty was never to you but to the cause.

Truth #2: Don't alienate constituents and comrades just because they aren't confidants. You don't need many confidants. Confidants are great, but they are time consuming. Because they are loyal to you regardless of your cause, they deserve encouragement and cultivation. You can't possibly invest as much time and energy into those who are only involved in your life because of issues. That doesn't diminish their importance. They are critical in helping you achieve the purpose for which you have been created. Jesus invested Himself in His disciples and then commissioned them to go out and invest in others. It was not possible for Him to invest personally into the lives of the multitudes. If Jesus couldn't do it, neither can you.

Well, I have several other truths to share, but my mind dictates to my fingers faster than they are able to perform. So I will save a few for the next  edition of "Out of the Box."

In His Shadow,

Pastor Ken   

The Three Amigos

I am back from Dallas and have some great things to share. I'm sorry I did not report from Texas, but I left my power cord to my laptop in Chattanooga and the battery had to be used sparingly. So I'm going to share some things I learned over the next few blogs.

One evening Bishop Jakes talked about three groups of people in your life that are often lumped into the same pool as friends, but who should really be treated differently. Below I have expanded on those few statements by T.D and have added my own insight. This is valuable stuff.

First there are people in your life who are "confidants." These people are rare and the person who has a handful in a lifetime is fortunate. Let me repeat, they are tremendously valuable and just as rare. They are characterized by this truth. They are for you. They are with you through thick and thin. They accept your faults and pray for your success. They can be trusted because any gain they may receive from betrayal is not not worth the loss of your friendship.

Secondly, there are those whom he called "constituents." These are the people who are for what you are for. They believe in the same cause you believe in. They will be on your side as you strive to achieve success in your common endeavor. They will celebrate the achievement of the cause not your participation in the fight. If the goal is accomplished and you have no other common ventures then they will vacate your house. (Or your church) They walk beside you as long as you are walking in their direction.

Thirdly, the three amigos are populated by the "comrades." The comrades are those people who are against what you are against. They may never walk beside you, but they will fight with you as long as you have a common foe. They have no allegiance to you or to your causes. Their causes may be entirely different than yours, but your common enemy is in the way to their achieving their purpose. They cannot be trusted. You dare not turn your back on them. They may pretend to be a confidant just to get what they want and then they will betray you. Judas was one such person. As long as he believed Jesus was against what he was against everything was fine. As soon as he realized that the goal of Jesus was not to physically overthrow the Roman government he became his betrayer. Jesus still recognized the betrayal as from "a friend."

There are some real truths to be gleaned from how we view these three in our lives. Over the next couple of entries in "Out of the Box" I am going to explore these with you. I welcome any thoughts you have on this subject. Just throw me an email.

Pastor Ken        

Heading to Dallas

It's Monday and I'm okay. That's for all who are concerned because I recently described Mondays as the day after Christmas 52 times a year. I am tired and a little enveloped in the "purple haze" that's "all in my mind." (That's a 60's reference that only you who are old enough to remember will understand. For the rest of you it's best not explained.) But I am also excited. Tomorrow  several from Dallas Bay who are involved in worship ministry and me are heading for Dallas Texas. Mores specifically, the C3 conference at Fellowship Church. This is the conference I attended with Ron and Marty (two associates at DBBC) that really got me energized about preaching and creativity.

My energy level was running on reserve tank when I arrived expecting little more than most conferences I had attended in the past. You know, a trip out of town covered by an expense account. Don't sit there all spiritual and act like you don't know what I'm talking about. Those trips aren't without merit. At least you do get away for a few days on someone else's dime. I had no longer sat down in the auditorium and the music began that I came to realize this conference would be different. The first song was "Let's Get It Started in Here." "Can you do that in church?" I thought to myself. People were soon on their feet and praising Jesus. I'm not talking about teenagers, but grown men and women with their hands in the air.

After three days of great music, (it wasn't all popular songs but all were done well) and three days of inspiring messages I was more enthused about my calling than I had been in years. After listening to dry and uninspired sermons for years from a handpicked pack of "good ole boys" usually offered up at my denominations annual meeting, this was life changing. These guys really spoke about Biblical truth that was applicable and in your face. I hated to see it end. So I bought all the Cd's I could afford and sang all the way from Dallas to Chattanooga. The results have been undeniable. The holy Spirit has worked in a tremendous way in bringing hurting people to Dallas Bay who had left church wanting something real. So pray that God does a great work in all of the lives of the people who attend C3 this year. See you when I get back.

Pastor Ken      

Announcing New Meeting

This is an announcement only for those who read this blog. I will formally announce this new meeting next month. Every Saturday starting May 3rd at 7 PM we are beginning "The Refuge @ Dallas Bay." The service will be held in the "Refuge", the newest addition on the campus of DBBC. The weekly worship time will be led by a band and vocalists performing edgy contemporary music in a casual atmosphere. Our goal is to reach out to those who are looking for something not easily found in a traditional southern city like Chattanooga. This will be the fifth service offered each weekend at Dallas Bay and will hopefully pave the way for a more contemporary and creative service during the second hour when we build the new auditorium. Please lift Rick (worship leader) and myself up in prayer as we try to reach out to this group on Saturday nights.

Pastor Ken      

Monday Morning Thoughts

Monday morning. Need I say more. Almost everyone struggles with the Monday morning blues. After a weekend of relaxing and recreating Monday morning is a cold splash in the face that brings us back to reality. Whether you enjoy your job or not, most of us would choose leisure over work. But Monday's are there to remind us, "I owe, I off to work I go."

Mondays are difficult for other reasons for those of us who are in church related ministry. Our big day was yesterday. All the effort and prayer culminated in the activities of the weekend. Mondays are like the day after Christmas 52 times a year. The big let down. No matter how many times we speak or sing Sunday goes by in a flash. Excitement, anticipation and a good dose of Spiritual energy power us through the day. Monday, however, is the day we recover from Sunday. Sometimes it is because of disappointments and at other times it is because of great blessing. Today is because of great blessing. We had tremendous services where 5 more families joined the fellowship at DBBC. It's the kind of day you wish could last forever. But Monday has a notorious way of showing up whether you're ready or not. Evaluation of what went right and what went wrong yesterday. Heaps of prayer requests are waiting by email that have accumulated over the weekend. Calendaring, budget approval or denial, meetings and phone calls quickly remind you that Sunday was yesterday and Monday will be here all day.

So, Lord thank you for the view from the mountaintops. Thanks for the pure air of the high altitude where your blessings dwell. For I know, just as I top the summit of Sunday comes the plunge to the valley of Monday. Lord, help me to enjoy the view and the strength to climb to the summit again.

Beginning again,

Pastor Ken   

Water Walking Isn't For Cowards

In the small group I attend we talked about what it would take for us to get out of the boat and walk on water. The discussion, of course, was based on the account of Peter walking on the water with Jesus while the other 11 stayed in the boat. Was it Peter's personality that caused him to "hang ten" without a surfboard? Was it more spiritual? Could it be that he wanted to be next to Jesus regardless of the risk? Were the others more careful or cautious than Peter? The answer; yes. Probably there is truth in each of these answers. It seems the percentages have always been about the same. About one out of ten will ever step "out of the box" (thus the name of my blog) and try something risky for God. The critics stay in the boat and disregard for a moment that the daring ever walk on the water. They simply nod at one another as they see the Simon Peter's of the world sink like a "rock." "I told you so" is their favorite phrase.

Still, I would rather be numbered with those who try something great for God, even if we sometimes fail, than to stay in the boat with those who never know the thrill of walking on the water. Even if the experience lasts a moment, the memory of walking with Jesus where others fear to trod will last for eternity.

In His Shadow,

Pastor Ken