Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday Night Reflection

Wednesday nights are A.C.T.I.O.N. packed!  I'm amazed at how GOD gives us glimpses of His glory when we set aside our agenda and seek His face.  It's a pleasure to serve Him at BFWC ... I love this church!

Tonight there was a buzz in the hallways of laughter and communication as I tuned my ear to the sound of connections being made.  I LOVE TO SEE OUR PEOPLE CONNECTING.  :-)

Six new families showed up tonight! 

Our worship team led us with excellence and the presence of the Lord came with refreshing during our worship to the King.  Thank you for tuning out your problems, busyness and distractions and focusing on JESUS.  When we get FOCUSED - fantastic things happen in our midst.

We continued the 9th part of our series on Spiritual Gifts with an emphasis on "The Gift of Faith."  We specifically called forth prayer for anyone who knew someone that was pregnant and was experiencing fear, complications, anxiety, etc.  Many came forward and we anointed with oil. 

The Holy Spirit also brought to my spirit a certificate in a frame.  I saw it hanging on the wall of a business establishment.  The certificate represented the right to operate and function.  I called forth this Word and seven people responded.  I prayed that their business opportunities would open up immediately and that their industry would be blessed.

GOOD NEWS! We completed phase one of the south roof awning at an INCREDIBLE PRICE!  The estimate for material alone was near the $15,000 mark.  However, with ingenuity, our team accomplished it for $4,200! 

Phase 2 will be the lighting plan and finishes!  More information to come...

I'm looking forward to this weekend.  Sunday morning (8:30 am & 11:00 am) and SUNDAY NIGHT - IMPACT NIGHT!  (preaching, worship, prayer, communion, water baptism, and MORE!)

I am so thankful to be part of this church. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hands Under Ministry

When you consider the word "support" words like "assist, lift, reinforce and hold" come to mind. 

Have you ever considered your ministry as a GIFT to someone else?  In other words, have you ever considered that the fact you're serving where you are presently really has nothing to do with your training, promotion and Kingdom advancement but rather has everything to do with how you're serving the person over you in the Lord at this present time?

In the Old Testament (Numbers 18) God gave the Levite's help as a gift to Aaron and his sons.  The Levites would take care of the details of the Tabernacle and serve as support ministry to the priesthood.

This is also a reflection of how Deacons in the New Testament, who serve in temporal oversight,  are to consider their ministry as they assist the Elders in spiritual oversight.

We see a type and foreshadow from the Old Testament Levites to the New Testament Deacons in our Numbers 18.  The Levites were set aside for practical ministry.  Their ministry was considered a gift to the priesthood, namely Aaron and his sons.  They were to help the men of God and take care of all the day-to-day details of the Tabernacle. 

Here are some principles that apply to us today as we serve our leaders as a true gift:

1. God selected the Levites
He appointed them from amongst the other tribes to assist Aaron and his sons in "service ministry."  Isn't that just like God today?  We are told from Paul's writing in 1 Corinthians 12:18 But now hath God set the members everyone of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him.

2. God sanctified the Levites to Himself
The word sanctified literally means "set apart."  So in essence, God set apart the Levites to do His Temple work.  When God sets you apart for His work He is placing a demand upon us to be ready at all times to do the specific assignments requested of us as it pertains to our specific role and function.  Ask yourself this today..."How set apart am I to the Lord for service in His Church?"

3. God sowed the Levites as a gift to the Priesthood.
It is an honor when God considers you as a gift unto someone else's ministry.  The Levites had to know that God had placed a considerable amount of trust in them and knew that they would perform their function with excellence.  If reading this you now realize you were created to be a gift unto someone else, then ask yourself this..."what kind of gift am I being?"  Another way to look at this is to consider Lukes writings in Acts when a reference is made to God's gift giving ability.   

Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?  So the real meat and potatoes of this for me is...knowing that as a father I would give my daughter the best gift possible, how much more will God give good gifts to His children?  My ministry of helps should be a gift to my leaders in the Church not a disappointing "let down."

4. God gave the work orders.
The Levites were given specific duties concerning the tabernacle while the priests were ministering before the Lord.  This is no different in the New Testament when the Elders assigned the first group of Deacons to handle the details of ministry while they gave themselves to the prayer and the ministry of the Word.

Have you been assigned the details of the "behind the scenes" ministry while your leader is ministering before the Lord?  If so, realize today you have been given a great honor.

Another way to consider this principle is to look at the comparisons of the Old Testament Levites and the Local Church body today.
  1. God selected Moses to lead the Nation of IsraelGod selects Senior Pastors to lead local Churches
  2. God selected Aaron to be Moses' assistant/associate
    God selects Pastoral Staff to assist Senior Pastors
  3. God selected Levites to serve the Priesthood
    God selects Deacons to serve Pastoral Staff/Eldership
  4. God selected the Israelites to support the Priesthood & the Levites
    God selects the Congregation to support the entire Church Leadership Team
Now we see the greatest "SUPPORT" Ministry come to play in when Moses went to the top of the Mountain while the nation was at war with Amalek.

Moses raises his ROD over his head (represents his authority).  As long as his rod is outstretched, Israel prevailed.  However, when his hands began to fall, the Amalekites began to win.  So along comes Aaron (represents the Priesthood) and Hur (represents the Laity) and they place a large ROCK (represents Christ) under Moses for him to sit on.  Then each of them took a side and held up his arms.

Why didn't God just give Moses supernatural strength to keep his arms lifted?  Perhaps to give us an example that we need other people in our lives to help us fulfill our ministry assignment.  We all need someone who is "wrapped up in flesh" to come to our aid.  This is how God deemed it then and this is how He deems it now. 

Ministry was never intended to be performed alone.  The leaders who won't let anyone help them become easy targets for the Devil.  Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto. 

We are members one another and we need one another to fulfill our Kingdom assignment.  YOU ARE A GIFT!  Now is the time to begin to develop your support as a gift. 

Begin by:
  1. Flowing with God's Blueprint. 
    God has already ordained the Body of Christ to need each other.  So get with the program and refuse to be EXCLUSIVE and become INCLUSIVE!
  2. Decide you're going to be part of the solution...not the problem. 
    Which one are you?  When your leader is around you,  do you bring them down...or do you build them up?  Do you fill them up or do you drain them?
  3. Consider yourself to be a gift.
    If you see your ministry as a gift, then you won't be disappointed when you do not receive a thank you or even a returned favor.  After all, a gift isn't something you give with hopes to receive something in return.
  4. Link with others who are doing what you're doing.
    Just like a chain...each link makes the chain stronger.  Start connecting with others who are doing the same thing you're doing and you'll discover even more creative ways to serve your leaders.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dallas, Texas

We had a great time visiting Kyle, Sierra & Anaya on our journey through Texas. We continue to see spiritual growth and ministry development taking place in this wonderful couple.

Kyle & Sierra took us to a restaurant called "Babes Chicken" that served up some of the finest "homestyle" cooking you'll ever eat! They don't have a menu...only six meats served along with all the fixings you can stomach. And the desserts were delicious too!

After Dinner we headed back to CFNI (Christ For the Nations Institute) where we were led to worship by the anointed music and preaching of Eddie James.

The atmosphere was electric and the energy level was non-stop for over two hours. A heavy anointed was in the room as we witnessed lives being transformed. AWESOME NIGHT!

After service we headed to Braums for an ice cream then dropped the Reeds off at home before heading back to the hotel. we come! Looking forward to be with BFWC tonight...and ministering on the GIFTS of HEALING!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Houston, TX Update

Beverly and I had a great time with Pastor's Andy & Lenora Hunt and the New Caney Family Worship Center in the Houston Texas area.
We arrived on Friday evening with a flight delay through Charlotte, NC that put us into Houston around midnight. On Saturday we enjoyed some rest as well as seeing the sights of the Houston area. That evening, we enjoyed delicious French cuisine at the delicious Chez nous in Humble Texas.

On Sunday morning we were privileged to worship with NCFWC and minister. I spoke on the thought "A new promise requires a new spirit." Pastor Hunt presented me with a NFL Texans Jersey and declared that the Colts would lose. Well, if you watched the game you realized that our team lost to the Texans. I was in for some ribbing on Sunday evening. LOL.

On Sunday evening we ministered again on the thought "Can someone help me get to where I'm going?" The altars were full and the presence of the Lord filled the house.

We spent Monday enjoying more sights and got to taste a "Whataburger". It was delicious! On Monday evening we concluded our series of meetings with a message on "Climate & Culture." What a night!!! Again, the altars were full and we felt the Lord's presence so strong.

We were blessed to be with this wonderful church and their staff. We were also thrilled to see so many teens and children worshipping and praying in the altars. Our hearts are full today.

We left Houston this morning and arrived in Dallas to meet up with our Spiritual Sons, Kyle & Sierra Reed. We'll enjoy dinner this evening and then head to Christ For The Nations to hear Eddie James minister in Word & Song.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Mind To Work

BFWC is an incredible body of believers! Often, we have recited the phrase "teamwork makes the dream work!" Truly, that's what took place over the weekend at BFWC.

Over 40 volunteers showed up on Saturday to lend a helping hand in the "roof raising" of the south entrance and other projects. Even the rain couldn't stop this incredible group of workers.

With a mind to work, there were several projects completed. Including:
  • Reorganization of the storage room.
  • Reorganization of the tool room.
  • Changed the breaker panel and got AC working in the children's & teen wings.
  • Painted/touched up walls in Worship Center.
  • Constructed the South awning roof.
  • Cleaned areas of the building.
  • Repaired overhead speakers in narthex.
  • I.T. work accomplished to allow better Internet signals throughout the building - including capability for our nursery team to view the service.
  • New flooring application was added to room 204.
  • Plus more!
Our hearts are thankful today for the work that was accomplished. But more than anything, we're thankful for the spirit behind the work. When you get purpose driven people together - they are unstoppable! Kudos to our BFWC Family!

Friday, September 10, 2010

You'll Have To Walk On Land Before You Walk On Water

2 Timothy 2:4-5 No one serving in the army gets entangled in everyday affairs; the soldier's aim is to please the enlisting officer. And in the case of an athlete, no one is crowned without competing according to the rules.

Think about the word perseverance. That word, according to Webster's Dictionary means: to persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counter-influences, opposition or discouragement."

In essence the word perseverance means persistence. (To take a stand, stand firm, to go on resolutely or stubbornly in spite of opposition, importunity or warning.)

I think about the scene in "Facing the Giants" where the coach asks the captain of his football team, Brock, to do the death crawl on the field. Brock had resigned himself to losing the next football match, so the coach wanted to show him that he can actually triumph in "facing the giants" if he only kept going and doing his best.

He made Brock crawl blindfolded across the field with a teammate on his back. There are times when Brock wanted to rest or stop, but the coach kept up a stream of positive talk and encouragement until Brock reached the end.

When Brock realized he had actually crossed the entire field, his self-concept and his belief about his team changed forever. He had faced his giants and defeated them

Too many people, often quite gifted, accomplish much less than they otherwise could have accomplished simply because they give up, buckle under, can't stand the pressure.

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
  • Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
  • Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
  • Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
  • Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. Who do you think wrote those words? They were written by President Calvin Coolidge.

It actually is a profound observation, underlining the importance of persistence, of perseverance.

Apostle Paul calls us to persistence and perseverance, but adds a dimension that protects you and me from falling into the deep chasm of discouragement when our own best human efforts fall short. Paul writes to Timothy, "You then, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus . . ." (2 Timothy 2:1).

This is what makes all the difference. You and I are called to perseverance, but not that lonely perseverance of one trying to "keep on keeping on" when keeping on no longer makes any sense from a human perspective. This is a call to a life bathed in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, in which we are motivated by that which goes beyond ourselves to be all God would have us be as we persist, as we persevere as followers of Jesus, empowered by His Holy Spirit.

A life lived without perseverance is a life that tries to exist by mobilizing what natural talents one happens to have, forgetting that some of the most gifted people in the world are failures because they give up when the going gets tough. In fact, some of them have so much talent, genius and education that they never find their focus. I'm reminded of the saying I heard, "a oak tree is really a nut that held it's ground!"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

2010 Generational Impact Conference

We are gearing up for our 2010 Generational Impact Conference on October 8th & 9th. Join us in Indianapolis for the incredible preaching/teaching ministry of Pastor TL Bates from OKC Faith church in Oklahoma City.

Plus you’ll enjoy over 15+ workshops that will increase your ability to reach your generation! The conference is FREE! Yes….I said it…FREE!!! Often you’ll hear me say “if it’s free, it’s for me” here at BFWC. With that being said, I want to personally encourage you to take advantage of this wonderful weekend of ministry without any registration fee! Bring as many people with you as you want!

Enjoy great praise & worship, anointed preaching/teaching, insightful workshops that will help you hone your ministry skills, superb fellowship and networking opportunities plus great memory making moments!

Who should attend? Pastors, leaders, ministers, Christian workers, laity…and ANYONE who is passionate about making a generational impact! Bring your Teens and College Students as well!

Where do I stay? There are lots of hotels in Indianapolis to choose from. We’ve listed a couple of great places that give us great rates and are less than 2 miles from BFWC: Wingate Inn by Wyndham 317-243-8310 ($69 +tax) Comfort Inn & Suites 317-487-9800 ($79 +tax)


· Q: What’s the dress code?

· A: Dress up or dress down – be comfortable and soak up some warm worship with people you don’t have to impress. J

· Q: Should I get there early?

· A: Doors open on Friday night at 6:00 pm – once you arrive check-in at The HUB to get your conference info (remember registration is FREE but everyone must register!)

· Q: Will child care be offered?

· A: No

· Q: How much is lunch on Saturday?

· A: Enjoy a delicious lunch on site for only $5.00 per person. (cash/checks/credit card welcome)

· Q: Will the sessions be recorded?

· A: Yes, the general sessions of Pastor TL Bates will be recorded and available for purchase immediately after the last session on Saturday.

· Q: Will you be receiving an offering?

· A: Yes, we will receive a love offering for Pastor TL Bates during the conference.

Where do I register? Fill out the form below. EVERY PASTOR who registers online will receive a FREE GIFT when they check in!

Click Here to Register

Lazy Leaders

Inside each of us is the desire to have that one day where we can totally shut the world out, forgo chores, become a couch potato and "chill" without having anything or anyone demanding our attention.

There's nothing wrong with desiring to do that once in a while. However, what if we slipped into that pattern and it became a normal way of living? Well, we'd get little done in this lifetime and everything around us would suffer including our marriage, parenting, finances, church, etc.

Laziness is sinful. The Bible is full of Scriptures that speak about the "slothful" spirit and a lazy person. God help us and forgive us if we slip into this slothful spirit mentality and forget the course He has called us to.

Proverbs 24:30-34 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles hadcovered the face thereof, and the stone wall theeof was broken down. Then I saw, and considdred it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a lttle folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.

Doesn't this sound like some churches? So much potential...yet so much is neglected...and in the end a spirit of poverty takes over the place. Friends, it's costly to operate in full discipleship. You will get your hands dirty, it will be a sacrifice and it will not always be easy.

The moment BFWC becomes slothful will be the moment we decide to take for granted everything God has provided for us. We cannot afford to shift to auto pilot and take a nap!

GOD HELP US! We owe the Lord so much more than what we're doing...and the truth is...none of our excuses or explanations are acceptable - even if we've convinced our own selves of our errancy.

Five Characteristics of a Lazy Leader

1. Place Blame on Others

"It's never my fault!" This is the worst plague of laziness we encounter continuously. It's always someone else's fault that we didn't show up on time, keep our word or make things work.

Honestly, if we'd just done things differently, made the right choice instead of the wrong, did the ethical thing, asked for help, not lost our cool, or had showed up on time that terrible thing that happened would not have.

You show up to work 15 minutes late and the boss yells at you.
  • Do you blame the traffic for being backed up, the wife for not having breakfast on the table, your dry cleaner for loosing your shirt?

  • Or do you take responsibility and next time make a point of leaving early because you know traffic will be backed up, you get up a little earlier and help your wife make breakfast and you make sure to have a back up shirt for when the dry cleaner goofs.

Lazy people will always point the blame elsewhere. Non-lazy people will look at themselves first and ask "What could I have done differently?"

2. I Can't Help Myself

Oh...this is classic. Now, I can actually blame my laziness on something rather than myself for the problems I face.

Here's an idea...let's start another support group! Don't get me wrong, support groups help but can we just get real and quit trying to tip-toe around everyone, afraid to hurt their feelings, and let's get the axe out of the shed, sharpen it again and lay it precisely upon the root.

I'm not saying that addictions aren't real or difficult to deal with - but I am saying that a lazy trait is to shift the blame to something that can be named rather than deal with what brought about this situation in the first place.

What are you addicted to that is enabling you to hide from the truth? Some people will refuse to get help so that they can "milk" their addiction for all it's worth. Non-lazy people will seek out help when they cannot curb their addiction alone.

3. Lack of Ethics

Lying is wrong. Stealing is wrong. Cheating is wrong. They're all three different but they all come under the category of unethical. Whether it's robbing a bank to pay for your rent, lying to cover up something you did wrong or cheating on your spouse because you "just weren't getting your needs met at home" - it's still unethical.

Lazy people will cut corners and fore-go all effort with lies, stealing and cheating. Non-lazy people will make that extra effort to what's honest.

4. Spoiled Rotten

We all know what we're thinking when we see that little 5 yr old throwing a fit in the candy isle at the store. We throw tantrums when we don't get what we want or things don't go like we want them to.

Can someone say "spoiled?" Being spoiled means you refuse to take responsibility for your own actions and you make no effort to get along with others or share. This happens in kids as well as adults.

Are you behaving like a spoiled brat? Lazy people don't like making an effort to share or give. THEY ARE TAKERS! They will let you give to them over and over and over till resources are exhausted then they'll find someone else to take from.

Friend, it takes an effort to get alone with others, it takes effort to hold yourself responsible, it takes effort to control your emotions.

Effort is not a lazy trait; therefore lazy people fore-go effort whatever makes them happy.

Lazy people will not control their emotions, share their wealth or be willing to compromise. Non-lazy people enjoy seeing everyone happy and make a point of getting along.

5. A No Show

Lazy people are characterized as "missing in action", unpunctional, procrastinators, slow, tardy, etc.

How many of us work with someone like this? They are always late and they always have a great excuse for their tardiness: traffic was backed up, my car broke down, I didn't feel good, I forgot, my alarm wasn't set, etc.

Have you ever used one of those excuses? We all have. Lazy people will just those excuses even when they're not true. They get used to the unethical way of living.

Lazy people will not plan ahead to make sure they're on time and usually will not be bothered to call. Non-lazy people will at least call if they know they'll be late.

God help us to refuse to be slothful! God help us even in all of our productivity to be fruitful as well as faithful!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Quit Whining and Grow Up

Paul had an incredible challenge ahead of him when he addressed the church in Corinth about their level of maturity.

Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly -- mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? 4 For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not mere men? -
1 Corinthians 3:1-5

It's great to see a baby Christian develop and begin to move into maturity. However, when that Christian has supposedly passed through all the growth/development stages and refuses to let go of their pacifier, bib, bottle and blanket, its no longer "cute" it's "sickening."

We all need a gentle rebuke to remind us that we must continue to "grow up" in God. Early on in ministry I learned that ministry isn't a bowl of cherries. People can say mean things to you, life continually throws challenges at you and the ministry can be demanding and difficult!

When I came to BFWC nearly 12 years ago, I thought the church had to be open 24/7 with a buzz of constant activity. After all, time is short and we need to "be about our Father's business!" So, I worked around the clock, did all the visitation, prayed for all the sick, preached all the sermons, attended all the fellowship events, baptized all the believers, performed all the weddings, funerals, dedications, etc. We had concerts, outreach events and non stop productivity.

After a while I was feeling the toll of all this "productivity" on my body and mind. I found myself complaining here and there about being tired and frankly feeling "spent out." I had the opportunity to attend a conference for pastors and while there heard the speaker quote Jeremiah 12:5 "If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan? "

Its as if at that moment the Lord was telling me to QUIT WHINING! Quit whining Russell! You had your yes with me at an altar of prayer! You haven't experienced anything yet! What? You think you've faced your toughest battle already? Quit complaining and stay focused.

It's as if God was telling me He was able to find someone else who would follow Him without WHINING!

Talk about humbling! God was dealing with me in my innermost being and confronting my character and rough edges. That's tough for any preacher to admit. LOL You think you've surrendered all and then the Lord says "what do we have here? This has to go too!"

Friend, do you know what that is? It's called "God being faithful to your soul!" It's when God loves you enough to correct you. He desires to perfect He corrects you. His correction is proof positive of His great love for me.

What was I accomplishing with all my complaining anyway? I was making myself more miserable and everyone around me as well. When all you do is complain, you slander the image of Christ to the world. Here's a thought...what if fire fell upon us when we complained as it did upon the children of Israel in Numbers 11:1? Well, there'd probably be less complaining.

Our whining usually starts when we believe news about God or ourselves that isn't true. We also find ourselves complaining when our expectations of life aren't met.

If I've learned anything, I've learned that you do not receive a reward if you whine and most people I know who constantly whine never even make it to the battlefield because they cry at the least discomfort that comes in their life. The truth is, we are so self-absorbed anyway that unless everything is "perfect" we forget that this world is much bigger than us and our tiny problems. Someone out there is facing something much worse than what we're facing right now.


We're never going to gain victory and higher levels if all we do is sit on the big comfy couch of life and expect everyone to cater to our every whimper. Those kinds of believers are ready to quit at the drop of a hat at the first sign of spiritual combat.

Remember Apostle Paul's own testimony when he shares his testimony in Acts 9 about his radical conversion on the Damascus road? Not everyone was happy about his conversion. In fact, his conversion brought opposition from the Jews - who wanted to kill him.

Honestly, our conversion ought to stir things up!


Paul didn't give up just because he was threatened and hated! In fact, he ran closer to the Lord. Isn't that just the opposite of what you see happening today in some people's lives? They get a spiritual "hang nail" and they're ready to quit the church...ready to give up on God...ready to RUN AWAY! And most of this is because of their own poor decisions in the first place...rather than God allowing them to experience some "tough love."

Paul didn't RUN AWAY from Jesus...he ran TOWARD Him! Friend...this must become your ONLY option! Run toward Christ...not away from Him. If we stay the course, we'll reap joy unspeakable in the end!

Remember later when Paul testified in Galatians - "For I bear in my body, the marks of Jesus"? What was he saying? Well, literally he had been beaten for the Gospel sake and could even show us real SCARS! What about us? What marks do we have for Jesus?

Let's be honest. Most of us in the United States will never be beaten because of our faith in Jesus. However, we can bear marks in other areas. What about our finances? Our giving ought to support God's kingdom efforts even if that means we live more simply so that we can adequately support this effort. In what ever area we bear these marks for our Lord let us do it with passion and fervor!

At the end of our life we will stand before the Lord at the Judgment seat. God will not be looking at our financial portfolio or our educational level. Perhaps what He'll be examining is our "scars." What proof will we be able to offer Him of our love and devotion? It will be the scars of sacrifice we've made for Him that will count on that day.

Again, most of us will never suffer bodily scars for our faith like Paul did or other martyrs in our history books. What would we do if we had to face what Paul did? Consider what he endured:
  • Imprisonments and floggings
  • Five times he received 39 lashes from the Jews
  • Three times he was beaten with rods.
  • Once he was stoned.
  • He was shipwrecked three times
  • Once he spend a night and a day in the open sea.
  • He lived a life of constant danger in want and in need.
  • He toiled and labored because he did not count his life dear unto himself rather he loved Jesus more than his own life.
These are considered to be credentials of his apostleship. And yet, at the end of his life Paul considered these as NOTHING compared to the testimony of how God used him to turn the world upside down.

God is looking for these kind of people. People who don't WHINE and COMPLAIN all the time. People who are determined to allow their character to be showcased for the Lord.

When the Lord is LORD of our lives we will be set free from that WIMPY, WHINNY, SPINELESS disposition! When He is LORD we'll stop complaining about our problems and start praising Him for His grace & mercy.


Complaining is telling God that we don't want His Lordship over our lives, that we think His plans for us are detrimental to our desires and agendas. If only we had the fear of the Lord again. The fear of the Lord would cause us to tremble when we comprehend that our complaining is an accusation against the character of God, an attack upon His very person.

Life is unfair at times. Pain and suffering will come our way. We'll feel like we're being tossed on a raging sea. Complaining will seem like our only option. Yet when our hearts are set upon “Christ as Lord,” and not upon ourselves or earthly things, then we will learn to rest in His perfect love and wisdom no matter what storms we may face.

A character of complaining will disappear when our eyes are fixed upon the Savior’s lovely face.
When the waves are ferocious and it seems that the storm will swallow us up, if we look upon the water we will see Christ’s lovely face as He comes walking out to meet us in our desperate need. In our pain, in our moment of greatest need, if we listen closely, we will hear His sweet voice calling us to come to Him.

But we must get out of the worthless boat we have constructed of self-trust and self-absorption and step into the midst of the raging storm. Everything in us will cry “save yourself.” The world will think we are mad. But His hand will be there to rescue us. In His presence the fiercest storms cannot disturb us; we are safe in His arms.