Archive | January, 2011
Made for One Purpose

Made for One Purpose

In my teenage and college years I worked in my hometown of Ft. Worth, TX in a plant that made salsa, barbecue sauce, and relishes.  In fact I still have the unique “aroma” of corn relish burned in my nose!  My job was to mostly do odds and ends around the plant and fill in for others on the food production line when they were gone.  My boss, who became a father figure in my life, would often send me on errands to pick up or deliver goods.

On one such occasion, he handed me the company gas card and asked me to fill up the pickup truck on my way back to the plant.  I grabbed the card, without looking at it, and left for my assignment.  On the way back I pulled in to a gas station located near the plant in a very “tough” part of town.  I tried to fill the truck with gas, but discovered I had to go inside and give payment first.  I walked in and saw a row of three of the toughest, meanest, dirtiest men I had ever seen in my 16 years.  I had heard of the Yankees’ “Murderers Row” and wondered if that wasn’t the nickname for this bunch.  Next to them, seated behind a desk, was the proprietor of the gas station.  Let’s just say he made the aforementioned men look like cream puffs!  He was a giant of a man, mean looking, wearing oil covered overalls and hat, stubbled face with glaring eyes, and a well chewed cigar hanging out the corner of his mouth.  Already scared and nervous, I reached in my pocket and handed the man the gas card my boss had given me.  (I need to interject here that this occurred in the mid 80’s when gas company credit cards were very popular).  The man looked down at the card and then glared at me saying nothing.  I nervously repeated that I needed to fill up the truck outside.  Again, the man looked at the card and then glared at me.  With my heartbeat racing, I knew something was wrong.  It was at this moment that I decided to look at the card my boss had given me.  It was a Texaco gas card.  I then slowly looked out the window to discover I was at a Gulf gas station!  Needless to say, my high school basketball coach wished he could have been there as a witness as that was the fastest I ever moved in my life to get out of there.

I got back to the plant, heart still racing from fear over the incident, and tried to explain to my boss why the truck was still on empty.  Once I calmed down, God taught me a very clear lesson that day.  The Texaco company makes their credit cards for one purpose and one purpose only- to be used at Texaco stations.  They don’t work anywhere else.  The same is true for us.  God created us for one purpose and one purpose only- to be in relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ.  The world tries to tell us we will find purpose, joy, and fulfillment through things of this world.  However, we must never let anything become a substitute for God in our lives.  You weren’t created to find meaning in stuff or just to please yourself.  You were created to bring glory to God.  That’s your purpose.  If you are spending your life and passion in any other pursuit, you are missing the mark and your tank will remain empty.  Work on your relationship to Christ and allow Him to use you for His kingdom purposes.

What Will God Make of Me?

What Will God Make of Me?

Kent Hughes tells the story of E.V. Rieu, a linguistic scholar famous for his lucid translations of the works of Homer for the Penguin Classics series.  Rieu was sixty years old when his translations were published and had been an agnostic all his life.  The publisher soon approached Rieu again and asked him to translate the Gospels. When Rieu’s son heard this he said, “It will be interesting to see what father will make of the four Gospels.  It will be even more interesting to see what the four Gospels make of father.”  He did not have to wonder very long.  Within a year’s time E. V. Rieu, the lifelong agnostic, responded to the Gospels he was translating and became a committed Christian.  His story is a marvelous testimony to the transforming power of God’s Word.

The question the younger Rieu posed of his father is a timely one for us today.  We live in a consumerist culture that demands “What’s in it for me?”  Many people do this with God.  They want to “make of God” a Being that will give them their every whim and allow them to live the lifestyle they choose.  We’ve become good at following God on our terms rather than His terms.  We do the same with church- “What can it do for me?” as well as the Bible- making it say what we want it to say.  But the question for us must not be, “What will I make of God?”  The question must be, “What will God make of me?”

God and His Word are not up for our self-made and self-centered revisions.  God is God and His Word is complete.  Our desire should be to stop trying to make God be someone we want Him to be.  Instead, let’s allow God and His Word to do what He wants to do in us- to make of us something for His glory.  I want to challenge you in this coming year to move to a deeper level in your commitment and relationship with the Lord.  Be honest- where are you in the Lord right now?  What things need to change?  What things need to stop?  What things need to start?  Don’t settle for stagnation in your spiritual life and don’t compromise into trying to “make something” of God that fits your agenda or the world’s definition of what is religiously “acceptable.”  Rather, let Him make something of you.

Growing in the Word podcast: 1-9-11

Growing in the Word podcast: 1-9-11

Immanuel Baptist Church service from January 9th, 2011.  Pastor Todd introduces the disciples journey and takes a look at Mark 10.

Welcome!

Welcome to my blog!  I have started this blog primarily as a way to post resources and encouragement to help people grow in their relationship with the Lord.  The launch of the blog is in conjunction with the beginning of our theme at church for 2011- “A Disciple’s Journey.”  We want to give people good resources and opportunities to help them in their journey of following Jesus.  Hopefully, this blog can serve a small part in providing resources and instruction.  In time, I hope to post helpful articles and links regarding theology/doctrine, current issues viewed from a biblical worldview, church life, family/relationships, and specific tools to grow in the faith.  Along the way, I’m sure I’ll post things about some of my other passions- missions, history, sports, and hunting.  Thanks for checking out the blog. My prayer is that it can be of help as you grow in the Word.

Growing in the Word podcast: 1-6-11

Growing in the Word podcast: 1-6-11

Todd Fisher and Doug Hurt visit about the teaching and ministry plan for 2011.

Growing in the Word podcast: 1-2-11

Growing in the Word podcast: 1-2-11

Immanuel Baptist Church service January 2nd, 2011.   Sermon by Minister of Education, Scott Schooler concerning the book of Ruth and applications for today.