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Married to my amazing wife Sonya, father of three beautiful girls, senior minister of LifeWay Community Church and most importantly friend of God.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sonrise

I had a dream last night that started a conversation with God as I woke up. I decided to take a little drive to watch the sun rise and pray. Sounds pretty simple but I soon found myself driving down several 'dead end' roads looking for that allusive perfect spot.

As I see the first glint of the sun through the fog I wonder how many people's lives are like my ride this morning? How many of us are running around, spinning our wheels, wasting energy on dead end roads trying to connect with God? Doing church is easier than Jesus. Being a good spouse, parent, employee is easier than Jesus. You get the point. Don't get me wrong, all of those things are good (even Godly) but none of them are God.

I finally just had to park. It's not the spot I imagined but it worked. I saw the sun rise over the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and that was the point. I'd encourage you to quit trying to find the perfect place or be the perfect person in your pursuit of God. Just stop where you are and look up.

This morning I got really honest and vulnerable with Jesus and immediately heard his voice speaking to my heart. And in the end I guess that's the point.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ladies' Night.


Before you jump to conclusions and pass judgment please read the entire post.

"A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety." - 1 Timothy 2:11-15

Many churches approach women in ministry, leadership, etc. from a 'sit down and shut up' attitude based this passage of Scripture. I however do not. I think it is always wise to read a passage in the context of the entire counsel of Scripture. Scholars have debated this topic for centuries and good and Godly men have fallen on both sides of the fence. In my humble and accurate opinion you have to dismiss mountains of evidence throughout both the Old and New Testaments to relegate women to the corner of the Church. Where would Israel have been without Deborah? What if Esther had kept quiet? Don't forget that Moses' wife saved his life when the Lord had determined to kill him. Numerous women were involved in the ministry of Jesus. It was a woman who was the first witness of the resurrection and TOLD the apostles. Don't forget Priscilla & Aquila who ministered with Paul (Let me pause to say that it was extremely odd to list the wife before the husband because it is a sign of rank. Barnabas was always listed before Saul/Paul until he took the primary leadership roll in the ministry). In Acts 21 we learn that Stephen had 4 unmarried daughters who prophesied which only jives with what Jesus said in Acts 2:17 - "In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams."

That does not mean that men and women are the same (obviously we are plumbed AND wired differently). That does not mean that God has not established order in the home and the church (we are to submit to one another. So ladies let your voices be heard, let your God given gifts shine and let your lives lead the way in your family, your community and our church. It's time to stand up and speak out!

"You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise." - Galatians 3:26-29

Monday, July 9, 2012

Resource Allocation

Let me set up the scenario - I'm taking a team of 10-12 people to Ghana, West Africa this fall. We are going to provide leadership training, construction crews to build church buildings and do outreach through medical clinics. We are working hard to collect the needed supplies so that we can serve 100's of people in the remote region of Mafi Kumase. I am on the internet researching organization who provide medicines for mission trips when I get a knock on my door...

A guy comes in to ask if the church would be willing/able to help send a team of Little Leaguers to Flordia to compete in a national championship. Let me say this up front -

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH LITTLE LEAGUE!!!

What an accomplishment for our little county to win a State Championship and represent North Carolina on the national level. However when I compare that to providing potentially life-saving meds and more importantly the hope of salvation through faith in Jesus to impoverished people in all but forgotten villages the answer is clear. I must say no to that which is good in order to say yes to that which is God.

"For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is,because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames." - 1 Corinthians 3:11-15

Resources are finite and time is limited. It reminds me of what the Apostle Paul said -


"Be very careful, then, how you live —not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." - Ephesians 5:12-16


Every dollar, every minute, every decision we make matters. That shouldn't overwhelm us with fear but rather fill us with faith that our lives can make a difference. Both in this life and the next!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Heirs of the Promise.

I'm sitting at my dad's apartment in San Diego and wanted to share a couple of thoughts - 
“If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” - Galatians 3:29
God’s promises to Abraham were vast and encompassing. God’s plan was to bless Abraham’s marriage, family, health, wealth, property, influence and on and on and on. In Genesis 15, God made a covenant (a legally binding agreement requiring blood to ratify) with Abraham. The scene begins with the sacrifice and almost immediately birds (symbolic of the devil) come along and try to steal it away. Abraham chases them off but soon grows tired and falls asleep. That is when God himself steps in to do what Abraham can’t.
“After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”” Genesis 15:1
See the greatest gift God promised Abraham was himself. And we are heirs of the same promise. Jesus is not only the sacrifice, but the guardian of our covenant. He is not only the one making the promises, he is the prize. Abraham faced many challenges throughout his life (most of which were after the promises were made). And God was always faithful.
Here is what I want you to know -
  1. God has so much more in store for you.
  2. You will encounter obstacles along the way.
  3. God won’t give up on you, so don’t you give up on him!
Everyone wants to go higher but last time I checked you don’t get there without a climb. And when you get to the end of yourself I want you to know that you are in more than capable hands.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” - 2 Corinthians 12:9
”And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” - Philippians 1:6
Take care, God bless and know that I love you LifeWay. Much more importantly God loves you with an EVERLASTING love.
Expect the Unexpected,
Pastor Mike
www.lifewaync.com