November, 2011

James 5:12

New King James Version (NKJV)
12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.

My brother Gary’s sermon continues to bear fruit. This morning I was thinking about his story about his Father’s promise to give him something, a promise that was never fulfilled. Many of us harbor bitterness and resentment. And much of that resentment is directed toward our fathers over a serious matter of broken promises.

If we have been the victim of broken promises we need to recognize how that has affected us, forgive the promise breaker and move on. I can assure you the breaker of the promise has most likely long ago forgotten the incident. In fact, that’s probably why the promise was never kept. It usually isn’t intentional, we just forget. As parents a promise made in an off hand way which means little to us can be of tremendous importance to our child.

We need to consider the problem from the other side. Do we have unfulfilled promises laying out there. The victim of our promise breaking may say it’s no big deal, or that they’ve forgotten all about it. But to the extent it’s without our ability we need to make good on any promise we’ve made.

The root of the problem is that we make promises too lightly. Be careful in promising things. We tell little ones that they can have that candy “after school.” We say we’ll take them to that movie “another time.” We tell our spouse we won’t do this or that again. We promise we’ll turn off the game next time they want us for something. We may have no intention of keeping our word at the time, bad on us. We may have the best of intentions, but don’t consider the matter serious enough to focus on keeping the promise… bad on us as well.

Before we spend too much time feeling sorry for ourselves for the promises to us which have not be kept; let’s spend some time considering how we have hurt others by failing to let our “yes” be “yes and our ‘no” “no.”

Be faithful and honest and

Be blessed.


We Won – They Lost

For those of you who live under a rock somewhere, let me advise you that the LSU Tigers won the “Game of the Century” on Saturday night defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide. I couldn’t help notice all the folks in Tiger Gear as I  moved around on Sunday. I have to think these guys are not wearing the same clothes they wore to the game Saturday night. Much of the gear had the look of not having been worn in a while. I suspect the sale of Tiger Gear which has been rising steadily all season as the Tigers continued undefeated, will shoot up this morning after Saturday’s win. 

It’s human nature, I suppose, to jump on bandwagons. I am sure as the years past 200,000 people will claim to have been at the “big game” all pulling for LSU. I overheard many conversations recounting how “we won” the big game. 
Have you ever noticed that after a victory, “fans” will proclaim, “We won.” After a loss, the cry is “they lost.” Again, I guess it’s just human nature to want to claim credit when things are going well and to distance ourselves when things aren’t so good. This is merely humorous when observed in sports fans. It’s deadly in other areas of life, particularly ministry.
When the outlook for success in ministry seems bleak and the odds seem long, the name of Jesus is frequently invoked. There is much prayer, work and concern. When He begins to put things together, we become proud of what we are doing. It is so trite to say, “Pride goes before a fall” but it sure does. Pride is Satan’s last weapon. When his attempts to prevent participation, block monetary support, and ignite dissent, all fail… he falls back on his old favorite, pride.
Jesus is in charge of every ministry. Those given the honor of leading need to remember that. They need to cherish each volunteer who is struggling with his role. They need to lead by example with humility. They need to do more and talk less. They need to remember the days of uncertainty and banish ideas of self-generated success. 
Kairos has a wonderful motto listen, listen, love, love. It applies not just to the residents we are called to serve, but to each volunteer who is just as precious. The last meeting before the ministry weekend has as its focus: affirmation. Affirmation is a declaration that something is true. What is true is that each person is valuable and that you are not in charge. Jesus is.
Remember that and watch Him work and
Be blessed.


Hebrews 10:25

New International Version (NIV)
25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Do you ever feel discouraged? Are there times when it all doesn’t seem worth while. Does it seem like you are pushing a bolder uphill and you just hit a slippery spot. 

It is interesting to me that when the author of Hebrews encourages Christians not to give up meeting together, the reason he gives is encouragement. It’s not worship or prayer, or listening to sermons. It’s not even sharing communion. It’s encouragement. We can pray on our own. We can worship on our own. We can turn on our television, radio or computer and receive great teaching.

The one thing we can’t do on our own is to encourage or be encouraged. I attended two Kairos meetings this weekend: Friday night and Saturday morning. We had great music, some practical information, but, bottom line: we encouraged each other. As we get closer to our time of ministry, Satan gets nervous and becomes more active. Anyone who had ministered in any way for any length of time has stories about how “things happen” as ministry time approaches. Notice how the writer of Hebrews notes this… “and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” He could be referring to the day of Christ’s return… that certainly is approaching; but I believe he’s also referring to the Day as our time to be used by God. Encouragement is most important when the attacks are greatest.

Do you feel under attack and discouraged? Don’t give up meeting together. Further, don’t show up for the purpose of being encouraged. Show up to encourage. We are strengthened when we focus on the needs and attacks others are suffering. By bonding with others under attack we put our own situation in perspective and are, thereby, encouraged.

Go get dressed. The time changed last night so you still have time to Gather Together, encourage and


The Little Thngs

“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” Luke 16:10

Too many of us daydream about doing something great for God . . . someday. Maybe we will be a missionary or bring thousands to Christ through the power of our preaching. It probably isn’t going to happen. But not to worry. Maybe we worry too much about big things. Isn’t it the little things that add up to our lives. We grow not so much by leaps and bounds but by doing the small things well. We also slip into bad habits not with huge moral mistakes, but by slipping up in the little things. 

A great parent isn’t cherished for the great gifts they gave at Christmas, but for the little words of encouragement that flowed on a daily basis. A great pastor doesn’t become so with the presentation of one tremendous sermon but by serving his flock, day by day in innumerable small ways. The little noticed person who faithful prays and supports ministry is building up a treasure trove in heaven.

You probably won’t have the opportunity to do something tremendous today, but you can do all the little things of the day well. Why not focus on that?

Be blessed.


Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that causes people to stop breathing while they sleep.
Each time this temporary pause in breathing occurs, the body responds by waking up for a very short period of time. People who suffer from sleep apnea may stop breathing hundreds of times every night.
Whether or not the person with sleep apnea realizes how much they are struggling to breath during the night, sleep apnea has very serious effects on the quality and restfulness of sleep on the person’s health.
  • 1 in 5 adults suffer from some form of sleep apnea.
  • More than 1 in 2 people with type 2 diabetes have sleep apnea.
  • 8 out of every 10 people who have sleep apnea have not been diagnosed for it.
If you have sleep apnea, your health may be in danger. Sleep apnea is a known cause of high blood pressure and may increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. People with sleep apnea also have higher chances of traffic accidents and workplace injuries. Helpful solutions and treatments are available.
I had a fantastic day yesterday. It didn’t look like it would be a fantastic day just from looking at the calendar. It was the second day of a two day seminar. Attorneys have to get 12.5 hours of Continuing Legal Education each year and this seminar was going to provide me with those hours. That meant two days of listening to lawyers. Not the basis for a great day, but a great day it was. This was true because Wednesday night I got my first night of treatment for Sleep Apnea. I probably had a decent night’s sleep for the first time in decades. I was wide awake, alert and full of energy all day. Even though I don’t have my CPAC yet and so I slept last night without treatment, I still slept all night and woke up feeling pretty good this morning. I will probably get my CPAC unit today.
This comes at a great time. The Kairos weekend starts next Thursday and I will need all the energy and rest I can get. All in God’s timing. It’s amazing to think that for decades I haven’t been getting all the sleep that I need. Is the world ready for a more energetic Nick? Some questions are too frightening to contemplate.
Are you getting everything that you need for a full Christian walk? Do we even know everything that we need or everything that God has for us? Aren’t most of us living on less than God has? Most of our Christian walks are imperfectly fueled. We are not “breathing in” all the Spirit of God has. Spend some time today thinking about that. Am I experiencing all that the Christian life should be? Am I pouring myself into the life of someone else? Am I sitting at the feet of someone who can guide and instruct me in a closer walk with Him? Am I a fruit bearer or am I more a fruit inspector. 
Dear Lord, clear our spiritual airways. We want all that you have for us so that we can be all that you would have us be. Open our spirits to Your Spirit and our lives to the fullness of complete service to you.
In Jesus’ name we pray.


       I’ve been alone for the last couple of days in Baton Rouge. Oh there have been lots of folks around, but they weren’t my wife or daughter or grand kids. They were not my family. I had a great dinner last night with Tyler, Jesssie’s boyfriend.  He’s almost family and that was great, but then I moved on to the Sleep Center where I spent the night. Alone again. I didn’t like it. I have to spend the rest of today in a seminar in Baton Rouge, alone. It’s not good but it’s not the kind of loneliness I have felt. I guess the most alone I’ve ever been was in Vietnam. I wasn’t  in country or anything that heroic but I was far from Rose and the kids. It was bad. All the worse because I was also far from God.

Now since I walk so much closer to Him I am never really alone. I would rather have family around, but I always have Him. He’s all I really need. During the upcoming Kairos weekend I have been assigned a talk called “You are not alone.” Its purpose is to convey the idea that the Christian is never alone.  Not only does he always have Christ with Him, but he has the physical expression of his body, the church.  Here I speak not if an institution or building but the loving body of believers that are the Church. The reason that Vietnam 40 years ago and Baton Rouge today are so lonely is that although I have the spiritual presence of Christ, I don’t have any of his physical body around. I need both. 
Wednesday mornings have become so important to me because for an hour or so I am in His physical presence through my brothers. How can I convey to men who are in the most lonely situation imaginable, serving life sentences in a maximum security prison, that I, in some small way, understand their loneliness and can offer a solution. Especially when that solution can be found in other inmates who, until now, they have held in great distrust. 
Pray for me that I will be able to convey a solution that is at once so near and yet so far. How can I  tell them they are never alone when they are His and in the presence of others that share new life in Him? Can you know such a truth by anything but experience? Can they be made to feel enough of His love through us to take that great a chance. Pray that they will. 
Be blessed. 

Nick Sigur
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Lafayette, LA 70598

Warfare Review

Spiritual_Warfare-Slide.jpg2 Corinthians 10:3-5

New King James Version (NKJV)

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

We’ve been discussing spiritual warfare for several days. Perhaps a bit of review is in order.

It seems that everything is involved in this warfare. We have an Enemy who opposes us in every way. He seeks to disrupt our relationship with God and with each other.  He frustrates our plans, confuses our minds, and promotes anxiety and despair.

The battle is real It’s easy to forget what we can’t see. That’s why the natural world so easily overwhelms us. We need time with God to keep us focused on the reality of the spiritual. Our companionship with Him will sharpen our spiritual senses and strengthen our discernment. 

The battle is spiritual. Our friends, our family, our pastor our brothers and sisters in Christ are not the enemy; but neither are the worldly, the politicians, the apparent bad guys. Our battle is not with flesh and blood, whether apparently friendly or seemingly unfriendly. Our enemy is spiritual and so is our battle. But it’s spiritual nature does not lessen it’s impact on all aspects of our lives, our mind, will, emotions, desires, and even our bodies.

The battle is tough.  The enemy doesn’t acknowledge the Geneva Convention or for that matter any rules. He fights dirty, and the encounter is “up close and personal.” There are no non-combatants. Our family is often the target of his revenge for our attacks against him. It’s not fair but it’s real. There are demonic beings who work unceasingly, even when we sleep. As long as we are on earth, the war will continue.

Although the Enemy is strong, there isn’t reason to fear—he’s no match for Christ, who lives within us. We’ve been entrusted with Jesus’ divine power over the Evil One. However, we can access the Son’s authority only by submitting to His lordship and walking in obedience to His Spirit.

As we study and begin to move in the spiritual, the breath and depth of the battle can intimidate and over whelm. Don’t let it. Be steadfast IN THE LORD, and see HIS victory.

Be blessed.


Ephesians 4:30-32

New King James Version (NKJV)
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

There are some folks whom I would like to grab by the shoulder, shake, look deep into their eyes and ask, “What are you so angry about?” You know the kind of people I mean. They are never happy, always grumpy. They move through life with a chip permanently glued to their shoulders. Their anger erupts in unexpected and often unexplainable. Afterwards, they can ask, “Where did that come from?” Sadly, if confronted,  they would likely simply look back at me and say “I’m not angry.” 

I agree with Joyce Meyer, “Many people ruin their health and their lives by taking the poison of bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness.” This is the condition of racists, homophobes, and anti-whatevers. The mere appearance of some people or even their mention in conversation brings out bitterness and anger. It seems useless to point out that these feelings are the result of unresolved unforgiveness. Notice how Paul identifies forgiveness as the antidote for “all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking.” 

As we move through life, we are hurt by people. These are often the kind of people with whom we are not “allowed” to be angry. The first place to look is the mirror. Almost all of us need to forgive ourselves for something. Next look to parents, teachers, preachers, bosses, even old playmates and friends. Buried hurts produce anger and bitterness that can only be cured by forgiveness. Our anger and bitterness is hurting no one but ourselves. The offending person likely does not remember the offense and may not even remember us. 

Once the offense is identified, we need to decide to forgive. The feelings of anger and bitterness may not vanish immediately but identification and the decision to forgive are the first steps. I find it useful periodically to spend some time considering my anger and bitterness, identify the sources and make a list of those I need to forgive. Don’t be surprised if the same names come up repeatedly. Unforgiveness is often a continuing exercise. Take that list and symbolically destroy it: burn it, crumble  it up and throw it away. A physical symbol to represent our decision is helpful.

Why are you so angry?

Consider why, forgive and be blessed.

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