Time to Make A Move

I tend to be a day dreamer. I will sit in my comfortable chair and consider great and wonderful things. I believe that God gives us visions. He shows us how things could be. 

More importantly, however, He tells us what to do next. Success is not achieved by having great vision, but by taking the small steps every day that move us in the direction God wants us to go. 

Sometimes we are overwhelmed by the big vision. It seems so different from what we see in front of us. Visions freeze us in place and we end up doing nothing.

God has commanded each of us what to do next. We all really know the next step we are to take. But we hesitate. 

Listen to these words from your God, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong, courageous. Do not be terrified. Do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Forget for the moment the picture God has given you of where He wants  you to be next year, next month or even next week. Focus on what He wants you to do today.

It’s time to make a move. Get going and be blessed.

Nick

Halloween – What’s the Big Deal

Rose and I don’t celebrate Halloween. We haven’t for years. We don’t do it very boldly. We just turn off our lights and leave the house during the hours of trick or treat. We usually have a small bag of candy just in case someone comes early or late. Our neighbors have learned how we are and just ignore our house. We don’t have any kids at home so it’s not that big a deal.  This year we will probably go to church to watch the Not a Fan movie. Maybe our “God Loves You. He Always Has and Always Will” sign will send a message.
It hasn’t always been this way. I don’t remember Halloween being a big deal when I was a kid. I had eight brothers and sisters and I guess we would dress up and walk the neighborhood doing trick-or-treat. When our kids were  young, we did Halloween. We even made a big deal out of it a couple of times. When our first grandchild was born, Halloween was becoming a big holiday and we became concerned about the origins of the holiday, the wisdom of scaring kids for fun, and the emphasis on the devil. We had huge “alternative” fall festivals at our home on October 31st. We would pass out tracts with the candy to kids who came to the house. This was the same period in which we warned about the danger of the Smurfs and a little later Harry Potter. I suppose in those years I felt that those Christians who celebrated Halloween were just less advanced or less spiritual.
I still have some of these concerns, but it just doesn’t seem to be as big a deal in the light of all the problems we have. I smile at my great grandchild adorned in a costume. Nicky and Sammie’s house is always the most and first decorated one in their neighborhood. It’s incredible how big a deal Halloween now is. It has become an adult holiday. Waitresses and sales persons dress up to serve your meals or sell you goods. Look at the movie listings for this week and try to see a movie that isn’t scary or Halloween oriented.  It still seems to me that all this is not a great thing, for all the reasons that originally led us to quit celebrating the day. 
There just seems to be so much else to be concerned about. If you get a kick out of dressing up and going to a party or putting your kids in costumes or decorating your yard, I won’t condemn you.  I do pray that you’ll remember that Jesus is Lord and don’t become so fascinated with the things of darkness that you forget the Lord of Light.
Boo. And be blessed.
Nick

Kingdom Perspective

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” –Matthew 6:33

There are many issues upon which the presidential candidates differ. If we had to  point to one principal difference it would have to be the role of government. The current president believes that Americans should look to the government for most everything. The challenger calls that a “Nanny State.” 

As Christians, we have to understand that many look to the government for much because the church has failed to meet the needs of people. I was the oldest of nine children growing up in the 50s. We were poor. I remember many instances of individuals “helping out” when the pantry was low or coming up with a few dollars when the light bill needed to be paid. In similar situations today, we would expect a check from the government. 

At the heart of this problem is our failure to believe Jesus when He taught that the real solution to our problems is to seek His kingdom and His righteousness first. When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper places.


With a proper focus on the kingdom of God, we will live in a nation that can care for those who are hurting and still have an abundance. This will happen not because the government has mandated (that has never worked) but because we are seeking first that which is eternal and are then content to allow the Lord to provide everything else that we need.


  • Commit yourself in prayer to seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness.
  • Pray for that spirit of seeking God to pervade the church in America.
  • Pray for a right focus in America–back to the Lord and away from material things.
Seek first His kingdom and be blessed and be prepared to bless others.

Nick

Selfish Ambition

“For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” –James 3:16

I have to admit that, at least at times, I’m a news junky. When there is nothing to watch on television or when I have the television on just as background noise while I do something else, I am tuned to the news channel.  I know some people don’t think Fox News is a real news channel, but that’s a good discussion for a different time. 

As I am bombarded with the “news” it’s easy to believe that this world is full of problems. But if you listen carefully and prayerfully, you quickly realize that there is really only one problem: Selfish Ambition. 

When there is good news, it’s because someone put someone else’s interest about his own and acted accordingly. All the bad news is base on someone, or a group of someones, putting themselves first.

Being self-centered instead of Christ centered is the problem. When stated that way it’s obvious that we are talking about a spiritual problem, not a political, social or psychological problem. America needs Jesus and needs him badly! We can’t do much about the self-centered ambition of others; but we can make sure we are not part of the problem. 


  • Ask the Lord to reveal if you are holding on to any envy or selfish ambition. If so, repent of it now.
  • Pray for the salvation of those who are in leadership of our nation. Ask the Lord to remove all envy and selfish ambition.
  • Pray that the church in America will be set free from all envy and selfish ambition.
We can only be salt and light if our salt is pure and our light is Jesus.

Join us at Amana at 6 p.m. tonight for our special political self-education session. Be an educated voter and be blessed.

Nick

Courage and Cowardice

I am watching the unbelievable unfolding story of what occurred during the terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. 

For not the first time in history it appears that the men on the front lines demonstrated incredible courage in the face of cowardice on the part of their leaders. 

To act with courage or cowardice is a choice we face in our daily lives a lot more than we care to admit. 

We face incredible problems in our nation and most of us in our personal lives. We can no longer wait for the folks “in charge” to “do something.” We must act individually. I must admit that I have become more a spectator than a participant in life. This has to end. We have to be involved. Nothing is going to change unless we do something.

God is on His throne; but we are His hands and feet. There are just a handful of days until the election. It’s time to stop watching it unfold on television and get involved. At a minimum, we need to be informed voters. Have you even considered what you will be asked to vote on? Have you encouraged those upon whom you have some influence to make an informed vote?

Did you know there are eleven candidates for President? Or five candidates for Congress? We have to decide on a Public Service Commissioner, nine constitutional amendments, and some tax renewals. We need to get informed so that we are making informed decisions on election day.

If you are surprised by any of this consider joining us Sunday night at Amana at 6 p.m. as we review the ballot and try to educate ourselves before voting. Our men and women putting their lives on the line each day deserve nothing less. We won’t try to tell you how to vote, just let you know what you are voting on.

See you Sunday night. Be blessed.

 Nick 

Pastor Appreciation Month

    October is Pastor Appreciation Month. I think we can honor our pastors best by being honest about what we should expect from them and what they should be able to expect from us.

1. Don’t expect them to be perfect. They are human, just like us.

2. Don’t expect them to have every spiritual gift. We need to know where our pastors are gifted and be prepared to supplement their gifts with our gifts. Ministry is a shared job.

3. Expect them to have a personal life. It’s unbelievable how intrusive we can be on the lives of our pastors. They know that it’s not a nine to five job; but please give your pastor some room to have a life.

4. Expect them to need encouragement. It’s okay to tell the pastor what’s right as well as what’s wrong. It’s okay to complement him on a good sermon or a special effort. We all need encouragement, even pastors.

5. Don’t expect the pastor’s spouse to be anything but the pastor’s spouse. A church hires a pastor not a dynamic duo. Most pastor’s wives are an extra benefit to their spouse’s congregation; but don’t expect them to do everything the pastor doesn’t have time, talent or energy for… that’s your job.

6. Expect to pray for your pastor. We expect our pastor to pray for us; can we expect to do any less for him?

7. Expect to pay your pastor. Most people seem to think that being a pastor is a ministry and a pastor shouldn’t expect a fair wage. In fact, a fair wage for a pastor is often considered to be less than the lowest paid church member. A pastor should not be distracted by financial burdens.

8. Expect to give your pastor time to grow. We expect deep thoughts and moving sermons from our pastors. They need time with God to produce those thoughts. Allow them plenty of time with God.

9. Expect to equip your pastor. Pastor’s need good staff and tools to do their jobs, just like everyone else. Don’t expect your pastor to do a first class job with second class staff or tools.

10. Expect to minister. It’s every Christian’s job to minister. The Pastor’s job is to facilitate that ministry; not to do everything himself. If you see something that needs to be done, do it.

Make sure your Pastor knows he’s appreciated not just this month but every month, not just by what you say, but by what you do.

Be blessed.

Nick

 

Amendments? What Amendments.

After my post this morning urging everyone to vote, and vote correctly, I was asked, “What about the Constitutional Amendments?” I am always discouraged when I see that once again we have constitutional amendments to consider and they always seem to be way too complicated.
I don’t think our State Constitution should  be so detailed that it has to be amended for every little change in circumstances, but we have what we have.  There is an excellent source of unbiased information about the Amendments. The Public Affairs Research Council puts out an explanation of the amendments and the pro and con arguments. You can find it here
I have reviewed the document and can tell you I intend to vote “yes” on all of the amendments. I am, however, open to arguments against any of them and will let  you know if I change my mind. I would enjoy, I guess, receiving your comments and thoughts. Obviously, my opinion is important only to me and the persons who asked what I thought. For the rest of you, you know where your “delete” key is.
Be blessed.
Nick

Vote With Wisdom

It’s obvious that the upcoming election is going to be very close. The candidates are working hard to convince what has to be a very small group of “undecideds.” But they are also working hard to make sure that every voter who would vote for them actually does vote. 
If you have decided not to vote  or have not decided for whom to vote for president, please take a look at this website. This is part of a blog written by Randy Alcorn. He points out that there is a difference between the candidates, that neither is perfect, but one is a better choice than the other. Please check it out if you have any doubt about what you need to do on election day. 
Be in prayer. God is in control, but he works through His people.
Be blessed. 
Nick