George Washington Carver

April 6, 2012

I enjoy reading books on history every now and then. It gives great insight to how people used to think or how society used to run. So when I saw the book on (booksneeze.com where I got it for free) George Washington Carver by John Perry from the Christian Encounters Series, I had a strong desire to read it.

I had done a report on George W. Carver in elementary school but all I really knew about him was he had come up with a ton of uses for peanuts.

This book starts by telling on young Carver. He was the son of a slave. After terrible events left him and his brother an orphan he is raised by his mother’s white masters. Carver was a small boy who was not much help around the farm. So he learned how to do indoor chores and he always seemed interested in nature.

As he grew so did his desire to learn. He finally attained his high school education and went on to college. After that (and it was no walk in the park) he taught at Tuskegee, a school for black students. This is where he spent the rest of his working days, even though he was offered some other better paying jobs.

He felt strongly that the Creator (which is how he most often referred to God) had given us creation to study and do the best we could with it. Combined he found hundreds of uses for peanuts, sweet potatoes, black eyed peas, and a few other crops. He loved presenting and sharing how the Creator had guided him to his discoveries. One of his favorite teaching times was an unofficial Bible study he did with students at Tuskegee.

If you are interested in history this is a great book. I learned so much about George Washington Carver that I had never known. He was a great man who gave the credit of his discoveries to God. Everyone did not always understand him and sometimes he came across as pushy but it was because he was trying to live out the potential he felt God was calling him to. This book does a great job of painting the picture of George Washington Carver.

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Stop Competing

April 4, 2012

No this is not a post about the evils of sports. I actually have no problem with a little friendly competition. 

Sometimes competition drives us to do better than we would have before. 

Image(Speaking of friendly competition, here we have a game of “I have never.”)

I remember helping with a VBS program that would have a competition every year between the boys and the girls. They would see who could bring in the most amount of money for the mission being supported. It was always a lot of fun to watch the kids get really excited when the numbers were displayed at the end of each day to show who had brought in more that day and then who was in the lead for the week.

It really got crazy when penny day came about. The church would bring in a couple wheelbarrows (one for the boys and one for the girls) to carry out all the change the kids (and parents) had been saving up for the year. 

No, that is not the competition that needs to stop.

I’m talking about our attitudes in ministry. Way too often we get caught up in trying to compete with other local congregations for the bigger or better ministries. 

It can happen at home too. In an effort to have a great relationship with our children we can strive too hard to be the “cool” parent who is their child’s best friend. We want our children to like us the best and not hear statements like “well Jonny’s mom let him do ________!” 

My parents would always come back with a well reasoned “But I’m not Jonny’s mom”, or my favorite “Well obviously Jonny’s mom doesn’t love him like we love you.” You have got to love parents!

In all seriousness we do need to stop concerning ourselves with the actions of others. This is not so we become apathetic but rather so we can focus on doing the best job in whatever ministry God has given us to do. 

Are you praying for your ministry and those you minister to daily? Good! Keep that up. Without a proper connection with God you will not be able to discern His voice. Then you will start listening to all the voices around you saying you are not good enough because “that ministry has way more attendees.”

What are your motivations? Are you really doing your ministry to bring glory to God and to see saved by Jesus? Are you trying to guide them to walk closer with Him? Or is the point to let people know how great a leader you are? If the last one is the case then you need to evaluate yourself.

My point is, running just on competitions will wear you out. My ministries have enough problems of their own. It is at least one full time job concerning myself with my daily duties. I don’t need to take on the extra job of trying to compete with the church, parents, or extra ministry down the road. 

Do the best you can do with the resources God has given you. Follow His Spirit’s guidance, and remember to love people the way Jesus has loved you.

This weekend I had the privilege of going to the Missouri Christian Convention. I have heard lots of great stuff about his convention in the past but this was the first year I was able to attend.

Image

It was definitely worth the trip.

Not only was the convention held at a beautiful resort in Osage Beach, MO but the content of the convention was amazing as well.

There was one set of Workshops that my wife and I decided to attend. They were being taught by one of our old professors, Mr. Reese. He spent about 4 hours total going through the book of 1 John. I loved every moment of it.

1 John was written to the church to help guard them against false teachers. These teachers were mixing different sorts of religious ideas and saying that they were the only truth.

They taught that Jesus did not save you but that salvation came through their particular brand of knowledge.

One of the pleas that John offers is that Christians would cling on to the teachings that they had from the beginning. He implores them to not forsake what they have been taught by Jesus and the Apostles but that they would hold steadfast and not be tempted to falter away to these other teachings.

Mr. Reese used an example to illustrate the point here. There are people who’s job it is to detect counterfeit money. They become so good at identifying the counterfeit they can spot it very quickly. How do you think they are able to identify it? Is it by studying all the different kinds of counterfeit? No! They study and get to know the genuine bills so well that they can even tell a counterfeit blindfolded. 

That’s how it should be with us and the word of God! 

We should know God’s word and His teachings so well that we can recognize when someone is teaching something false. The “counterfeit” teaching will stand out like Waldo on a blank page (I’m still waiting for that picture, then I would finally be able to find him). 

It is so important that we do not fall away to false teachings. They are everywhere. They penetrate our culture as well as our churches and we must stand guard against them. 

But we can only stand guard against them if we can identify them when they appear.

And we can only identify them if we immerse ourselves in the true and genuine teachings of God.

What are you doing to guard yourself against false teachings?

This month I was a little less consistent in my output. I still had quite a few new posts but they were a bit scattered all over and as a result my monthly views were down. This was my lowest month in a while.

I had wrote about getting a new schedule in place and I plan to do a better job sticking with it this month. I want to be posting 4 times a week: Tuesday-Friday.

Anyway, here are my top 8 posts for the month of March.

Review of Called to Controversy. A Great Read!

Oh For Crying Out Loud

Influencing When You Don’t Think You Are

The Message of Jesus Doesn’t Need You to Make it Cool

What if your Weren’t Important?

That Would Never Happen to Me

Getting More Than We Can Endure

Don’t Let Your Faith Flat line

If you have not check them out go right ahead and I hope that you keep coming back to read more!

If you have a blog, what were your top posts for March?