A Mighty Fortress

“I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord’s side.” —Abraham Lincoln

I agree with President Lincoln. Prayer changes things. Prayer changes me. Prayer changes my outlook. Prayer keeps me aligned with God’s principles.

Now more than ever, our nation needs Christians to pray. The Apostle Paul said it loud and clear:

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. (1 Timothy 3:1-2)

If our nation is to remain on the Lord’s side we need to be praying for our elected officials. We need to pray that they will have godly wisdom in carrying out their responsibilities. We need to pray that God will keep them safe.

Please join me on the National Day Of Prayer (NDP) this Thursday, May 5. Calvary Assembly of God will be open for prayer from 9am-7pm, and there will be special prayer times at noon and at 6pm.

If you cannot join me at the church, please pray on your own. You can get more information from the NDP Task Force by clicking here.

Three For Pastors (book reviews)

I consider it such an awesome privilege—and a heavy responsibility—to be called to be a pastor. Despite the challenges, I love doing what I’m doing! And although I don’t want this message to become diminished by over-use, I truly do mean it: I My Church!

Because I want to be the best pastor I can be, I frequently study the lives of historical pastors, and I try to keep current on thoughts from my contemporaries as well. So, if you are a pastor (or if you want to better support your pastor), here are three books I recently read which I would highly recommend to you.

The Heart Of A Great Pastor by H.B. London and Neil B. Wiseman emphasizes how pastors need to take personal responsibility to make sure they are continually giving their best. From revisiting the call of God on their lives, to maintaining a vibrant private prayer and devotional life, to organizing ministries in the church, pastors can never coast. I love this insight from the authors:

“The God-initiated summons takes us [pastors] into life’s main arena where people wrestle with ultimate issues such as birth, life, death, sickness, broken relationships, health and hope, as well as ambiguities and apprehension. This partnership with God takes us to private and public places and to sorrowful and cheerful places. It is our lifetime ticket to represent Jesus at weddings, hospital waiting rooms, grave sites, baptisms, Holy Communion and life-shaping questions that good people have reason to ask, such as ‘Where is God now?’”

Elite Prayer Warriors by Dave Williams is a renewed call to prayer. I grew up with a cliché ringing in my ears and my heart: The church moves forward on her knees.  If this is true for the church (and I firmly believe it is), it is even more true for pastors who serves the church as her under-shepherd. Elite Prayer Warriors encourages pastors  to raise up a team of people who will commit to the spiritual battle of praying for their pastor.

Then Pastor Dave Williams addresses an area that can derail a church in Toxic Committees And Venomous Boards. I’ll let the cat out of the bag right up front: Pastor Williams states unequivocally that committees are unscriptural. After showing the biblical basis for his claim, he then makes the case for a scriptural form of pastoral support: teams. He says, “Committees meet; teams score!”

I also like this quote in the book from Rick Warren:

“Committees discuss it, but ministries do it. Committees argue, ministries act. Committees maintain, ministries minister. Committees talk and consider, ministries serve and care. Committees discuss needs, ministries meet needs.”

Three outstanding books to help you be the best pastor that God has called you to be.

I am a Decapolis book reviewer.

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