christian celebrities

Some people are more famous than Jesus. Or at least, in some “Christian circles”, they get more press than He does. I am talking about big name authors and preachers and singers who are in the center of the public eye. It seems that, whatever they do, someone is there to report about it. And it also seems that some of these folks know just the right things to do in order to get the press coverage they need to stay on top.

Be reminded, Christ-followers, we can fall into the same traps as the rest of our culture. We can begin to put people on pedestals where they don’t belong. We can become just another subculture with our own heroes and icons. We are not above becoming fans of those we admire, sometimes placing them on a level parallel with Christ.

This cannot be. Jesus plainly told us, he who is greatest must be the servant.

So the next time your favorite holy celeb records a new song or releases a new book or resigns his church, let’s not squeal like a pre-adolescent girl at a Jonas Brothers concert. These men and women are just doing what they are doing. Don’t blow it out of proportion. This stuff happens every day. Don’t be guilty of hero worship. Otherwise, you may be one of the causes of their downfall.

Remember: “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18) We don’t want that to happen to our “rock star” Christians now, do we?

close to home

We drove across the state today to assist with the funeral of the father of a friend. As we traveled through the small towns across the Everglades, I was once again disturbed to see the living condition of so many people. The poverty of the people living in these areas is remarkable. It is especially so when you consider that many of these areas are in rural Palm Beach County, an area known more for affluence. Within a 30 minute drive from the Island of Palm Beach, families are living in squalor. We saw housing conditions that simply should not be in the United States.

I am again reminded that there is much work to be done right in our own back yard. We are now asking what we can do to offer assistance to some of these people.

One way I like to express our mission: making the love of God obvious.

Any thoughts?

sticky relationships

My message today is the second part of Sticky Relationships. Last week, I told the good folks at Maranatha that a strong connection with God is top priority and we have to get it right with Him if we expect to get it right with others. Today I am talking about how we connect with each other.

I honestly don’t know what NOT to say. We need so much work in this area. God will help us and we will figure it out.

Ephesians 4:3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. (NLT)

Join us at Maranatha if you are in the area. If you can’t, you can catch the message later this week on our website.

A blessed Sunday, everyone!

Rick

what it’s all about

Meet Mynor (the good looking one on the left), a three month old baby boy who lives at Casa Shalom Orphanage in Guatemala. Letha and I just returned from a trip there to visit our daughter, Jessica and her husband Josh, where they serve as missionaries. Back in January, Mynor was found by police, lying on the side of the road, having been abandoned by his mother. He was only a day or two old. If they had not found him when they did, he surely would have died in that ditch. But they did find him, and they brought him to Casa Shalom to be cared for.

There is a very good chance that Mynor will grow up at Shalom. I know of several examples just like him who have been at the home for several years. We all hope for adoption for him but only God knows the future. And God knew that he needed to be in the loving arms of the people who work at Casa Shalom. He is being loved and clothed and cared for. He is receiving medical care and nutritious food and nurture. Jessica calls him “the Little Prince”.

And this is precisely why we are so passionate about helping orphans. God has assigned each of us the responsibility of caring for them. Anyone who is a believer in Jesus Christ accepts this responsibility. The guiding verse we hear so often is James 1:27, “Religion that God the Father accepts as pure and without fault is this: caring for orphans or widows who need help, and keeping yourself free from the world’s evil influence.” (NCV)

Pray for Mynor and the other children at Casa Shalom, and pray for orphans around the world. Once you have prayed, pay attention to what God told you while you were praying about how you can make a difference in someone’s life.

By the way, Mynor is not from Alabama and I don’t think his first words will be “Roll Tide!”. He is wearing clothes that some good-hearted North American donated! If you want to know more about Casa Shalom, see Jessica and Josh’s blog.

back in the USA

Letha and I just returned from a quick trip to Guatemala. God’s hand was on us, we had an excellent trip. I will post some thoughts and pictures tomorrow.

Best blessings, everyone!

a bit of a break

I appreciate the loyal readers of my blog. I want you to know that it will be a little quiet for the next few days. All is well, I am just tied up with some travel and ministry projects. I’ll fill you in in a few days.

In the mean time, here are two ideas to keep you focused:

What did God say? If you know the answer to that, you are on the right track. You find that answer in His Word and through His Spirit.
Are you willing to do whatever God says? If your answer is “yes”, you have it made. If your answer is “no”, back up and repeat step one.

Regardless of the question, the answer is obedience to God. He is looking for people who will serve Him with reckless abandon and great faith. Let’s do it.

Grace!

Rick

you might need this message…

You may be in real need of the practical teaching that Sticky Relationships will provide. Some of us are great at relationships, some, not so much. So let me extend an invitation:

If you would rather be alone than be with family and friends.
If you are estranged from loved ones.
If you are holding on to an offense.
If you resist commitment in relationships.
If you can’t trust people.
If all of your relationships are short-term.
If you feel distant from God.
If your marriage is in trouble.
If you are lonely.
If you have none of these problems but you have a friend who does.

I invite you to attend one of our 3 worship services tomorrow or, listen on-line.

God has the wisdom it takes to help our relationships stick.