Seven Failures of the Modern Church

I thought this was a worthy subject of a poem, and it is based on the incredible teaching we heard last year from my pastor/husband.

 

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  1. Preaching of a Crossless Christianity

 

A  Christianity without a cross

is preached across some pulpits of our day.

Sacrifice of Calvary is but dross.

From the blood of Jesus we have turned away.

 

A social gospel many do purport.

Your own good works, yes they can do the job.

But preaching of this self-sufficient sort,

the message of Golgotha, it does rob.

 

Some focus on the loaves and the fishes,

the miracles and feelie goodie things.

Heaven we’ll achieve through our good wishes,

but man can’t rise by his own apron strings.

 

Preaching that’s crossless, God will not anoint.

Powerless it is and misses the point.

 

  1. Preaching A No Change Christianity

 

Powerless it is and misses the point,

such doctrine not requiring us to change.

The purpose of God, it does disappoint;

concept in Scripture unknown and quite strange.

 

Jesus came to save us from each dark sin

through His blood and the power of His name.

Soul that embraces this truth should begin

to see that he need not remain the same.

 

Old things passed away, all things are made new

when thru water, Spirit we’re born again.

This teaching is not conveyed to the pew.

Many go on as carnal, unchanged men.

 

Such discourse espousing no about face,

it leaves a man in a state of disgrace.

 

 

  1. Preaching of a No Commitment Christianity

 

 

It leaves a man in a state of disgrace

when it’s not proclaimed, our need to commit.

‘Tis a fickle love, like smoke in God’s face,

spineless profession that has no true grit.

 

Like customers before a smorgasbord

that exercise their right to choose;

some have this disposition toward the Lord.

Take it, leave it attitude is bad news.

 

There’s a definite lack in preaching now

coming down from the pulpit to the pew

of importance in making holy vows,

but it is something we all need to do.

 

When committing to God there is a lack,

we don’t move forward. Our soul does draw back.

 

 

  1. Preaching of a No Compliance Christianity

 

 

We don’t move forward. Our soul does draw back

when to Scripture’s tenets we don’t adhere.

We’re like a train that is on the wrong track.

The derailment of our lives is near.

 

If to worldly practices we’re conformed;

do like everyone and try to fit in.

In our minds renewing, we’re not transformed;

know that we are on the pathway of sin.

 

God’s Word calls people to separation

of the things that are grievous in His sight.

If in this we do come to reparation,

our willful compliance brings Him delight.

 

Preaching void of devotion is hollow.

It is not the course we want to follow.

 

  1. Preaching of a No Cause Christianity

 

 

It is not the course we want to follow,

religion with no lofty, noble goal;

in self-indulgent luxury wallow,

our sinful appetites out of control.

 

We’re not our own, and with a price we’re bought.

However, seldom is it preached, this cause.

Surrender of ourselves, this truth not taught,

and many do not stop and give it pause.

 

A common goal, eat, drink and be merry

in our society does permeate.

Epicurean stance does not carry

Bible truth, nor does it hold any weight.

 

A limp and causeless Christianity,

it’s nothing short of hum drum vanity.

 

 

  1. Preaching of a No Covenant Christianity

 

 

It’s nothing short of hum drum vanity.

A no agreement type relationship

though practiced much among humanity,

for bond ‘tween God and man, it is not hip.

 

Two can’t walk together unless agreed.

On God’s terms is the way we must advance.

To try and make our will to supersede

is nothing more than a song and a dance.

 

So blessed indeed the contract that does bind

the will of creature, Creator in one.

A good end result for sure we will find.

The purpose of God, thru man can be done.

 

If covenant agreement is not preached

God’s desire for man will not be reached.

 

 

  1. Preaching of a No Consecration Christianity

 

God’s desire for man will not be reached

lest we give ourselves to consecration.

Our sacred affinity will be breached

without a whole hearted dedication.

 

Faithfully, daily laboring in prayer

if this Christian race we do want to win.

‘Tis a sign to God that we truly care,

paves the way for more lost sheep to come in.

 

Lackadaisical service will not do

in any form or on any level,

from those in the pulpit or those in the pew;

nothing short but a trick of the devil.

 

Hollowed, not hallowed, then we lose the toss

a Christianity without a cross.

 

10/1/17

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Moving On

It’s hard to believe that 8 1/2 years ago, I began working as a behavioral therapist. If I recall correctly, this is the longest that I have stayed at one company. For reasons I won’t go into, I had been thinking about leaving the company, but it was a hard decision to make. Change is never easy. Sometimes it can be very difficult, but it is a necessary part of life. We can get comfortable with routines, people or circumstances, and there is just something about change that can upset our apple cart, but I have found that the discomfort is usually only temporary.

I will be continuing to work in the same field, but I know there will be some adjusting that takes place as I learn and get used to some new ways of doing things. In all honesty, I would be totally fine with not working outside the home and being a full time house wife. For now though, I need to continue working, and I just want to do my very best and let God use me to have an influence among my clients, their families and my fellow employees. A door has been closed on one chapter of my life, but God is beginning another, and He is an excellent author!

Done

chapter

of my life

is finished but

memories remain

faces of those children

our lives had intersected

during those therapy sessions

incremental victories were seen

thanking God for breakthroughs both great and small

the time to move on has now arrived

employed by a new company

ready for a fresh challenge

more petite profiles

that I hope to impact

with the Lord’s help

in my life

the work

begins.

4/16/18

Good Old Folks

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I can’t believe I just called these two fine people old. In reality, Bro. and Sis. Halstead are very young at heart. Bro. Halstead still shouts, runs the aisles and praises God like a much younger man. His worship is sincere and encouraging.

The Halsteads are a very important part of our Kids’ Church program. In the first photo, Bro. Halstead is playing Grandpa Jones, a character in our current quarter of The Real Pentecostals. Both Bro. and Sis. Halstead are wonderful teachers, and I have been amazed at some of the creative ways they have come up with to keep the children engaged and teach them the precious Word of God. Brother Halstead also heads up our outreach department and does a great job inspiring us to reach out to those in our community that have not experienced Acts 2:38 salvation.

In the second photo, they are clowning around at a meal we had recently to break a fast that we did together as a church. Earlier that week, Sis. Halstead had sent a photo to me and another sister from our church of a man devouring some chicken drumsticks. She said that was going to be what she would look like when we broke the fast. Hence, I took this photo to represent that moment. 🙂

This faithful couple has been such a blessing to our church in many ways. Getting older has definitely not stopped them from being faithful and working for God with all of their hearts.  They are living out the following verses.

 

“Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;”

Psalm 92:13,14

Just to clarify, I’m not saying that Bro. and Sis. Halstead are fat. This is talking about abundance or a “spiritual fat” that is a good type of fat.(I sure could use more of that type of fat!) I am thankful today for the great big FAT blessing that Bro. and Sis. Halstead have been to Cornerstone Pentecostal Church!

After Forever

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After forever, the joy will come

though darkest night can seem so long.

We wish to pain that we were numb.

After forever, the joy will come.

Suffering ends . ’Tis the rule of thumb.

At long last, return of heart’s song.

After forever, the joy will come

though darkest night can seem so long.

 

12/15/17

 

Psalm 30:5  For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. 

 

Hebrews 12:11  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 

 

1Peter 5:10  But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 

 

 

Miranda POPs It To Us

Miranda giving POP

On Sunday, March 18, we heard a great POP given by our dear sister Miranda. In previous posts, I mentioned that POP stands for Power Of Proverbs. Twice a month on a Sunday morning, we have a youth from our church take 2-7 minutes to share something from the book of Proverbs that they have studied . These have really been a blessing to our church and they help the youth as well to study the Bible more and get practice speaking in front of people. Miranda talked about the benefit and importance of listening to godly(pastoral)counsel. This is something she has put into practice in her life, and she is reaping the benefits from it.

Sister Miranda has been in church for 5 years, and I am proud of the steady growth I have seen in her life. I remember before she made the commitment to really live for God, the times when she would come and visit the church. You could tell God was reaching for her, but she was also struggling with the pull of friends who were not living for God. Many were praying for her, and the happy day finally did come when she told pastor that she had repented and was ready to be baptized and commit her life to God. It has been a blessing to see her make new friends in the church, live for God while going to public high school, graduate and continue to live for God while entering the work force. She is faithful to the house of God and is involved in outreach, children’s church,youth choir and praise singing.

I am thankful for Miranda and other young people like her that are striving to serve God daily and be a blessing in His kingdom!

 

A Tree For All Seasons

tree in all seasons

I think that I would like to be

a Christian that is like a tree,

 

whose branches towards the Son are slanted,

in soil of God’s Word, so firmly planted.

 

A tree that lifts her arms to pray

when things are rosy or it’s been a bad day.

 

A tree that can provide some refreshing shade

for those who in burning trials, may feel waylaid.

 

A tree that in each and every season

knows for its existence there’s purpose and reason.

 

Poems are made by fools like me

but only God can make a Christian a tree.

 

5/9/17

 

Inspired by one of my favorite poems, Trees by Joyce Kilmer

 

Psalm 1:1-6  Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 

The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

 

 

Graduation Surprise

ICAT grads

A couple of weeks ago on a Sunday morning, pastor pulled a little surprise on a couple of students that had finished a 3 year course of study with the Institute of Conservative Apostolic Theology. Sister Theresa Halstead and our son Paul actually graduated last October but were unable to attend the ceremony in San Antonio, Tx. Pastor had their diplomas  put into very nice frames and took some time to honor both of them.

He also gave each of them a few minutes to say something about their experience with ICAT. Both of them expressed thankfulness for the instruction they received and were appreciative that their education has given them more confidence in witnessing and talking about the Bible with others. Sis. Halstead was working full time while she took the courses, so this was really a great accomplishment for her.

I know at times it was a sacrifice for both of them to do the work involved, but they stuck with it and finished their course. I am proud and happy for both of them. 🙂