BEING A SPIRITUAL ADULT

The first example of Adult Adolescence from the Bible is Adam, who set a pattern that humans have followed ever since. Adam was deceived into thinking the fruit and the knowledge it offered were better than a relationship with God. When Adam took the forbidden fruit, he denied God’s sovereignty, and sinned against Him. When God wanted Adam to accept responsibility for his actions, Adam refused, and lost the manhood God had given him.  Adam was distracted to the point that he tried to hide from the God who made him and ultimately was dislocated from the garden God had provided.

The final destruction came in the form of spiritual death, for Adam and all his offspring forever. Another example is an adulterer who is deceived into thinking no one will know, denies doing anything wrong, is distracted in mind by the illicit, is dislocated physically by going where he should not, and eventually destroys the marital relationship.  How to act like an adult:

* Admit the truth. Denial is a barrier that prohibits cures, healing, help, and salvation of every kind.

* Say NO to sin. Sin promises to serve and to please but in reality enslaves and dominates your mind and body.

* Learn from observation. Not all lessons have to be learned by experience. Learn from your family, history, and the Bible.

* Accept responsibility. Be a man – or woman – as God intended, doing what is right, turning things around, living by standards set by Jesus. Take a mature stand for Christ, for justice, for what is right and true.

* Grow. You don’t have to be the same person you were when you were 16, 20, or 40. Christians are to grow up as mature people, able to speak God’s Word, understand His truths, and think His thoughts from His Word.

* Quit being childish. When you don’t get your way – in traffic, the office, at home – you don’t need to pull a tantrum like a preschooler. Seek understanding with your fellow man, decide beforehand to display good behavior.

Dr Dale Ackley

When Stress Snaps the String

 

I want to give you four instructions taken from Proverbs 15 to help relieve stress in your home.

Learn to Laugh

“A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken” (Proverbs 15:13). When it says “the spirit is broken,” that means the string has snapped. Have you ever noticed you don’t have to teach children to laugh; you have to teach them when not to laugh? You see if you have the joy of the Lord in your heart, it’s going to show on your face!

Cultivate Contentment

“Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith” (Proverbs 15:16-17). Many of us are uptight because our value system is all wrong. We think if we have more, then these things will bring us happiness. But many times the striving for things is what brings tension into the home. First Timothy 6:6-8 says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain

Alleviate Anger

“A wrathful man stirs up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeases strife” (Proverbs 15:18). This Scripture shows us that anger brings stress and strife. We need to be peacemakers in our homes. We also see in Proverbs 15:1 that “A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” The way to control your anger is to control your words – your speech. Perhaps, you might say, “I just can’t control it.” Oh yes you can!

Walk in Wisdom

“Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walks uprightly. Without counsel purposes are disappointing:  but in the multitude of counselors they are established” (Proverbs 15:21-22). Stress in the home is just simply a sign that you have forsaken the wisdom of God. God is not the author of confusion. He gives wisdom.

Ten Random Things to Know About Pastors

I’ve learned pastors are often misunderstood; especially by people who haven’t known a pastor personally. But, we can really be misunderstood by many people. It’s surely a unique vocation. I can’t speak for all pastors. Here are 10 random things to know about pastors. These are true for me, but I suspect they may be for other pastors too:
1. I face the temptations you face. I’m not immune from temptation. I’m human. You shouldn’t be surprised when I make mistakes. I need lots of grace. I should be held accountable, but ultimately I’m accountable to God just as much as you are.
2. The larger the church gets, the less I know about anything. But, this can be true of any church size where other people are empowered to lead. Ask me anything. I may or may not have an answer. Sometimes, however, you save both of us time if you email the staff or volunteer leader more likely to know — but I can always forward an email.
3. The better the message, the longer it takes me to prepare it. There are rare exceptions to this for me. If I am going to have a decent message, I will have to take time away from other responsibilities to prepare. This could mean I’m not everywhere you hoped I would be.
4. Even though I’m teaching it, I may not yet have mastered it. Hopefully I’m working on it, but I teach the whole counsel of God — the Bible — and I’m still a work in progress in many areas of it.
5. I get nervous every time I start to preach, sometimes sick to my stomach nervous. If you didn’t notice — well, glad I’m getting better at covering. But, you do me a tremendous blessing if you whisper a prayer as I step up to preach.
6. Sunday is not the only day I work. Honestly! And, preaching is not all I do. I actually work six long days a week and even when I’m off or out of town, I’m often working. But, Sunday does come around quickly.
7. Your story probably won’t surprise me. I am never callous towards it, but I’ve probably heard similar or worse. And, I’m still going to love you.
8. To my family I’m usually not a pastor, just a husband and dad. And, I like that. I even like to be “just a friend” sometimes.
9. If you tell me something on Sunday morning, you probably should back it up with an email to remind me. My mind is distracted and I will forget. And, if it can wait until Monday, that’s even better.
10. I can relate to you better than you think. I like to have a good time. Some would say I’m funny. I even know how to laugh.

Dr Dale Ackley

R0CK OF AGES

Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me, the Song and the Story

Composer Augustus Montague Toplady

Augustus Montague Toplady (1740 to 1778), was an unusual child. His father died when he was very young and so he was raised by his mother who adored and spoiled him. He was not very well liked by his peers or his relatives, partly because they did not relate to his extreme intelligence, and partly because he was sickly and neurotic.

Controversy followed Toplady throughout his short 38 years of life, but he did not let that stop him. At a very young age he showed a keen interest in developing a relationship with God. By age 12 he was preaching sermons, and at age 14 he began writing hymns. He was ordained as an Anglican priest at the age of 22. Although some thought him to be arrogant and obstinate, excerpts from his writings verify that he was a devoted and humble follower of Christ.

Rock of Ages

Rock of ages, cleft for me
let me hide myself in thee;
let the water and the blood,
from thy wounded side which flowed,
be of sin the double cure;
save from wrath and make me pure.

Not the labors of my hands
can fulfill thy law’s commands;
could my zeal no respite know,
could my tears forever flow,
all for sin could not atone;
thou must save, and thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
simply to the cross I cling;
naked, come to thee for dress;
helpless, look to thee for grace;
foul, I to the fountain fly;
wash me, Savior, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
when mine eyes shall close in death,
when I soar to worlds unknown,
see thee on thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee.

The Lord is my Rock, and my Fortress, and my Deliverer.” (Psalm 18:2)