The boys and their umbrellas. It is amazing what kids take joy in. We sometimes get them the expensive things they take little interest in and they get more joy out of the simple things. We are having an awesome vacation, just wish Mike, Caitlin , Christopher, and Victoria were here with us.
I love my family.
You now rejoice in this hope, even if it’s necessary for you to be distressed for a short time by various trials. (1 Peter 1:6 CEB)
What hope is he speaking of? Answer: Salvation
I can’t really say that I understand it all. I am trying too though. I am trying to understand why we are allowed to repeatedly commit the same sins. I am trying to understand why we have to go through the heartache of losing people we love so much. I am trying to understand why people are allowed to be so bad to others.
BUT while trying to understand it all, I remember that I am not God and there is a plan that I did not create. There is some relief in knowing that I am not God and therefore I’m not supposed to have a handle on all this stuff.
What I do know and trust is “Salvation” is coming. We are told there will be various trials, heartaches, problems, and tragedies even. But in the end, God has a plan and as painful as it can be here, I am so glad to have life and loved ones and i know in eternint it will all be worth it.
Keep moving, don’t linger on the trials, look to the promise.
This is necessary so that your faith may be found genuine. (Your faith is more valuable than gold, which will be destroyed even though it is itself tested by fire.) Your genuine faith will result in praise, glory, and honor for you when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Peter 1:7 CEB)
I can’t wait!
I wish I could freeze these moments. It is so peaceful this morning. The crickets and birds are having a blast. Everything is so at peace. No one is stirring in the campground. God is made known in His Creation.
Day 2 of Vacation was Awesome and man we were tired.
We spent the entire day in Dollywood with Dusty, Debbie, and Alexis Kite. We didn’t plan vacation together, it is just a blessing of God that we were all here together.
The greatest part of the day was the laughter and fellowship with the Kites and the family, priceless. The 2nd best part of the day was the water rides. Samuel had so much fun, Judah is still a little young to enjoy most of them. We spent some time with the little kid rides and Samuel & Judah both enjoyed them.
We left the campground at 9am and returned at 10pm. Needless to say, we went straight to bed. We don’t know what today holds but it should be fun.
The one thing that stands out to us most is the “hospitality” of the people in Tennessee. I have been saying for several years in my favorite vacation spot “Myrtle Beach” there is no hospitality anymore. We will definitely be coming back here.
The people at the campground “Pine Mountain” have been great. All the folks at Dollywood were awesome. The hospitality there is so much better than anywhere else like it I have been. For instance, free ice water, all day long, as much as you want. This may seem trivial but at Carrowinds there is no such thing as free water, you pay a premium price.
642am, Samuel just came out of the camper and said “I want to go swimming”. Awesome kid!
You have a pure and enduring inheritance that cannot perish—an inheritance that is presently kept safe in heaven for you. (1 Peter 1:4 CEB)
Think about this. Down through eternity there has been an expectation that we would leave an inheritance for our children. We see many examples in scripture, in the Old and New Testaments. I know that I would like to be in such a situation to leave my children a lot when my time on earth is over. When my brother died unexpected last year I had an inheritance but I would much prefer to have his presence here with me.
Well I Peter tells us that we have an inheritance, those of us who love God. It is an inheritance that the Bible speaks about a lot. When we get an inheritance here in this life it will be spent or it will rust away but in heaven we are told our inheritance will never go away. Think about this for just a moment. Better than millions of dollars, better than cars, boats, and houses. We have a hope and a future that never ends. Eternity with our Creator and with our loved ones.
We serve an awesome God that we don’t always understand. Serve Him anyway. The inheritance will be worth every moment here.
Just a few shots in the quietness of the morning. The campground is asleep.
We are away for a few days of much needed vacation, time away from the ordinary. We are the nicest campground I have ever stayed in, by far.
We are the smallest outfit in the place and I am kinda glad, although some day we would like to have something bigger with a bathroom.
As I look through this campground and I think about the fact of economic nightmares in the United States, I am glad we have such a sensible way to have fun and get away. Most of the other rigs in this place are many thousands of dollars to purchase and sadly they are many more thousands to operate. Camping in anything other than a tent is not cheap. If we go enough, to the right places we could pay for ours in a year with the savings, we just need to stay focused on the joy of being together as family and not get sidetracked into thinking we have to have bigger and better. We really love our little camper.
Anyway, we have an awesome pull through spot, concrete pad, fire ring , swimming pool, matter of fact we have access to 2 outdoor pools, one indoors, 2 hot tubs, a kiddie pool, and a lazy river. Wow, this place is great. We have some plans but I would just love to sit right here and read, cook all the meals over an open fire and enjoy peace and quiet.
A really nice gentleman came over yesterday when he saw me wrestling with the awning and helped me get that set up.
God is good to us and I praise Him.
I am really excited about the United Methodist Church “Call To Action.” Over the next several weeks and months we will be setting goals for our congregations at First Hillsville and Out of the Box. I am asking that our members begin to pray about what God will have us set as goals and how God wants us to IMPACT out community for Jesus Christ.
Here is our First step that will culminate with a plan that will be developed by the end of November 2011.
Prayer filled approach:
Begin praying for the health and vitality of the congregation. Prayerfully consider where you have been over the past five years and where God is leading you to be effective in the community over the next five years.
Please let us know that you are praying. Pastor Ronnie
The greatest joy of being a pastor is seeing people experience a changed life.
Luke 4:18 NLT
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
19 and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.
The Bible teaches that as Christians we have been anointed to bring Good News to the poor, proclaim release to the Captives, give sight to the blind, and to set the oppressed free. It is my joy to see that happening through the churches that I serve, First Hillsville UMC/Out of the Box Worship Center.
I have witnessed growth in peoples lives like never before. God is doing a work in and through the lives of the people that I only imagined until this time.
I am witnessing people step out of their comfort zone and into the lives of hurting people to make a life changing difference.
I am witnessing people who are tired of life as usual and they are speaking up for God and the difference He has made in their lives. Because of this, people are coming in bunches to see who this God is that we serve.
I am seeing people hold each other accountable.
I am seeing people lift each other up when they have a bad day or a bad week.
I am seeing a group of encouragers who refuse to let their brothers and sisters in Christ lose focus.
I am seeing people take up the mantle of Jesus and Change The World.
I love being a pastor.
I have been patient and finally purchased an iPad 2. I wanted one when the first ones came out but I have learned to be patient and not buy on first impulse. I am glad that I waited. I knew right off that I liked the iPad but then became frustrated with it when I went to St. Simons Island Ga. The internet service there was not good at all and even worse on the ipad than the laptop.
However, with time I have started to see the plethora of benefits that far outweigh the negatives.
The following are ways the iPad has begun to benefit me in my life and ministry.
Kindle Reader with the screen back-lit – it is great for reading at night, early morning, in low light without turning on the lights.
WordPress – I am now able to take great pictures and put them directly into blog posts – major time saver.
Bible – Youversion app – I am able to download various versions of the Bible for use when there is no internet connection.
USA Today – I have been paying $11.99 per month for this news paper on Kindle – on iPad it is FREE
Battery Life – 10 hours
Bible Study – I have access to my Logos Bible Study Software
Money savings – many of the things I printed before will not be printed now. There will be a huge savings in ink cartridges alone.
These are just a few of the benefits, I continue to find more every day. The ipad, like the Kindle is one of those tools that will pay for itself in just a short time. Take the plunge.
I love to run and even more than that, I love to see other people take up running. Dakota was talking to me at the Worship Center on Thursday night and he wants to run a Marathon with me, 26.2 miles. AWESOME!
So, my friend Dakota is taking the 8 mile challenge on Tuesday morning August 16th at 7am and he has invited Evan Nester to join us??? We haven’t heard from Evan yet???
I know that Dakota will pass this test, if he can endure the needle of this tattoo, then he can endure 8 miles.
Mike Slaughter is not only one of the voices calling out to the church to change, Mike has demonstrated that change in his own congregation. Sounding the alarm that the church is dying is not popular but Mike is doing so and he rightfully says if the church doesn’t change it will just continue to dwindle.
Mike Slaughter is a United Methodist pastor on a mission to Change the World.
“Moses had two careers during his first eighty years. For the first forty he was a prince of Egypt. Pretty impressive career! His next forty years were given to the management of his father-in-law’s business. Then at eighty years of age, Moses had his burning bush moment and discovered his life purpose. This is the first work of discipleship, Church. We are to assist people in the discovery of their burning bush and then throw gasoline on their life passion!”
“We must find ways as individuals and faith communities to live more simply so that others may simply live. Simplicity means fully embracing and celebrating God’s gifts today. In times of uncertainty and crisis it can be easy to postpone today waiting for a better tomorrow.”
“Returning to basics-aiming for micro, rather than macro-means reallocating resources so that life transformation and mission are prioritized over expensive and exhausting programming and expansive building projects. We have to ask hard questions about the resources poured into facilities that are used a few hours each week. Our questions must be relentless concerning the programs and meetings that consume thousands of hours of staff and servant time but fail in producing measurable results in discipleship and mission. Often the microgroups bear the most fruit.”
In the church where I serve, First Hillsville UMC/Out of the Box Worship Center we are going through the learning process of starting a new place for new people to worship. We are putting into practice the Call to Action in this book. We are looking at ways to serve the people who are not inside the church and ways to spend money on mission and not on bricks and mortar. I can speak first hand and say that people are excited.
It is time for the church to change.
“You and I are called to be part of a world-changing, Spirit-empowered “hell can’t prevail” community of action. The outcome will not be determined by the size of your congregation or the abundance of your resources-only your willingness to leave the safety of your life raft and the compliance of those who choose to remain on it. Have courage, Saints-for God is in this place and the gates of hell cannot prevail against us!”
I have a love for reading and I love this post from Pastor Bill Hybles. Bill talks about reading as a discipline and even though I believe he is right, I hadn’t thought of it that way, probably because it comes natural for me. Read widely and read a lot.
- 40 Day Devotional Inspired by Harry Denman
- 40 Day Fasting Journal
- 90 Days to reading the New Testament
- Adoption Foster Care
- Bible Study
- Celebrate Recovery
- Eternal Life
- First UMC Hillsville
- Holston Challenge 2010
- Hope for the Children of Sudan
- Logos Bible Study Software
- Out Of The Box
- Resurrection 2009
- Smith Family
- Take your best shot
- Tech Stuff
- United Methodist Church