Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Summit Training Center

Are you a high school senior or do you know or love one?  What are you going to do next year? Here's a better question, what are you going to do with your life? If you're like me (from 18-25) your answer might be "I don't know". Don't waste THOUSANDS of $$$ changing majors.  Invest 9 months learning about life and leadership in a context of Biblical discipleship.

We want to help. We can help. Through Family Discipleship Ministries, we have been training leaders through our internships over 30 years.  We are recruiting now for our second class at STC that begins in September.  

Curious? Contact me or Jeremy Owens at or (706)278-9208 for more information.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Early or Late

I get asked this question, "Is it better to have your quiet time in the morning or at night?" My answer is usually this: "Do whichever works best for you." Some people are just not morning people.  For me, again, FOR ME, it just works better to start my day with Him. Through the years this psalm from David has been very meaningful to me:

Psalms 63:1 NKJV  "O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water."
There are several reasons. I'm just fresher in the morning, I enjoy giving my best strength and focus to prayer and Bible reading.  My thoughts are much clearer early rather than later in the day after I have met with people and led all day.  I want to hear His love whispers before the demands of the day begin to shout at me. I do enjoy lighter reading late at night that helps me wind down and rest better (this is another post for another day).

His Example

We are told in the gospels that Jesus prayed both early in the morning:
Mark 1:35 NKJV  Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.
and into the night:

Luke 6:12 NKJV  Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

The bottom line for me is that we don't have to pray, we get to.  We have the privilege of dialogue with infinite wisdom who LOVES us. How great is that?  

Just Do It

So here's my conclusion.  Do it. Just make time.  We all clear time in our schedule for what is truly important to us.  Morning or night, spend time gazing at His face in prayer and in the Scripture.  It will change your perspective and possibly your life. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Bless Your Pharaoh

Do you ever read a Bible passage that makes you shake your head? So this morning I stumbled onto a couple of strange verses:
Genesis 47:7 NLT  Then Joseph brought in his father, Jacob, and presented him to Pharaoh. And Jacob blessed Pharaoh.
Genesis 47:10 NLT  Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh again before leaving his court.
Weird huh?  So the "ruler" of the known world who owns everything lets this old, wandering shepherd touch him and speak a blessing over him.  Why would he? And why would Jacob want to bless him? 

Why would Pharaoh want Jacob's Blessing?

He would want Jacob's blessing for several reasons.  First, this guy is 130 years old and still getting around.  Pharaoh also recognizes the blessing and favor of God that is on him.  He has 12 sons and his entire clan numbers 70 people and, oh, they are very rich.  Most importantly, Pharaoh has been the recipient of God's wisdom and blessing that has come through Joseph. 

Why would Jacob bless Pharaoh?

Perhaps Jacob blessed him in recognition of Pharaoh's kindness toward his son, Joseph, by promoting him to be his "Prime Minister".  Perhaps he was moved by ancient custom or tradition to honor royalty. I am not sure, however, some theologians think he was just offering "shalom" to the ruler as a standard greeting.  As I have pondered this passage, I think there are a couple of implications from Jacob's simple act of blessing. 

First, Jacob is taking another step in fulfilling the promise of God to Abraham that through him, "all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him." (Genesis 18:18) Jacob as Abraham's grandson is blessing the nation of Egypt by blessing her leader.

More importantly, Jacob is prophetically pointing to his descendant, Jesus, through whom all the nations of the earth will be blessed.  

What does this mean to us?

As Christ-followers, we are called to bless and not curse. (Romans 12:14) More importantly, we are instructed to live by the law of love.  Love believes the best and speaks the best.  Let's find ways to bless our families, our communities, and the nations with words of peace and hope.  I dream of a church that is known more by what we are blessing, rather than what we are cursing.  Do you find yourself in a difficult place today? Bless and do not curse. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Did You Know?

Hey friends out there in the blogosphere.  Did you know that Church on the Hill here in Dalton podcast the message every week?  God is really blessing our current series "Journeys in John".  You can catch the most recent message here.

Drop in from time to time or subscribe to the podcast through iTunes.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Greatly Loved

Daniel 10:19 ESV  And he said, "O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage." And as he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, "Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me."
Nothing strengthens my heart like the revelation that I am greatly loved by the God of the universe. His unconditional love causes my weak heart to beat with passion for Him.  As the light of this truth dawns across the landscapes of my life, sowing and reaping takes place.  God’s love is active. He is sowing love into my heart and those seeds begin to rapidly sprout.  Empty, cold prayers and passionless devotions are overtaken with a new crop of divine love.

This planting is not content to remain in the safe confines of my personal quiet garden.  The first command of "love the Lord your God" empowers me to love myself and my neighbor.  Divine love fuels and fills my heart with acceptance, forgiveness, and sacrificial giving.  True Kingdom living is built not on the brick and mortar of rules but the organic growth of love.
Expose yourself to the radiant glow of His love. You will emerge from His presence changed.  Is it possible that revival or societal revolution is waiting in the Lord’s secret chamber? 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Face Difficulties

Successful people face difficulties.  Ouch…is that a scary first line or what? Don’t tune out, I firmly believe that everyone can succeed. 
Success is simply knowing and fulfilling God’s plan for your life. 
Back to the original statement: Successful people face difficulties. No one, absolutely no one, is born a success. What sets champions, leaders, etc. you know…successful people apart from know those who choose to be less, lower, unfulfilled is the willingness to face obstacles and not make excuses. 
I have to ask myself this question: “Am I better at excuses than embracing obstacles?”
Does this post provoke you to ask this difficult question or are you making an excuse right now?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Repost: In Celebration of...

In Celebration of… Posted on November 19, 2011 by Beth Brawley Taylor
How do you account for twenty-three years of life with another human being?  Society suggests celebrating the number of years you have been married and we do so with the giving of cards and gifts, having dinner out somewhere fancy or taking a trip somewhere you have never been together.  All of those things are fine and we have done them all (although I am still holding out for that trip to NYC together) but it would seem that merely counting years together is not near enough…it doesn’t do justice to the life you have lived together. For me, I am celebrating all the triumphs we have lived together, not just the years.  I am celebrating…
…a rock-solid friendship that was formed before romance became reality
…a marriage that was crafted on the firm foundation of promising to following God anywhere, anytime and at any cost
…the creating of three imperfect little boys who have brought us the most perfect of joy
…the beautiful heartache of bringing one of our parents into the warm embrace of our own home for a year only to see them live and breathe their last
… surviving disappointments, failures and starting over again with nothing in our pockets
…moving forward when the fog was so thick we couldn’t see one step in front of us
…the churches God has allowed us to serve together and the immense family that we have been privileged to be part of for ever and always
…the broken parts of ourselves that we have allowed the other to not only see but to touch and to even love, bringing His wholeness where only hollowness once was
…you…this man who is so much more than anything my sixteen-year-old heart could have dreamed up and who has loved me so completely with a passion only rivaled by God himself. I wish for every person the indescribable reality of love and grace we have in our own marriage…not perfection or fairytale days and nights, but a life of  chasing the dreams God has given us and finding that, in running hard after God, we run right into each other. Happy 23rd Anniversary, Eddie. 
I love you completely, and only less than Him.