I attended Baypointe Church

About a year ago I was asked to serve the new Church plant at Panama City Beach as one of five overseers who would assist  in the oversight of the Baypointe Church.

The Baypointe Church, under the direction of Lead Pastor Dr. Ben Liles, was launched about seven months ago. I was privileged to be present for the launch. They meet each week for worship and several times a month with four “Life Groups”. There has been a steady increase in the growth of this church.

This past Sunday I was again privileged to attend the Sunday morning Worship Experience at Baypointe Church. From the moment I drove into the parking lot of the school where the church meets I was addressed by very friendly people. On the sidewalk, at the door, in the cafe and during the social time at the start of the service, I was continually impressed by the friendliness of those who were there.

I was even more impressed when I heard some of the stories of the people and how they came to know the ministry of Baypointe Church……how they have connected to God…….and how gracious the church has been in their acceptance. One of those stories included a person being asked to leave three different churches because of what was considered to be a sordid life style. That person is now connected to God and His Church, regular in attendance and serving the people of the church and community.

The approach to the worship experience was different for me….not wrong….different. The attire of the worshipers was different. The decor was different. The music was different.  None of it was wrong….just different!

And, the church is attracting different people. People who are lost….people who have not  been welcomed in other churches….people who are hurting. I am impressed. I think they are doing exactly what Jesus wants them  to do in this beach community.

It was a great service and I was thoroughly refreshed.

I was privileged to attend a Baypointe Church staff meeting and I must tell you about that……later.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

A Note to Self

This morning, during our time of devotion, I was challenged by the groups facilitator to write a “Note To Self” that would be applicable for today.

I was NOT intending to participate by writing on a 3×5 card until suddenly the Holy Spirit spoke. So….I began to write.

A Note to Self for today:

I need to stay strong in my faith.

I need to assist others, by example,  to be strong in their faith.

I need to stay focused.

I need to remember my calling and His mission for my life.

My personal comfort and my success are NOT the same thing.

Thank You Lord for Your Word.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

“Daily Blessings”

 Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits

Thanksgiving is often a reflection of a man who experienced sorrow, pain and suffering.  He must realize that God has given him daily strength to overcome life’s troubles and trials.

He Must Praise God for Who He Is ……..By Acknowledging His attributes……By  Becoming a faithful worshiper

He Must Reflect on His Blessings…..His Forgiveness …….His Miracles…..  His Redemption…..His   Love ….His Fulfillment ……            

His Watchcare ……..His Compassion

I have Accepted God’s Plan for my Life!

In the Bonds of Calvary,

What if I had One Last Chance………

………..To preach a final sermon?

 What would such an important message contain?

 I think I would say:

 Be prepared

 Be careful

Be resourceful

Be thoughtful

 I would say:

Preach Christ

Preach Spiritual truths

Practice Christianity

Comfort and strengthen others

I would say:

 WATCH

 for the second coming

 for false teachers

for evil

 yourselves

 I would say:

 REMEMBER

Christ’s sacrifice

 Christ’s gift

 Our surrender

Our responsibility

Then I would say: 

Let God bury this deep in your heart.

 In the Bonds of Calvary,

What would happen?

What would happen?

Try to imagine what it must have been like to have been the priests at the front of the group carrying the ark. You are walking towards a river with no bridge, no way across.

According to the Bible, it was not until their feet touched the water’s edge that the Lord stopped the flow!

Ever meet one of those people who are always preparing, but who never ‘pull the trigger?’

There’s the person who is always working on another degree while still working at K-Mart, the guy who proposed to his fiancé 5 years ago, but still won’t set a date to get married, the Christian who talks about doing ministry, but never steps up and actually does it!

Transitions demand a moment of decision when all the preparation leads to putting it on the line and MOVING OUT!

In the Bonds of Calvary,

Change is Inevitable!

If I would realize the Promises of God in my life, the very first thing that  I must be ready to do is to move ahead obediently into transitions - even with all the uncertainty that comes with change.

Transitions are often traumatic and always require great faith in order to realize their full promise!

How well do I do change? It is inevitable that change will come, but how I experience it is my DECISION!

What are some of those transitions?

Childhood to Teen years         

Teen to Career and Marriage

From couple to family, then back 25 years later to couple! — very interesting time, accompanied by all kinds of physical changes, too

Midlife transition from success to significance — midlife crisis is no joke!

Preparing for the end of life, accepting our mortality! ( I will deal with this in a blog later. I think that I have not accepted my mortality)

Some of these transitions are driven by time, others by experience. Our kids grow up, our bodies age – and nothing can stop the transitions that come with the passage of time.

Other transitions present themselves to us through things like: an unexpected job offer, a first heart attack, a divorce, or the death of a parent. The fact is this – change is inevitable, whether it is change we choose or change presented to us.

Just thinking out loud again.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

The Vision Before Me

About 350 years ago a shipload of travelers landed on the northeast coast of America.

The first year they established a town site. The next year they elected a town government. The third year the town government planned to build a road five miles westward into the wilderness.

In the fourth year the people tried to impeach their town government because they thought it was a waste of public funds to build a road five miles westward into a wilderness. Who needed to go there anyway?

Here were people who had the vision to see three thousand miles across an ocean and overcome great hardships to get there. But in just a few years they were not able to see even five miles out of town.

They had lost their pioneering vision.

 With a clear vision of what I can become in Christ, no ocean of difficulty is too great. Without it, I rarely move beyond my current boundaries.

Never let me forget the vision that You have placed before me.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

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