The Power of Commitment

Commit your Plans to Christ (Proverbs 16:3)

Today the world is dominated by information producers and seekers. We live in an information age where data and intellectual content are valued commodities (property). Valuable information consists of organized thoughts and ideas that often express a plan or procedure necessary for producing something.two rugby teams

When Solomon compiled and wrote the book of Proverbs most employment was agriculturally oriented. It was manual labor. Only the wealthiest experienced the luxury of contemplating philosophy and theology. Few books were written compared with today’s publishing endeavors. Speaking your thoughts was not commonly considered work (unless you were a Greek philosopher or a teacher). Actions constituted work. Thoughts expressed in hopeful plans were considered only works yet to be done.

Yet, this verse strikes at the very heart of a man of action in any age.

Discovering How to Revitalize Your Grandparent Ministry 

Ministry for the 40 + Crowd

With the “Age Wave” making its impact on Church ministry, folks over 40 years old are now making up more than half of church attendees, and there is an increasing number of adults who are becoming grandparents. Grandparents hold a special place in the family structure and in church ministry.

Grandparents involved in ministry is returning to its 1950s level of importance. Back in the 1950s, grandparents were still working and were a vital part of the family unit. They were also the backbone of Church ministry. With Baby Boomers now aging into their 60s, the Church is filling up once again with grandparents just as it experienced in the 1950s. The “Age Wave” created by Baby Boomers is producing similar effects in today’s Church as grandparents actively engaged in ministry did in the 1950s.

Racehorses Instead of Cows

A Biblical Priority for the New Year 2018

Excitement and Frustration

The beginning of a new year brings excitement and anxiety. We are excited about new opportunities and adventures but also concerned about the future and safety of our families.

If a survey asked people to list what are the most common sources of concern or frustration, placed on the top of that list would be fatigue. Time and money pressures are genuine concerns. They make it hard to relax and enjoy what God offers us. Trying to make ends meet can be exhausting.

Fatigue can result from being overcommitted. We like what we do so we pour all of our resources into it. This, to some degree, is satisfying but stress and uneasiness about the future can be emotionally exhausting.

Many of us live with too much stuff jammed into our bag. We say yes to too many things, then we pull back, only to jump back into doing too much after a brief resting period. This is a fatigue cycle. Can you imagine Jesus jamming too much into his life?

R. C. Spoul’s Memorial Service

We have lost a great man of Faith

I had the privilege of working with R. C. and his executive team on the radio program “Renewing Your Mind” while planting an ARP church in south Orlando. During my last consulting meeting with the Ligonier staff and R. C., I handed him a stuffed animal to help him visualize what he needed to do to be effective on radio. It was the Disney character Dumbo.

The elephant’s large floppy ears were to remind R. C. that as he taught God’s Word through the medium of radio all he had to work with was sound. The waving of his hands, the writing of Latin Dr. R. C. Sproulphrases on the chalkboard, and his classic passionate leaning into the pulpit toward the audience could not be visually conveyed over the radio. His mannerisms had to be translated into audio only.

R. C. mastered the medium of radio in record time and his program has since reached millions of people all over the world. A few weeks after our sessions, the radio show was in full production. I visited a recording session to see how things were going. And, perched on the podium was Dumbo. R. C. told me that Dumbo was his favorite stuffed animal as a child. Truth be told, the Dumbo belonged to my second daughter and I had to purchase her another one.

As a thank you gift, R. C. asked how he could repay me for helping him and his media team. I asked him to preach the gospel at the opening service of the church I was planting. He arrived with Vesta his wife and a few of the executive staff. It was a wonderful service and a powerful way to begin a new congregation.

The memorial service for R. C. features a number of well known Bible teachers whom he has influenced. R. C. has also been a significant influence on my teaching ministry too. Over the past few years, we have experienced the loss of several great men (including D. James Kennedy and James Boice) and we can expect to lose several more who have laid the foundation for ministries we have grown to depend on.

Who will take up the torch of the gospel in their stead? R. C. is one of a kind. He can’t be replaced. Yet, you and I are called by the same God who called Isaiah to preach to a nation filled with stubborn hearts. We must speak. We must continue to engage our culture with the gospel. We must remain faithful to our calling and ask God for a vision that, if he is not in it, it will be doomed to fail. Dr. Sinclair Ferguson communicates this so well at R. C.’s memorial service.

May we say as Isaiah said, though he was and we are lacking in so many things, “Here I am Lord, send me.”

Dr. R. C. Sproul went to be with the LORD on December 14, 2017. His memorial service was held at the church he planted, St. Andrews Chapel in Stanford, Florida, this past Wednesday. If you would like to view R. C. Sproul’s Memorial Service, you can click on the link here.

We may miss having Dr. R. C. Sproul with us, but none of us would wish him to leave the God he loved as he now stands “Coram Deo” before the face of the One he served and loved. May God bless his family, Ligonier Ministries, and Saint Andrew’s Chapel as they grieve his passing and rejoice in his victory over death.

Jim

 

Free Retreats for Pastors

Two great vacation destinations for pastors and their families

FREE Retreats for Pastoral

 

Are you on a tight vacation budget? Do you enjoy relaxing in a Christian environment either in the woods or at the beach? My family and I have found two great places to vacation that offer to active pastors and their families accommodations that are perfect get-aways. I just spent four days and three nights at a beautiful Christian retreat center in Williamsburg, VA and thought other pastors and their families would like to know about two very kind offers to pastors serving a church.

Williamsburg Christian Retreat Center   

My family and I stayed in a cabin that was one of the most spacious, clean, and enjoyable camping experiences we have had. The location was close to all the attractions in the historic section of Williamsburg, VA (20 minutes away). The grounds are beautiful with lots to do including a pool in season. On the 300 acre property, there were plenty of easy hiking trails through their private woods.

The Williamsburg Christian Retreat Center offers to pastors and their families two free nights in either their 22 site RV campgrounds (they also have a tent village next to the pool), in the cabins we stayed in that sleeps seven (which are very nice and modern), or in the Oakwood Lodge (which includes a room for four or a room with a kitchenette that sleeps two). If you want to stay for more than two days, like we did, they only charge 50% of the regular room rate per night. When meals are served in the beautiful dining room those meals are also discounted 50%.

Retreat OfficeThey also offer pastor’s a personal rest and renewal retreat for up to four nights in the Oakwood Lodge. This is an excellent place to be refreshed, be alone with the Lord, or catch up on some future studies. Linens and towels are provided and some rooms have a kitchenette if you don’t want to enjoy the meals in the dining room.

Give them a call at 1-866-566-WCRC or look them up at www.wcrc.info.  Here are directions to their Retreat Center: Exit Interstate 64 on #227 and go north on Route 30 for just under a mile. Turn left on Route 601 (also called Barnes Road). Travel one mile and you will find the entrance on the right. Drive down a gray gravel driveway for about a half mile and the office/dining room will be on your left. Their address for your GPS is 9275 Barnes Road, Toano, VA 23168. Tell them Jim Klukow recommended their camping ministry to you. ENJOY!

 

Myrtle Beach Christian Retreat

Here’s another great free stay for active pastors. It’s called Myrtle Beach Christian Retreat. This is a year-round Retreat Center. The Retreat Center is located about two blocks from the beach and is a wonderful place to take your family. The food is good, the location is excellent and the accommodations are relaxing. This Retreat Center has been serving churches for over 65 years and with reasonable prices.Court Yard

Rev Henry and his wife Lynn Brock are Executive Directors who have hearts for encouraging pastors, so they offer pastors and their families a once a year get away. From August to around the end of May a pastor and his immediate family can reserve a room for up to five days and four nights (Monday through Friday) for free. The one exception is during spring break when the Center is booked solid with youth groups.

The rooms are basic (bring all your own linens) and the four-acre campus is tightly packed with buildings (after all it is beach property). They have a great 250 seat main conference center and an Olympic sized pool. The walk to the beach is wonderful. They even allowed us to use one of their golf carts to drive to the beach access. My kids thought that was pretty cool that I drove them to the beach in a golf cart. This Retreat Center is only minutes away from lots of fun things to do and places to eat in Myrtle Beach, SC.

If you want a simple and relaxing time at the beach this is the place to be. There was a youth group at the Center while we stayed there, but we didn’t notice any additional noise or congestion in the dining hall. The staff was very accommodating and it’s always nice to vacation with others Christians.

You can reach Rev. or Mrs. Brock or one of their staff at 843-272-6649 or find them on the web at www.mrcr.org. For your GPS here is the address: 4105 Poinsett St. North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582. Hope you enjoy this great spot as much as my family did. Again, let them know that Jim Klukow recommended their ministry to you.

And, if you are planning a retreat for youth or adults these two locations are perfect!

If you have found a great place for ministers to stay for free please send me that contact and I will visit and write a review.  For ministers on a tight vacation budget, kind people like the Williamsburg Christian Retreat Center and the Myrtle Beach Christian Retreat staff can’t be beaten. They were truly a blessing to me and my faour families.

Euangelophobia

The Fear of God in Believers (Yiraw Jehovah) (nine of nine)

A Healthy Fear of God

Believers have fears related to their surroundings, future, or relationships, just as unbelievers do. But, there is a difference in the way a believer fears God from that of someone who doesn’t know God personally.

God's finger upon a person

To know God is to trust him in a personal way. A healthy fear of God is to fear him as your loving father. It might be better to use the word “respect.” One way to distinguish a dreadful fear of God from a worshipful fear of God is to call it the fear of the Lord. In Hebrew, the phrase is “Yerah Jehovah.” Yerah means to fear and Jehovah is the personal or covenantal name of God reflecting his imminence or closeness through tender mercies and love for his people. Faith in God’s goodness is part of what it means to trust him as your Lord.

Euangelophobia

The Fear of God in Unbelievers (Yerah Elohim) (eight of nine)

 The Fear Unlike Any Other

Although unbelievers and believers suffer from similar fears, there is one fear that is dealt with differently between Christians and non-Christians. Let’s consider the unbeliever’s and believer’s perspectives on fearing God.

God's finger upon a person

Most of our fears relate to our surrounding, future, or relationships. But there is a fear, unlike any other fear. It’s a fear of God. The unbeliever has an impersonal fear of God. In Hebrew, it is identified using the phrase “Yerah Elohim” translated “the fear of God.” Yerah is the word for “fear” and Elohim is God’s name referring to his transcendence, great power, and authority to judge. Fearing God more resembles a panic-stricken fear in that it includes the sense of condemnation (Jn 3:18-20). Adam and Eve first felt this fear shortly after they sinned against God. Sin broke their relationship with God and out of fear they hid from God. They were fearful of his judgment, which overtook their confidence in his forgiveness (Gen 3:8, Rev 6:15-17).

Eunagelophobia

The Fear of Being Afraid (phobophobia) (seven of nine)

The Fear of Being Afraid

I know this sounds strange, but can you be afraid of being afraid? Our culture is chock full of fears. Fears enslave. People, religious and non-religious, have sought solutions to overcoming fear. Yet, our fears continue to grow. We are even afraid of being afraid!

God's finger upon a person

Using others to satisfy ourselves is a mask hiding our deepest fears. Some seek to overcome fears by seeing others as their private gas pump. The strategy is to feel happy and fulfilled you must use other people to fill up your emotional gas tank. Once full, you can drive away into the sunset doing your own thing again until the tank runs dry. When on empty you return to others for a fill-up. Fear, in this case, develops a people user mentality and makes mayhem of relationships.