Broken Hearted

cross_flag-732069I am sitting on my couch next to my wife, watching the Charlotte police department endure the irrational and illogical protests from the people they have sworn to protect. As I watch this unfold, my heart breaks for my country. I am the son of a police officer, and my dad is the kind of man who would just as soon die before letting a bad guy harm anyone. I do not share that for any other reason than to say, the thin blue line runs deep! But I am more than just a cop’s kid, I am also a pastor, and I am really struggling with how to respond to this growing tension in America.

On the one hand, my heart hurts for the families who have lost loved ones. Whether guilty or not, the death of a loved one should never be celebrated or shrugged off as if deserved. If you believe in the sanctity of life, you believe in the sanctity of all life. On the other hand, I struggle watching the media rake a police officer over the coals for discharging his/her firearm while protecting the peace. Is every cop justified? Certainly not, but there is no doubt that police officers have one of the most difficult jobs possible, and mistakes will happen. That said, the vast majority of police involved shootings are justified (click here), and in recent years many Grand Juries have dismissed charges on officers for fatal shootings (Ferguson and Baltimore). What is left is a growing tear in the fabric of America.
Then there is the Black Lives Matter movement (BLM). I can honestly say, outside the Nation of Islam and New Black Panthers, the BLM movement is the most despicable organization being given relevance in the country right now. “What do we want?” “Dead cops!” “When do we want them?” “Now!” To any reasonable way of thinking, this certainly cannot sound like a productive way of handling problems… and the tear grows larger!

So what are we to do? Do we point out the glaring fact that individuals stuck in the inner city have, in a form of self-fulfilling prophecy, sealed their fate by “settling”? Do we cast blame on the lack of dads in the home (click here)? Do we continue to address the symptoms being manifested… and the tear grows larger.

What is the role of the church in these troubling days? Certainly the desire should be to see justice for all involved (including wrongly accused officers!!!). Perhaps even a desire for peace between all people, since we are all created in the image of God? Maybe the church can even hold a prayer vigil supporting #p4p (pray for police) and the community at the same time; that would be nice. However, change will not happen until the church begins to look beyond the symptomatic problems being manifested through growing racial tensions in our great country and begin addressing the root of the issue – sin!

Growing up I remember singing the song, The Lord’s Army, and I remember thinking how exciting it was to be a soldier for Jesus. Then we would read Paul’s words to the church at Ephesus, “Put on the full armor of God!” In my innocent 3-year-old way of thinking, I was prepared for war! Have I lost that zeal? Have I become complacent in waging war on sin? As a leader in the church, have I done my job to combat the heinous effects of sin on the world? Church, the issues our country is facing is not racial, it’s not about the good guys and the bad guys – it’s about sin! Until the church comes to this complete reality, our country will continue to see devastating riots couched in 1st amendment language; we will continue to see blood spilled on the streets; we will continue to see jails and prisons at capacity; and we will continue to see anger… the tear will not heal.

The only remedy for this growing tear in the fabric of our great country is the shed blood of Jesus and the hope of His glorious return. Jesus came to seek and save the lost and commissioned His church to do the same. The saving blood of Jesus and the life change that happens through the power of the Holy Spirit are what can mend this tear in the fabric of society. Church, regardless of what friends and family will say, will you stand with me to combat the effects of sin on our country? Will you serve your country by obeying THE King?

Posted in America, Bible, Church, Country, culture, evangelism, Government, Great Commission, Houston, Leadership, Liberty, Logic, Pastors, Patriotism, politics, Polotics, Pro-life, religion, SBC, SBTC, SCOTUS, Southern Baptist, Southern Baptist Convention, Texas, Theology, Thinking, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Worldviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On Marriage

I cannot believe it has been nearly five months since I have published a blog! Recently the Lord has really been working on me, convicting me to spend more time writing. Today I am beginning a journey into the world of marriage. Writing from my personal marriage, study, and observations. I pray you will be edified, encouraged, and challenged by reading this new endeavor:

Over the last several months I have been overwhelmed with the pace of life.  The Lord has thrown me into the pool of pastoral ministry and said, “Swim!”  The last 14 months could best be described as “drinking from a fire hose.”  As a result, my ability to sit down and flesh out my thoughts in writing has taken a back seat.  However, recently I have been burdened to write.  I’ve even been convicted of poor time management; that conviction has resulted in a concerted effort to ensure that time is “made” available to write.  As this burden has increased, one particular area has pricked my spirit more than any other—MARRIAGE.

Currently, I am providing marriage counseling for a number of couples and pre-marital counseling for another.  It is an interesting place to be…looking at a potentially sinking marriage and then looking at one that is about to embark on a joyfully anticipated life-long voyage…both in the same day!  Walking through difficult times with some couples I am privileged to pastor, my heart is broken over the state of marriage in American culture, particularly in the church!  Marriages end every day, many of which are Christian marriages.  Why is this so? Why is marriage coming under attack?  Why?

The answer to this question, “Why?” is more complex than I am prepared to address in depth.  Yet, it must be addressed.  The underlying reason for failed marriages rests in the fact that people have no understanding of what marriage actually is.  Marriage is not intended to be a trial-run at a life partnership (many folks today are actually “playing house” to see if they will work together in a marriage), neither is marriage simply something you do when you grow up.

Marriage is a covenantal agreement between one man and one woman for life.  When you stand in front of the preacher in your suspenders and bow tie (as the trend seems to be amongst millennials), you share vows that sound something like this, “I take you to be my spouse, to have and to hold, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”  Pay close attention to the last clause, “…until death do us part.”  That last clause is an indicator of the intent of the covenantal agreement of marriage—LIFE.  In this regard, the callous joke, “I got a life sentence,” rings true.  When you say the familiar and famous words, “I do,” you have just committed, before God and each other, to uphold the covenant of marriage until one of you dies.

In today’s world, the importance of this covenantal relationship is lost.  While it is true the divorce rate is on the decline, so is the marriage rate (decline in marriage rate per 1000 population). The reason for this is that more and more millenials are cohabitating (The Rise of Cohabitation).  They are “playing house” to see if it will work.  If things fall apart, there is nothing lost because there was never a formal commitment.  There is a glaring reality here, if you do not have “skin in the game,” you are not inclined to make it work.  Those who say, “I do,” and take their vows before God and each other seriously are more likely to work through the difficult times.

Perhaps as you are reading this, your marriage is in trouble.  Know this, no one ever said it would be easy.  The reason the institution of marriage is becoming endangered is because the foundation of marriage is lacking.  God ordained marriage, He designed it perfectly, and He has expectations of how it is to work.  In fact, when God created Eve for Adam, He had exhausted all other options for a helper.  That is to say, God specifically designed the wife to compliment the husband.  This relationship is not ever going to be perfect because sin has distorted God’s intended reality; but, the relationship is still good.  It is good because God intended it to be good; when he looked at the things he had made, he said they were good.  Certainly, the marriage covenant was created by God and necessarily, therefore, intended to be very good.  Aren’t things that are good worth fighting for?

What does this require?  Quite honestly, it requires a lot more than what can be said here, but let’s start with this:  Marriage requires a godly man to lead.  I believe the reason marriages are floundering today is because there is a misunderstanding of biblical masculinity.  This misunderstanding results in an absence of biblical/godly man-hood.  First, a godly man is one who does not hesitate, even through all his imperfections, to let his wife know she is loved.  Second, marriage requires a godly wife, i.e., a wife who respects and honors her husband even when he does not deserve it, and who knows how to let her husband know he is respected and valued as a man.

Understanding that simple paragraph or two cannot completely or effectively address the implications of what I just wrote, I am going to spend the next several weeks working on more clearly articulating these thoughts.  The first point to consider will be covenant, followed by biblical manhood, followed by biblical womanhood, and closing with what a God-centered marriage looks like.  I am aware that in doing this, I will be ripping scabs off my own marriage and exposing weaknesses on my part as a husband.  During this journey, I hope we might learn together from my weaknesses and failures and perhaps help to address some of yours along the way.

My desire is to produce something the Lord can use to save, strengthen, and preserve struggling marriages.  For HIS glory!

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Tis the Season


“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” If you are anything like me, this very line triggers warm memories of the holiday season, a time of the year for family to get together over elegant meals, games, laughing, presents, and of course pumpkin pie and black coffee! Sadly, as Perry Como sings in this holiday classic, the emphasis during this season has taken a strong turn away from focusing on the advent of Christ to materialism. A 2014 article reports, “The United States’ retail industry generated over three trillion U.S. dollars during the holidays in 2013 (”

Certainly, I am not saying the consuming of retail products to be delivered as gifts to friends and loved ones is a bad idea, or even inherently sinful. In fact I would argue, in light of Matthew 2:11, it is a biblical practice to give gifts to the ones you love. Even Jesus says in Matthew 7:11, you and I, who are sinful (evil), know how to give good gifts to our loved ones. Yet, He continues, if we know how to give good gifts, how much more will our Heavenly Father give to us? That being said, let’s examine the Matthew 2 passage.

We must understand first, the Magi were men of nobility and influence coming from the east. As they traveled they brought with them their cultural norms; particularly, in the context of the passage, this is shown in the giving of gifts to an individual of higher nobility. Additionally, the noblemen from the east prostrated themselves before one of higher rank. That is, the Wise Men fell to the ground in worship of the toddling King of the Jews, Jesus. This illustrates an Old Testament concept of worship for us to consider.

Consider briefly the idea of sacrifice. The first six chapters of Leviticus address various sacrifices that are to be presented before the LORD; these culminate in the Day of Atonement found in Leviticus 16. We see throughout Leviticus, God calls for specifics in sacrifice, and not just in the sacrifice, also in the Law. The obligatory keeping of the Law became such a problem, Jesus himself addressed it in the Sermon on the Mount, but that was not the first instance of a tension between the letter of the law and spirit of the law. For example, the book of Isaiah says in the eyes of God, the empty act of sacrifice as worship is worthless to God. Even more, He hates them; they are a burden to Him (Is. 1:10-17). Amos chapter five echoes what the prophet Isaiah is saying. This is because His chosen people had regularly played the harlot and sacrificed to other Gods. Yet, we see in Deuteronomy 10:12-13 exactly what the LORD requires… the heart. If the heart is not changed, neither will the soul be changed, and if neither the heart nor the soul are changed then the life will not be changed.

Yes, you can have perfect church attendance. You can sing the latest contemporary worship song or the oldest hymn in the hymnal. You can even sacrifice your weekends to help the needy, but if you are only doing these things out of obligation in keeping some expectation, you are going to fall woefully short according to the standards of Christ. Those things do not matter to God. God does not care if you sing Amazing Grace the way John Newton wrote it in 1779, or the way Chris Tomlin did it in 2007; God wants your heart! God does not care if you can write a check to pay off the church debt or barely have enough to pay rent; God wants your heart!

How does this pertain to the Magi? Here is how. The men of nobility, who had traveled a great distance, brought the best physical gift they had to offer (gold, frankincense, and myrrh), but it was the emotional gift that was most important that day… their hearts! “And they fell to the ground and worshiped him (Matthew 2:11b).” The wise men demonstrated more than compulsory actions, they demonstrated true heart-felt worship to the Savior.

This Advent Season, enjoy giving gifts to your loved ones, enjoy receiving gifts from those who love you, but remember the reason for the season truly is the infant King of Glory, Jesus Christ. Have you given Him the greatest gift… your heart? After all, He gave His life for you. Merry CHRISTmas beloved.

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Global Missions in Action

Recently one of our college students traveled abroad with the IMB. After raising support, he spent the summer months in South Asia. When he returned I asked him to share with our church family (who faithfully prayed for him) some of his experience as he lived out the Great Commission. Sadly, due to inclement weather the day of his presentation, we had to cancel the service in which he was going to speak. Because of this I have asked him to share the highlights of his summer via writing. The following piece is written by that student, Kris Holder. I trust you will enjoy reading what God is doing around the world:

The Lord paved many paths for my teammate and me this summer in South Asia. Our time spent there was full of opportunities to share with others the love of God. During the weekday mornings, we would head out to a recreation center in one of the slums in the city. There we would teach English. My teammate taught the younger children while I taught the older ones. English tutoring gave us the opportunity to visit the recreation center Tuesday nights. Every Tuesday night my teammate and I would teach the community from the book of 1st Samuel. The second ministry was at a refuge home for children. These children’s mothers work in brothels and are unable to provide a healthy living environment. In the evenings after school, my teammate and I would spend hours with the children. We helped with homework, chores, played during recreation time, and provided devotionals just before dinner. Our weekdays were packed with specific duties to fulfill while trying to share with everyone who God is. Not only did we become part of these individuals’ lives and have daily opportunities to share the gospel, but also during our free time on weekends, we would venture out into the city and meet others.

On one occasion while we were venturing out to the public, a few others and I who were assigned to the area made our way to a place of worship for the locals. While three of us were standing outside the building, we began to talk to some of the people. One of us spoke the native tongue and because not all the locals spoke English, he was translating for us. During this conversation, a brother began telling the story of Jesus calming the storm and the story of Jesus healing the demon-possessed man. As he was translating, more and more people began to gather around. Soon we had a crowd of people gathered around us, somewhere between 25-35 people. They became more and more curious about this Jesus that most had never heard of before. While these two brothers were sharing with the crowd, I ventured outside of the crowd that had circled around us. As I did this, more people started to gather around me. They had heard a little from the other two but were still confused. They asked me, “Who is Jesus?” “Why do Christians have the cross;” “What’s the meaning of that?” I couldn’t believe the genuine interest in learning about Jesus and His story. So I began to share with them the separation between man and God, and how there is no way we can, by our own merit, make it into the kingdom. I told them that God sent Jesus to live a perfect, blameless, and sacrificial life. He came to Earth to save the people and to die on the cross for our sins/separation. Because he lived a perfect life, his atonement was made acceptable before God, and in the Bible we are told if we believe in our heart what Jesus has done for us, then we can be together with God once again.

These people had no idea about Jesus. It’s not that these nations are choosing not to follow Him. They have no one to share with them who He is. We are blessed to have access to Scripture, buildings for fellowship, and the freedom to speak freely of our Lord. These individuals need the Word. They are hungry for truth, and there is a need for discipling on this side of the world. The hunger for God’s word is throughout the world. Just by speaking these stories, sharing scripture, and taking the initiative to talk to a stranger, we have been able to see God change hearts and lives.

In the refugee ministry my teammate and I were part of, we had the opportunity to mentor/disciple some young believers for a short time. We served in a refuge home with 20+ children whose mothers worked in a brothel. They’ve been brought to this home for a chance at a better life. The ministry is run by a man with a similar testimony who spends his time loving these kids by providing a gospel-filled home. He spent the summer in America while we were serving and we only met him briefly. We found ourselves covering a good portion of the daily responsibilities around the house. During all the chaos of a household of 20+ kids ranging from 4years to 18, we tried to be good role models. We helped the children with their homework, played with them, helped with chores, and provided devotionals. The devotionals constituted loud, joyful worship music in a multitude of languages. We had scripture readings of different stories of Jesus’ power, such as Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Then we followed the reading with assigning roles and acting out the story. Afterwards, we would discuss what we learned from the stories. We asked the kids what they learned about man, what they learned about God, what sin there was to avoid, and what commandment is there to obey and apply to our lives. Every devotion was joyful, but we worried for the older kids. They were smart young adults, and at any moment could choose, if they wanted, to partake in the work that their mother’s were a part of. So we really wanted to make sure their lives were grounded in His word because we knew it wasn’t us but God that changes hearts/lives. To do this, we challenged them to memorize scripture. At first it was just three of the older boys memorizing a couple of verses. But as the weeks went by, they were soon wanting to memorize the “Romans Road” to salvation. These boys took the challenge full speed and because of their example, by the end of the summer, their sisters partook in the challenge. This multiplication of God’s word in their lives started with my teammate and me sharing what we’ve learned, continued with the older boys memorizing a couple verses, then their sisters joined in, and finally some of the younger ones showed interest in the Bible and also memorizing scripture. We encouraged the children to not stop the memorizing, but to take these stories we learned, acted, and discussed to class and share with their classmates. These kids are the future of God’s army in South Asia. God equipped them and I was able to witness the growth of the kingdom half-way around the world. The Word is our best defense against this world, no matter where you are. These small kids are HUGE TESTIMONIES for God’s life changing Word!

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What I have Learned in my First Six Months


Nearly six months ago now, the Lord called me to my first Senior Pastorate. At 29 years of age I already had some experience preaching, but certainly not on a weekly basis, let alone multiple times a week. This has proven to be one of the most challenging, yet rewarding aspects of this new season in ministry. Through trial and error I have landed on a system of preparation and delivery that I believe suits me best. Even still, the most important lesson I have learned in this transition is, sermon prep and delivery are not items to be checked off the task list of weekly duties.

This concept has been one I have dwelt on for some time now, but just last week it was confirmed when the pastor of our church’s Hispanic ministry shared the same thought. He said, “Pastor, preaching is risky business. You are dealing with eternity.” What a perspective to have, and what wisdom from a man who has been in ministry for over 50 years! As I have considered the incredible importance of preaching, I did a little research on the matter, and I have been enthralled with what I have been reading. In a July 9, 2015 article written by Dr. Nathan Busenitz (Professor of Historical Theology at The Masters Seminary), Dr. Busenitz gives 10 reminders to those who preach the Gospel of Jesus. I do not wish to repeat everything Busenitz says, but I do want to extrapolate briefly on a few of the points he makes and why I believe they are so important, particularly to young preachers such as me (click here for Busenitz’s full article).

First, quoting the Prince of Preachers, Charles Spurgeon, Busenitz explains that effective ministry is centered on the powerful preaching of the Word of God, not gimmicks and fads. “This [the preaching of the gospel] is the great battering ram that shall dash down the bulwarks of iniquity.” Something that can be attractive to young preachers (including me) is the latest “Church Growth Model.” Fads come and go, but what stays true is the message of hope and redemption that is the Gospel. Certainly, as culture changes, there are other approaches that can be used by preachers to effect great success for the Kingdom, so long as these methods are Christo-centric and Gospel focused. However, I believe when the Lord speaks through the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 55:11 saying, “My word shall not return void…” He means strong Biblical preaching will not return void and should be the “go to” method of every preacher who is blessed to fill a pulpit.

Next, Busenitz addresses the severity of preaching saying, “It [preaching] is a far more serious task than preachers realize.” Quoting the 17th-century Puritan preacher Richard Baxter, he goes on to say what I have already inadequately attempted, “…I am ashamed of every sermon I preach; when I think what I have been speaking of, and who sent me, and that men’s salvation or damnation is so much concerned in it, I am ready to tremble lest God should judge me as a slighter of His truths and the souls of men, and lest in the best sermon I should be guilty of their blood.” Preaching is not an opportunity to entertain (click here for a good article concerning this discussion) the masses. Rather, it is a time to hear from God and be challenged in your Christian walk.

E.M. Bounds continues this thought, “Every preacher who does not make prayer a mighty factor in his own life and ministry is weak as a factor in God’s work and is powerless to project God’s cause in this world.” The point being made is that powerful preaching is the result of powerful prayer. I once heard a pastor of a large church say he spends 20 hours in prayer over every sermon he preaches. This dovetails seamlessly into what Busenitz says regarding a preacher’s personal discipline. Quoting A.W. Pink he says, “The great work of the pulpit is to press the authoritative claims of the Creator and Judge of all the earth—to show how short we have come of meeting God’s just requirements, to announce His imperative demand of repentance. . . It requires a “workman” and not a lazy man—a student and not a slothful one—who studies to “show himself approved unto God…” Prayer and discipline are vital to studying God’s word, as the preacher earnestly prays for the Holy Spirit to illuminate the Scripture in accordance with John 14:26. Not only in study, but prayer and discipline are also vital in delivery. It can be very tempting, as the preacher begins to understand the people in his church, to guide his sermon into the direction that will get the most “amens” from the crowd; in this case prayer and discipline are important for humility. People should not be coming to hear from a man; rather they should be coming to hear from God through His mouth-piece. This brings me to my last point…

Dutch Reformed pastor R.B. Kuiper, says, “He [the preacher] is not at all important, but his office is extremely important. Therefore he should take his work most seriously without taking himself seriously. He should preach the Word in season and out of season in forgetfulness of self. He should ever have an eye single to the glory of Christ, whom he preaches, and count himself out.” What a reality check! As a man I am nothing special, but as God’s man I am vitally important. Not because of who I am, but because of Who has called me into service. Every time I open the Holy writ, it is not about my ability to entertain, it is not about my grasp of the English language, it is not even about my presence in the pulpit. No, it is all about leading my congregation in worship through the preaching of the Word of God. In short, it is all about Him.

I hope that in sharing these thoughts, perhaps another young preacher such as I, might also be challenged in the same way I have been. Perhaps even a seasoned preacher who needs a shot in the arm might benefit from this. I do not know much, but I do know this: God has called certain men to powerfully preach the Good News of salvation through grace alone, by faith alone, in Christ alone. That being said, I leave you with this, “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10:14.

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O Give Thanks to the Lord!!!


Where has the summer gone? My goodness, it has been an eventful season! I want to take a few seconds and offer some encouragement today: Last night, after our mid-week service, I got home in time to put my oldest to bed. He asked me to lie next to him until he fell asleep, to which I obliged (twisted my arm is what he did). As I lie on the floor propped up by a 5ft. giant teddy bear next to his toddler bed, I began to think. My youngest was stirring in his crib just at my feet (they share a room), and my oldest was wanting me to tell him a story. I told him I did not want to wake his brother, and to just hold my hand until he fell asleep. He laid back, grasped my index finger, and snuggled his blanket. Soon after he quietly whispered, “I love you daddy.” As you can only imagine, his words caused my 6’3” 275lb frame to tears. I stayed until both he and his brother were breathing heavy with sleep, all the while thanking the Lord that I was allowed to be there daddy.

I share this sentimental and personal story for this reason, only hours before I was going over things for our Sunday morning worship service, in which we will read Psalm 107:1-9. Here the Psalmist begins by saying “O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.” As C.H. Spurgeon says in his commentary on this passage, “[thanks] is all we can give him, and the least we can give him…” It seems to me, in conservative evangelical America, lately there is less of a focus on thanksgiving to God, and more a declaration of his judgment; a call to arms. I even read a post by a pastor who used a passage out of context, to call his congregation to war.

Hear what I am saying friend, it is too easy to become a jaded and embittered Christian in America today. When we look at the lack or ethical or moral integrity within our country (planned parenthood harvesting intact fetal specimens, same sex marriages, giving of 150 Billion dollars to Iran when America is well over 18 Trillion dollars, and the list goes on), it is easy to forget the blessings the Lord has given us as His children. Understand this; America is not His chosen people. Let me say that again, America is not His chosen people. This does not mean that America will not answer to God according to Psalm 22:27-28. I believe America will be judged for not being humble before the Lord, but I also believe the church in America has much to be thankful for. Instead of constantly being so surprised by the sin of our country, the church needs to remember all that we have to be thankful for.

I say these things not as a chastisement, but as an encouragement. As an individual who has been fascinated with politics for some time, I have found myself being this jaded and embittered Christian. Where is God glorified in that? How can thanksgiving be given to Him when we are not demonstrating a thankful sprit. The intensity of Psalm 107:1 is indicated by the use of the expression, “O.” The Psalmist is making an emphatic statement of God’s goodness, and His worthiness of thanksgiving. Allow me to encourage you to be thankful today. Sin is sin; it always has been and always will be. Do not be surprised when you see it, and do not let it steal your joy. I believe when Christians become jaded and embittered the enemy has succeeded in causing a diversion. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Beloved, do not let yourself fall prey to this attack.

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A Holy Reminder


Amid the craziness of last week’s SCOTUS decision and the heart break that accompanied it, conservative evangelicals reacted strongly. Dare I say, even panicked? This is not to say this panic is miss placed, but what ensued was a firestorm of righteous concern, and in some cases dogmatic judgment. As much as I love my country, there is no doubt I myself am greatly concerned with what this decision means for the future of conservatives like me.

After hearing the ruling on Friday the leadership of the church I have the honor of pastoring, jumped into high gear as we prepared for Sunday’s service. At one point over the weekend I received 34 emails in a 20 minute period!!! Then Sunday morning came around, all my study and prep was done, I had prayed God’s blessing over the service, and then I get word a critical part of the service was forgotten. We were supposed to partake of the Lord’s Supper Sunday, and somehow communication broke down. I realized this could easily be a distraction from what the Lord wanted to do so I gave it to the Lord, and continued getting ready for the service. As I walked into the foyer before service, I was greeted by one of my members weeping. Her 11 year old granddaughter had just been hit by a truck while leaving a swim meet. I hugged this sweet lady and prayed with her right there in the foyer. My Associate Pastor (who is a God send!) went with her to meet her family at the hospital.

At this point I am beginning to understand there is an attack under way. As a result of the SCOTUS decision, my leadership team (elders) agreed on an amendment to our by-laws. This was done to establish our beliefs in the Biblical definition of marriage as one man and one woman, and will serve as notice that we will not waiver from this truth. It became clear to me, the enemy was going to try and do what he could to stop this, or distract us from our purpose. During our time of prayer I shared my warning to the church of the impending attack; then we prayed diligently for our country and our church. The service proceeded smoothly and the Gospel of Jesus was proclaimed unashamedly.

Monday rolls around, and I am looking at my weekly calendar. I was scheduled for a lunch with a good friend, and then was planning on heading down to the medical center in Houston to visit the young girl who had been hit the day before (her whole family are members of our church). My lunch served as a great encouragement as I listened to my dear friend talk about what the Lord was doing through him, and how he was being used to further the Gospel. We even had the chance to pray for our server, Tristan.

Leaving lunch I checked emails, and noticed an urgent message. A gentleman whom I have never met, and has never visited our church had called and left a message for the pastor to call him back. I returned the call while I was driving south on I-45 into the heart of Houston. I listened to this man sob as he told me he had betrayed the trust of his wife, and his life was in shambles. I asked him point blank, if he know where he would go today if he died. His response was, “I think Heaven.” I asked him if he wanted to make sure of it, and he responded yes. I asked him a few questions and explained the truths of the Gospel, then led him in a prayer where he professed Christ as Lord, and confessed his sins.

I set up a meeting with this man, whom I have yet to meet, for this week, and hung up the phone. As I did, I was overwhelmed with emotion. I was reminded, what we see around us is par for the course. We know Jesus said the day will come… It has started. Who knows how long before Christ will return for His Bride, but what I do know is this; King Jesus is still reining on His heavenly throne, He still saves the lost, and He still wins in the end. This served as a great reminder on two fronts: He is sovereign and in control, none of this comes as a surprise to him, and my job is to lead others to him. I am saddened, heartbroken, and disgusted by my countries decision, but ultimately it is not my job to play judge and jury. Christ will do that perfectly! It is my job to be usable, and ensure as many people know about King Jesus as I can possibly tell. What a holy reminder. Father, use me!

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