This weekend Amy and I had the opportunity to do some things we have not done in a while. After she finished teaching and getting everything together from School and after I finished up in the study, we left for my parents’ house in Florida. On Saturday we experienced a first for us – a 7 to 9 year old girls soccer game. It was exciting. I do not know the score, I only know that my niece is good at using her body to protect the ball when she takes away on defense. After the game we went to my brother’s place for my niece’s 8th birthday party.
After the party, my brother’s family, my parents, along with Amy and I took a walk along the beach – not a long walk, we had to leave that evening – but a walk none-the-less and an opportunity for a few pictures. After supper we left for Montgomery to spend the night.
Sunday morning was unsusual for me. As a minister it is not often that I get to listen to other preachers on Sunday mornings. This particular Sunday, since we were traveling, we worshipped with Dalraida Church of Christ in Montgomery, Alabama. This is where Andrew (our son) worships while he is a student at Faulkner University. It was good to sit in Dr. Terry Edwards’ class on John 3 and 4. It was good to worship with our extended church family. It was good to see folks we knew from when we were in college and others who live in Montgomery that were part of the congregation where we preached in Florida. Of course it was great to meet some of Andrew’s college and church friends. It was also good to hear a sermon from Doug Smith.
Here are my notes from his lesson (Central folks, you may hear this one . . .). I did not write down Doug’s title, so I came up with my own.
Characteristics of a Can-Do Faith – I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Phil 4:13)
- Be a SERVANT – All of life as a child of God emanates from this relationship. We are here to serve God and we serve God by serving others.
- Know the Great Cause – We are successful and happier when we serve a greater good – a cause greater than ourselves. Our cause is building up the Kingdom of God. We are part of the GREATEST CAUSE on Earth – an eternal cause.
- Forget the Past – Consider Paul’s past. Obviously he did not completely forget his past or he would not bring it up in Phil 3:13 and other places. He is saying that we cannot allow our past to keep us from doing what we can to for Christ today. Be forgiven for the past in Christ.
- Pay the Price – Things that are valuable in culture are not always valuable to us spiritually and are ultimately without value in the kingdom. Ask: What effort do I put into my spiritual growth? Does it compare with the effort I put into worldly efforts?
- Set the Right Example – Ask: What do people see in me? Does my example lead people closer too or further away from God?
- Work for Unity – Look not to your own interest, but the good of others. Have the mind of Christ that humbly gave self to bring others (me and you) into unity with God. Unity does not just happen. Strive for it.
- Be Positive – Paul says, “I CAN Do . . .” The “all things” means all things in God’s will what He expects, what He commands, and is in service to Him. You and I CAN DO what God says to do.