Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Valley View Church is Changing!

Change is a good thing.
It allows us to evaluate ouselves and our effectiveness in serving God within our community. It gives us an opportunity re-think ways that we have been doing things and how we can do better.
Valley View is currently searching for a new pastor. We hope that God will reveal who that person is soon, but until that time we do not want that to stop us from seeking God, and reaching out to our community... you!
During this transition we are pleased to welcome guest preachers from the Dallas area to bring God's word as we continue to provide Sunday school classes, Sunday night worship, as well as Wednesday night bible study. Right now we are doing a lot of praying and thinking, and seeking God for future direction, and a new Pastor will be key in that plan.

We would love to have you visit and allow us to introduce ouselves to you with a handshake and a smile. We are a congregation that has a lot of love, and are looking to grow and become a reflection of God to our community, and a reflection of our community for God.

Valley View Baptist Church
3108 Valley View Ln
Farmers Branch, TX
Service Times are:Sunday School: 9:30AM
Sunday Morning Worship: 10:50AM
Sunday Night: 6:00PM
Wednesday Night: 7:00PM


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Three More Wishes

If a genie poofed up from a lamp and offered you 3 wishes, what would you wish for? Well ever since the 3rd grade we all know that no matter what you use the first two wishes for, you have to use the third wish to wish for three more wishes. 
As I seek to find the path to fullfill my calling, I keep looking for "road signs" to tell me what is coming up ahead. But the path keeps leading me to get on my knees and immerse myself in His presence. 
So I came to the conclusion that I am not getting the answers I want, because I am not asking the right questions.

God is not a genie, and prayin' ain't wishin', but this is what I find myself praying for lately. "God help me to be a man of prayer. Help me not to do anything out of my own volition and desire, but only what you want done for Your Kingdom and Your glory."
Let me testify for a minute here.... God does answer heartfelt prayers that admit that we can't change, and then ask Him to change us. Those are powerful prayers, with powerful answers.
Are you having a hard time sustaining an effective prayer life? 
Prayer #1: God help me to pray.
Do you find that you really just aren't concerned about lost people?
Prayer #2: God help me to see lost people the way that you do, and to have your heart for them.

I find in my life, that God is most responsive when I pray to be changed, made hungry, to feel His compassion. As He starts to bring these things about in me, I care much less for knowing what is up ahead, and find myself walking around with a smile on my face because I have encountered my creator, my redeemer, my deep companion, and my Lord.

If you feel like you are on your last wish... wish for three more wishes... it works every time.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Was Peter Just "Up Denial Without a Paddle"?

I think it would be well worth looking closer at Peter's denial of Christ. I think it is possible that even at the point of denial, Peter would have gladly taken up arms to free his master, indeed he had done just that a few hours earlier...

But Jesus forbade him to reach for violence. 

I am not trying to rewrite the Biblical account, and excuse Peter here. Even though, without a doubt, Peter failed Jesus at those three moments, but the question is "Why?". I mean Peter denied knowing Jesus. I just don't think he was giving up on Jesus, I think that he might have failed because he did not know what to do? Without his sword, and without his Lord, Peter was utterly lost and alone. 
Of course I do not pretend to know Peter's motives here, but Isn't that what we have done when we just assume that Peter was ashamed, or scared of the crowd? Who doubts that if given the choice, Peter would have traded places with Jesus in order to win Jesus' freedom.

That is why I want to look at it closer than the way I have played it like a movie in my mind all of these years: "Peter freaked out and denied Christ because he was afraid of what the crowd would do to him" , that just does not cut it. Peter trusted Jesus with his life. If Jesus had told his disciples to throw themselves on their swords, Peter would be the one to lead the way.  So what could be going on in his head at this time? What spiritual turmoil was battling inside of him?

I think the implications could provide a powerful application for us as Christ-Followers. We trust God but sometimes, like Peter, we do not know why God does things that don't make sense to us. Why did God let this or that happen? Why did Jesus let Himself be arrested, mocked, lied about? He does not have to take that. We, like Peter, would gladly lay waste to people that mock him, and lie about Him... but that is not what God wants us to do. Sometimes we are in a situation and we know we need to do something, but we do not know what to do, or ignore what the Holy Spirit is leading us to do. When the situation passes, we know we have failed. 

Peter was in a situation like that, Peter wanted guidance, but Jesus could not tell him what to do, so he showed Peter what to do. He then proceeds to submit to the Father's will, even unto the giving of His own life, all the while forgiving those that hate Him without cause.

Jesus predicted that Peter would deny Him and Peter did not believe Him. He did not believe it was possible that he would ever do such a thing... When Jesus predicted that one of His disciples would betray Him, He was talking about Judas, not Peter. Judas' sin was betrayal, because he refused to walk the path that Jesus was leading them down. Peter would have followed Jesus to the gates of hell, but at this point, he did not know how to follow Him. Peter failed out of weakness and confusion... two things that he was unfamiliar with.

After three years of being with, and relying on, Jesus 24/7, Peter was brought down to the very foundation of his helplessness and utter need for Christ. Upon His resurrection Jesus began the work of rebuilding Peter from ground up. Now Peter had humility to go with his courage and zeal. Then Jesus used Peter to change the world.

What do you think?

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Word of Prayer: Romans 1


When you are expressing your anger on my actions and behaviors, help me to know that it is you. I want your correction and your discipline when I am wrong. Help me to see your fingerprints not only in your wrath but in your creation as well. I want to know you more, so that in knowing you more deeply, I can more accurately interpret what goes on around me.

Mostly I just want to know you for the sake of knowing you. I desire to be closer to you in every way no matter what that means I need to distance my self from.

Weaken my desire for the world as you strengthen my desire for you. Why do I want the trash, when the treasure of you is given to me in abundance?

I am a stupid sheep.... be my shepherd. You are the only thing that matters in this life and eternity. I want to obey from a heart of worship, not a sense of obligation.

Lord let me shine your light to my neighbor. I love you, and need you more that food and air.

The Best Laid Plans of Fruits and Vegetables

Let us please observe a moment of silence...(      )
I have been silent for more than a moment. I had to wait and see how things panned out but it is time to come clean. This attempt at a juicing diet was not successful. It pains me to say it, but I did give a good effort. Here is what happened.
I was able to go 5 and half days on only juice. I was able to deal with the lack of food. Surprisingly that was not the problem.
I got to day 5 and 6 and my energy and focus was still dull. It was difficult to keep my schedule going as I am a busy man. The people around me noticed the change and it was not a good one. My mood sagged.
The other thing that really made me decide to stop was the amount of time it took to prepare 3 or 4 juice meals per day. It was next to impossible to do my quiet time in the morning.

So I am back to the drawing board. Hoping to Glorify God in my eating.
I learned a lot from my week of Juicing. but unless I can Juice on a sabbatical, or while I am not working 2 jobs like I am doing, I just can't do it.  I want my life to be about having a God focus, and it started to take on a Juice focus, or a me focus. 

So on with the show.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Joy Along the Path

Note: If you are a grandparent you need not read the text below. Simply watch the video. The text is redundant for fellow grandparents ;)

Life is good. Life is Good because God is Good. Spending time with my grandson Caleb is one of the ways God helps me focus on what is important. He and I taking Lucy for a walk has become one of our special times together. We have a lot of special times together, but on our walks it is just me, Caleb and Lucy.
After about half a block, Caleb ends up on my shoulders and he focuses on grabbing low lying branches and he fills the time in between branches, talking about whatever is going on in his awesome 2 year old brain.
Being a grandparent is one of those experiences like marriage, parenting, or landing on the moon, that you can not prepare yourself for. It must be experienced in order to understand. You can talk about being a grandparent to "non-grandparents" and it is like telling them about your trip to Paris, or Aruba (neither of which I have been to). But when you find yourself talking to other grandparents, you get that knowing look and a smile that replaces 20 minutes of preliminary explanatory conversation. You have met a fellow member of a secret society. A secret society where every poo-bah is a "Grand poo-bah" and your not so secret name is the name you are given by your first grandchild. I have heard rumor that deep in the bowels of our secret headquarters that they have found a way to bottle and sell the emotional high of being a grandparent, but refuse to make it available. The formula was burned along with the research.
But I have said too much already...

Today Caleb, Lucy and I went to the playground. The usual "little kid" equipment. We played for a while, and he said the he wanted to go "there", pointing to the "Big Kid Equipment" 100 yards away. Well I am Grandad so the answer was "Sure, let's go". As we approached the swing set (Caleb's favorite playground activity), we realized that there was no kiddie swing. You know what I mean. The thick vinyl diaper hanging from 2 chains. It is the swing with training wheels, that allows you to push the little drool-er 3 times higher than is normally advisable. There was none to be found, but Caleb could not be dissuaded. "Swing Granddad", was the expressed desire that held the force of a military imperative to my brain. So we then commenced with Big-Boy swing training.  After successful training ("you have to hold on tight right here or you will fall... hold on tight.... don't let go") we tested all of the big swings twice. They all worked great. Then Caleb tested the limits of his fear of heights on the monkey-bar-dome-thingy. We determined that 6'4" or "above Granddad's head" was the limit for self-maintained height on monkey bars. Then on to the tornado slide. This event was documented for the archives. The video is of his third successful slide.
I love his confidence. Caleb is not fearless. Fearless = brainless. He has appropriate fear. He is however, very confident to try the next thing or go just a little bigger than he did before. His confidence grows exponentially when Granddad is with him. He trusts me to catch him and to hold him up, or to cheer him on. He doesn't always listen or do what he is told, but it is completely different being Granddad, than when I was just Dad. Being just that one level removed provides a huge buffer of wisdom and experience that I did not have with my sons.  I am better equipped to not sweat the small stuff, and at the same time appreciate the little things. Even though a grandchild's disobedience is still not acceptable I have more patience with the process. I am able to not take his resistance to my authority personally. I obviously know the lesson that needs to be learned, but not so insistent that it needs to be learned "right here, right now"... it will come.

Maybe I should get my Greek and Hebrew classes started as soon as possible. I need to verify that God as our Father should not be rightly translated "Grand Father". No that is not true. I do not need to limit my view of God's fatherly capacity by equating them with my own. He is the perfect Father. He is infinitely more patient with us, than we are with our children. He loves to spend time with us long after our attention span allows us to reciprocate. God does not condone our disobedience and rebellion, but His lesson plan has a longer arch than we realize, or deserve. His deep love for us does not falter, but provides a protective hedge of mercy around us, holding back His righteous judgment until such a time as he reconciles us to Himself.  He does not push us away. It is we who turn from Him, while like the Prodigal's father, God actively waits.

In the meantime, I am quite a ways off from the lessons of Great Grand parenting.