What are you teaching your children?

As Father’s Day approaches, memories of my Dad, Ray Crowder, flood my mind. Someone asked me, “What two things did your Dad teach you?” Hmmmnnn… only two? I quickly tried to “categorize” all the things that came to mind. My response follows…

The first, and most important thing my Dad taught me was to love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind…and, to love my neighbor as myself.
Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37, 39

Dad taught me the urgent need we all have for the Gospel—for justification and sanctification—by preaching and teaching the Word of God with a passion and sense of urgency for the Gospel to be heard, understood and obeyed.
-Acts 3:19; I Corinthians 9:16

Dad taught me to use music as an expression of worship as he taught me that music is much more than correctly played notes. He taught me that when I sit at the piano, the notes I play are my expressions of awe, love and gratitude to the Sovereign God of the Universe. He taught me to pour out my heart, in prayer and praise to the Lord, through my music.
-Psalm 33:3; John 4:24

Dad demonstrated how to minister to those who were hurting spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. I had myriad occasions to watch him with those whose loved one had died, child had overdosed on a drug, or who were suffering from some illness or loss of job…he was always bringing them the comfort of THE Comforter.
-2 Corinthians 1:3-5, Ephesians 4:32

Dad taught me that if I pointed out a problem to a person, that I must be willing to hang around and help them work towards a biblical        solution to the problem and/or situation. He taught me that the Bible has the answers for all the issues of life.
-2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3

Dad taught me to be generous with my time, talents, possessions and monetary resources. Numerous times a week someone would show up at our doorstep, saying, “(someone) told me if I needed help that Ray;  would help me.”
-Matthew 25:35-40, I Peter 4:10

Dad taught me to laugh, and maybe more importantly, to laugh at myself!! Ask me about the “flowers” we planted, nurtured and fertilized for weeks…turns out we had the healthiest weeds in the world!! Did you ever see his rendition of “Old Mother Hubbard?”

Dad taught me to dance. He loved to Jitterbug, Swing and do the Charleston.

“WAIT!” my friend said, “That’s six or seven things.”

My reply, “No, it’s really only one. My Dad taught me that a personal relationship with God is the most important relationship I can have. Through that relationship all of life is worship for we were created to glorify God in and through everything! And, in grateful response to Him, we are to share the Gospel with unbelievers and Christ-followers alike!

What are you teaching your children?

Praising God for being my Abba Father, and for the gift of my earthly Dad!

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (NKJV)

 

Are you shining?

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
(Matthew 4:16 NKJV)

Today would have been my mom’s 90th birthday. Mom lived an amazing life in Africa and America, yet she also faced many extremely difficult things throughout her life, including the deaths of two sons and a grandson.

In spite of the difficulties, she exuded Christ as she walked through those difficult days and circumstances. Following the death of my brother Tim, a friend asked mom how it was possible for her to walk through such difficult things and be so strong and confident of God’s presence.

How was it possible for mom to walk through difficult situations with strength and confidence?

It was possible because…

…God is the Author of Light (Genesis 1:4)

…God is Light (1 John 1:5)

…God is the Light that drove away the darkness of her sin (John 1:5)

…mom knew the Light of the World (John 8:12)

…the Light of the Holy Spirit taught mom as she read, memorized, and learned the Word of God (John 14:26)

…mom understood what it meant to be a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God (Romans 12:1)

…mom practiced being transformed by the continual renewing of her mind through the Word (Romans 12:2)

Mom was able to shine forth because Christ gave her Light that illuminated her with the WORD, that brought repentance, and freedom from the bondage of sin, and the HOPE for eternity.

And, because she had a close relationship with the Light of the World, she KNEW Him.

And, because she KNEW Him, she had an unwavering, deep, abiding faith that was visible as she reflected the Light and HOPE of Jesus in the desperation, chaos, and darkness of difficult situations.

If you are a Christ-follower, you WILL shine with the Light of Christ.

We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining–they just shine.  Dwight L. Moody

Mom simply shined for Jesus! Do you?

Are you still remembering the SACRIFICE…

Now that the 2015 Memorial Day observance is completed, are you still remembering the heroes who sacrificed their lives so that our
nation would remain free? Or, did you pack away those patriotic memories and feelings so you can easily access them again on July 4th?

Are you still remembering the SACRIFICE…
…of the Heroic Soldiers?

Total commitment is what President Abraham Lincoln had in mind when he spoke these words during the dedication of the Soldiers’
National Cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1863:

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers
brought forth on this continent,
a new nation,
conceived in liberty,
and dedicated to the proposition
that all men are created equal.”

President Lincoln helped the audience be cognizant of the heroes’
sacrifice as they remembered the past, recognized the present
situation, and looked to the future. They were reminded of the
reasons for breaking ties with England and signing the Declaration of Independence that established the new nation, under God, upon the concept of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The President explained that the “great civil war” was being fought to test the country’s ability to endure.

Lincoln reminded them of the unfinished work of the nation and
admonished the living to dedicate themselves to continue the work so that this “nation, under God” would endure and not “perish from the earth.”

Are you still remembering the SACRIFICE…
…of our Merciful Savior?

Just as President Lincoln’s address prompted his audience to remember the past, recognize the present situation, and look to the future, we as Christ-followers must do the same.

Before we became Christ-followers we were sinful people at odds with holy God—we were spiritually dead!

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.      -Jesus of Nazareth (John 15:13)

This is, of course, is referring to Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross when sinless Jesus Christ stepped in and did what we could not do. Now, Christ-followers are redeemed, free to live as His children, new creations being transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit as we rest in the finished work of Christ. And, we have the glorious assurance of eternal life with Christ!

So, what must we remember about SACRIFICE?

The unfinished work of our nation will not be completed by America’s military.

“…We are resolved to stand firm against those who would
destroy the freedoms we cherish…”
  
– President Ronald Reagan

Each one of us must also sacrifice as we fight the subtle war that threatens our nation, the spiritual, economic, and political battles we face daily to maintain the often taken for granted freedoms we now enjoy.

Thankfully, the work of our redemption in Christ Jesus is finished! However, we must remain cognizant the Ultimate Sacrifice—Jesus Christ—Who gave His life so that in Him we would have freedom that brings eternal life, and freedom to walk in the newness of life through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith,
act like men, be strong.

1 Corinthians 16:13

As our grateful response for this sacrifice, Christ-followers present themselves as living sacrifices to God (Romans 12:1), giving Him 100% of themselves as they serve Him.

May you be strengthened with all power,
according to his glorious might,
for all endurance and patience with joy.
Colossians 1:11

*All Scripture passages are from the New King James Version of the Bible.

Woman in the Middle

I am a woman in the middle, are you? By now some of you are likely scratching your head trying to figure out what I mean. I am a woman in the middle of Spiritual Mothering relationships. I have numerous women who serve as Spiritual Mothers to me, and at the same time I serve as Spiritual Mother to several women. See Titus 2:1-5.

As Mother’s Day approaches, I am once again reminded of how blessed and honored I am to have had such a wonderful mom. She was loving, generous, kind, spunky and loved to laugh. And most importantly she was a Spiritual Mother not only to me, but also to countless women on several continents.

I have also been blessed throughout my life to have many precious women Christ-followers who have been Spiritual Mothers to me at various times. These women have modeled for me how to look through the lens of Scripture to determine what God’s Word says about how we view people, relationships, issues, circumstances and events.

A Spiritual Mother is a mature female Christ-follower who disciples a younger woman. In other words, a Spiritual Mother is a female Christ-follower who is obedient to follow Christ’s command in Matthew 28:18-20, The Great Commission. Through the years I have come to understand this to mean that through His position of authority, Jesus gave a command to all Christ-followers that he empowers us, through the Holy Spirit, to accomplish. He said to make disciple-makers as we go about doing the things He has called us to do in the places He has called us to do them.

Begin now being Spiritual Mothers to and making disciple-makers of the girls, teenagers, young women, women, and golden-aged women the Lord brings into your life. And, please make every effort to seek out women who will serve as Spiritual Mothers to you.

If you need help knowing how to become a Spiritual Mother, both Susan Hunt and Martha Peace have excellent resources on the subject.

Welcome to my blog!

Through the lens of Scripture comes from my understanding as a Christ-follower that the Bible is our FINAL authority on every issue. God’s opinion found in the Bible outweighs our own opinion.

2 Timothy 3:16-17: All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. *

As Christ-followers we are faced with situations that tempt us to trust our own desires and follow our emotions. If we understand that God’s opinion is what matters, then obeying His Word becomes our desire.

Psalm 119:11: Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.

We will be looking through the lens of Scripture to determine what God’s Word says about how we view people, relationships, issues, circumstances and events. In order to do that, we must read, study, meditate upon and memorize God’s Word.

2 Timothy 2:15:  Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Psalm 119:15-16: I will meditate on Your precepts And regard Your ways. I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word.

I look forward to sharing with all of you!

*All Scripture passages are from the New King James Version.

Looking Ahead with Andy Wisner

As we begin a new year of programs, Andy Wisner joins us today to discuss the biblical perspective on looking ahead.

Listen or watch at 2:00 p.m. Central.

Listen locally on WGIB 91.9 FM, or:
91.9 FM – Birmingham
92.3 FM – Springville
101.5 FM – Columbiana
106.1 FM – Moody/Odenville
106.1 FM – Jasper
107.9 FM – Tuscaloosa

Watch on WAY-TV channel 47

Stream it live at: gleniris.net/WGIB

Andy Wisner is the church planter and senior pastor of New Life Baptist Church in Harvest, Alabama, where he ministers with his wife, Vicki. He is an ACBC certified biblical counselor with a love for teaching, and has taught tehology and biblical counseling around the world.