Revival and Its Arch Nemesis the “Selfie”

blog selfies

 

I am praying for revival in the Carbon Valley Area of Colorado…. Why not today?  What are we waiting for?  Are we waiting for God?  Are you waiting for someone else?  What am I waiting for?

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

We read about revival.  We have studied about revival.  But sadly to say I have never seen or experienced a city wide or global revival.  I have read in history about the great revivals of our world.  Thousands coming to Christ, all because one person decided to stand up, to live right, and to be proactive with spreading the good news of Christ.  All it takes is one!  But this will never happen…why?  Because we do not think it can happen.  Well unless we change our mind!  Unless we change our mindset.  Unless we change the way we live, pray, study, and evangelize.

Really, I do not think people pray for revival and do not seek for revival?  Why?  Because they really do not want revival.  They do not want to give up on the things that please them.  They enjoy their pleasures and sins too much to allow Christ to influence their lives!  This must stop!  As a pastor I see the many faces of people that call themselves Christians.  As I have opportunities to preach all over the US and even some in the world, many men, women, and children are consumed with…themselves.

We live in a very narcissistic society.  We are more worried than ever before in history about our approval rate among peers.  The world is obsessed with themselves!  “Selfies” are wreaking havoc on society.  I even read this last week, that a selfie was the cause of a plane crash that killed a few people.  Companies are maximizing profits of our narcissistic mindset by introducing the “selfie stick.”  It is a stick that you attach to your phone or camera that extends far out so that you have a better ability to take pictures of none other than yourself.  These selfies are being plastered all over social media in droves.  Young people and old people alike are falling to this selfie generation.  Even worse is that they do not even understand what they are encouraging.  What they are teaching others, what they are teaching their children, and what they are teaching future generations.   Is a selfie inherently wrong?  No, of course not!  But is an obsession with it wrong?

I have had to ask myself…why should I or why would I post a selfie?  I have spent some time on social media as I see a flood of these coming across my screen.  One common factor in all of them,  the comments the people receive for posting them to social media.  This self obsession/narcissism is like a drug.  If I have people tell me how cute, beautiful, or handsome I am, that cheers me up and makes me feel good inside! We thrive off of the many likes that we get and all the comments that people tell us.  Selfies are a common day drug to fuel narcissism.

“Selfies are a common day drug to fuel narcissism.”

You might asking yourself now, is he going off on a tangent?  I thought we were talking about revival.  I promise you we are still very much on the same topic.  See, ultimately revival is not happening because we are consumed with one thing…self.   We have a hard time wanting revival because we cannot see past ourselves. We cannot see the greater righteousness and holiness of God.  We see more of ourselves in view than we see how great our God is.  John 3:30, says, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”  This is a mindset.  This is the act of living intentionally to be like Christ.  It is on purpose.  It is easy to be consumed with ones self.  It is hard to be consumed with Christ. 

Ultimately, Christ wants us to be consumed with Him.  He wants us to be focused on Him.  He wants us to have accurate “picture”, if you will, of Him.  The more we know Christ, the less we will be consumed with ourselves.  Narcissism will fade away, because we see God in His great glory.  Psalm 23, a very familiar passage, gives us good insight of a godly focus.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
    He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

If you notice the very first verse it says if the Lord is shepherd. If He is your sustainer, guide, protector, and master;  then you will not be wanting of anything.  You will not be looking for extracurricular approval of man.  When we allow God to be our focus, we then are led beside still waters.  God restores or revives the Christian!   King David after falling in his sin with Bathsheba wrote this Psalm.

 Psalm 51

Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
    and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Here David, because of his sin, was focused on himself.  It was not until David realized, in verse 10, that he could experience the joy of Salvation if he repented of his selfish ways.  Joy is a gift.  It is one of the fruits of the Spirit that God gives to those who keep Christ at the center. Christians today sometimes seem to be the gloomiest people I know.  They have no real joy. They fake happiness, and they have no true joy in their life, because they are saturated with circumstances and the glorification of self rather than the Spirit.

We make more problems as Christians than we do solve them.  Our agendas on philosophy and movements are completely focused on who gets the lime light. Very rarely does God ever that light.  We worship men more than God.  We worship man’s approval more than we do God.  We no longer keep the main thing the main thing.

The recipe for revival is rather a simple one, but it is a monumental choice for one person to get rid of self.  They need to stop being self centered and start being God Focused.  Is the “selfie” really the arch nemesis of revival?  No, but the concept of the narcissism behind it is. We do not see revival and we will not see revival until we can admit and change our self centered, self pleasing lifestyle.  Revival does not start with a multitude of people. Revival spreads when people decide that they are no longer worthy in the sight of God.  Isaiah 6:8 gives a great example of Isaiah seeing himself for who he really was.

Isaiah 6:8 “And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”  The several verses before that showed Isaiah seeing the true glory and holiness of God.  It was only then that Isaiah really realized his position in Christ.  This is when true revival happened.  It was not in a church, it was not in a multitude of people, it was not at a conference, it was not in a revival meeting.  It was an individual moment in Isaiah’s life that he realized he was not worthy.  Then and only then can we experience true revival.  Isaiah was a great prophet then used by God to see many mighty things.  It was through Isaiah that he saw many of the prophecies of Christ the Messiah been given.  He did not wait for anyone to have true revival.  He was not waiting for a special circumstance.

I am praying for revival in the Carbon Valley area of Colorado.  Their are people in the Firestone, Frederick, Dacono, and Erie areas that need the Lord.  If we stay so consumed with ourselves we will forget why God has us here.  I am praying that God uses me.  I am praying that God uses Carbon Valley Bible Church. I am praying that I have the mindset of revival in myself first!  I am praying that my own revival will spread to my church.  I am praying that the church’s sincerity in serving will spread to the city and from their spread to the entire Carbon Valley Area. I am praying for Christians to step up and be Christi like.   I am praying that they have deep consuming passion for God.  I am praying that together we can reach the many depths and areas of the Carbon Valley area.  I am praying that souls are saved.  I am praying that people are discipled.  I am praying for revival.

Why can’t revival happen?  Why can’t we see great things from God?  It is not His fault. He is waiting….

 

For more information on Carbon Valley Bible Church please go to cvbiblechurch.com or call 303-736-9959.

We have ministries for ALL ages.

Moving Forward!

New Beginnings

August 22, 2010 we started our church, Firestone Baptist Church.  We have had several good years as the Lord has grown the church.  In the beginning of 2014, our church decided that we wanted to move forward with looking for a new location.  We have been renting a school on Sundays since virtually the beginning of the church.  Though we have been very thankful for a place to meet and for reasonable rent, the location is one that people commonly have a hard time finding.  It is also a place where we cannot put out permanent signs on the building or surrounding area letting people know about the church.  Several other variables also make it a less than ideal location. Ultimately, it is not a place we could call home, so we as a church decided it was time to move.

 

After several months of searching and after several locations NOT being willing to work as a church location and others just being way too expensive, we finally found the location that we are now meeting in.  We are extremely excited about this new location!  Our church is now located right in the HEART of the Carbon Valley area.  It is also right in the middle of downtown Frederick, CO. In order to have a space big enough for the “auditorium” and to meet the codes required for an assembly by the town of Frederick, the inside of the building has required much remodeling. God has been more than gracious to us with this new building and has already given innumerable blessings. We would love to share some of those here:

 

  • Professional volunteers hanging the 2 hour firewall
  • Professional volunteers hanging drywall and texturing
  • Professionals installing all wiring
  • 110 padded chairs donated
  • Pulpit donated
  • Sound Equipment donated
  • Floor donated
  • Drop ceiling donated.
  • Countless hours of labor by many from both inside and outside the church

 

We have been amazed to see God’s people from near and far come to help our little church!  We thank the Lord for the many blessings that have been given to us!  Below are a few pictures that relate much of the process of the rebuild. The pictures are followed by an explanation of some changes and future plans for our church, so please keep reading!

 

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Carbon Valley Bible Church

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Carbon Valley Bible Church

Carbon Valley Bible Church

Carbon Valley Bible Church Carbon Valley Bible Church

 

Again we are so thankful for the Lord’s graciousness to us during this transition.

 

Changes

Since the move we have had to make several changes.  However, there are a few things that have not changed: our philosophy, teaching, preaching, and service structure.  We are still a Bible preaching/teaching church focusing on discipleship.  We have the philosophy of “Churches Planting Churches.”  Our goal is to continue to evangelize and build relationships within the Carbon Valley community and then beyond.  We strive to continually base every single thing we do upon the Word of God!

 

We want to let you all be aware of a specific change we have made as a church and explain why we have made that change. We have a new church name!

 

Let me explain some background. The area where we meet is often called tri-town or the Carbon Valley area. There are several towns in the immediate vicinity and two of them–Firestone and Frederick–blend together in most areas of the city. In other words, the boundaries overlap often, and few people know where one town ends and where the next one begins. The location where we previously met is located in a portion of town that is really confusing as to whether or not it is in the town of Firestone or whether it is in the town of Frederick.  Needless to say because of the confusion, we had no worries about what we called our church before now. For four years, although we met in Frederick, our church was called Firestone Baptist Church.  Since we had originally planned to meet in Firestone and had already named our church before moving to that building, we just kept the name.  However, now we have moved to downtown Frederick.  In all reality a building could not get more into downtown Frederick than where we are located!   Everyone knows that our location is for sure in Frederick.  As this is my first church plant, one of the lessons I’ve learned is to never name a church after a street, person, or city!  Now we have to change the name.  It would be quite odd to have a Firestone Baptist Church in downtown Frederick!

 

We have had to come up with a new name.  Having to come up with a new name brought up several considerations:  What lessons have we learned about names?  What name do we want to name the church?  What do we want to communicate to the community?

A Good Name

Scripture teaches us in Proverbs 22:1,

 

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,

and favor is better than silver or gold.

 

Our ultimate goal is to choose a name that honors the Lord, one we can stand behind, that we can present without questions, and one that will allow people from our own community to consider without having preconceived notions.

I would like to present a few words on preconceived notions: I find that few people really know why they believe what they believe.  Many people have a stigma about certain things, although they do not really understand why they have that stigma.  Typically the stigma is there because of the interpretation of an experience or because of what other people such as parents, former teachers, or peers have said. In reality individuals often do not have solid reasons why they hold onto a stigma!  They do not know why THEY believe what THEY believe, but they place a stigma based on an experience or another’s opinion.

 

In 2009 as we were praying about what the Lord would have us call the name of the church when we first planted/started it, the choice was not really simple.  It was actually stressful!  Many thoughts presented themselves for consideration, including but not limited to, our true beliefs and agreement with Baptist doctrine, the area of the country we are ministering to, existing Baptist churches and their reputation in our area, and the perspective of our supporting churches.  After much discussion and prayer, we decided to call the church Firestone Baptist Church. Even though we were concerned about the Baptist reputation in the area, we wanted to try to change the stigma because we believe Baptist doctrine is truly Biblical. We hold to the Bible first and foremost, and we believe the Baptist DOCTRINE agrees with that.   (As a side note, please understand if you are reading this, that I said Baptist DOCTRINE!!! That does not mean we agree with every Baptist church’s stance on personal standards or every Baptist school’s “rules.” There is a HUGE difference, and many equate the standards and rules to the doctrine…That is another discussion for another time.)

 

To fast forward the story, let me tell you what we have done over the course of the last 4 years.  Often we have surveyed people of the Carbon Valley community about several church related things. One frequently asked question which typically generates the same response is “What do you think of when you hear the name ‘Baptist’?”  At first, the answer shocked me, but I eventually got used to it!  Why? Because almost every time a person answered, “You mean like Westboro Baptist?”  Now if you know anything about Westboro Baptist of Topeka, Kansas, you know this is NOT an association that any True Believer would want to be associated with!  This thought struck me:  “So the stigma that has been going around here in the Carbon Valley area, and probably beyond in this part of the West is that all Baptists are like those of Westboro Baptist.”  Immediately I thought, “I do not want to be a part of that, which means we have a LARGE uphill battle to ‘convince’ people that even though we are Baptist, we are not the same as the stigma behind Westboro Baptist, or that of some other Baptist churches.”

 

What we have learned is that people will not allow even a chance for educating, convincing, or changing their preconceived stigmas. They already have biased opinions and will simply STAY AWAY!  Numerous times throughout the last 4 years, we had people tell us that they would not visit our church JUST because we had “Baptist” in our name.  As a church we felt like these facts were very important to consider in renaming the church!

 

We have also learned, that even many people who call themselves Baptist do not really know why they call themselves Baptist.  They do not really know the differences between Baptists: Southern, Northern, Freewill, Landmark, Conservative, American, Independent, etc. For more on the list of the 100’s of Baptist Denominations, please go to this link.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Baptist_denominations. To them the general denomination of Baptists is what that they have grown up with or around.  They do not understand that there is a significant difference between each of those sub titles! Anyway, we wanted to make sure people knew where we stood, without having a misunderstanding of who we are!  I know that sounds confusing, but that was a consideration.

 

We made several requirements for our new name.

  • The name needed to Glorify God.
  • The name needed to point people to a doctrinal standpoint.
  • The name could not be one that already indicates a specific denominational agenda or fad moving through “church culture.”

 

Ultimately, after much prayer, consideration, and discussion, we chose the name Carbon Valley Bible Church. We do not apologize for this.  May I go on further to say that we still have a strong Baptist distinctive.  We love our Baptist Doctrine.  We love the Historical Baptist Heritage.  We love the roots of the Baptist History that span the last 2000 years.  The history of the Baptists is rich.  We do not however, really care for the direction of the modern Baptists.  If we were to label ourselves, we would put ourselves more in the category of the Historical Baptists.  Charles Spurgeon said the following:

 

“We believe that the Baptists are the original Christians. We did not commence our existence at the reformation, we were reformers before Luther or Calvin were born; we never came from the Church of Rome… and our principles, sometimes veiled and forgotten, like a river which may travel underground for a little season, have always had honest and holy adherents. Persecuted alike by Romanists and Protestants of almost every sect…” (From The New Park Street Pulpit, Vol.VII, Page 225)              You can read that quote from our website at http://www.cvbiblechurch.com/wearebaptist.html.

 

We abide by the Baptist distinctives. If you are not sure what the Baptist distinctives are you can also purchase the book listed on that webpage as well. Yes, we are Baptist…we just do not have the name Baptist in our church name.

 

In addition, we feel that the changing of the name allows us to have better conversation with the people in our community as we try to consistently outreach in this area where God has placed us.  Unfortunately, some churches and organizations may think that this needs to be a point of separation from us.  They may believe that we are becoming liberal.  They may believe that we are becoming progressive.  May I assure you . . . we are not!  We are not changing our preaching.  We are not changing our use and saturation of Scriptures throughout our preaching and teaching.  We are not changing the course of our music.  We are ONLY changing the name…and well, our building location.

 

We again make no apologies for changing the name.  This is one of the beautiful things about being an independent church.  We are able to act upon what we believe God wants us to do.  We do not feel that changing the name is a point of separation. However, if other organizations, other churches, or other believers choose to do so, we will be saddened.  I would ask them at what point does Scripture say the word “Baptist” has to be a part of our name?  Often, people or organizations who separate over these types of issues make problems within the church and within Christianity anyway.  They focus on minor standard and preference issues instead of the solid doctrines that God wants them to focus on.  Those types of attitudes can ultimately allow Satan to get a foothold in Christianity and make a widespread problem where there should be no problem.  I challenge you not to get hung up on minor issues!  Don’t worry more about man and what man thinks; rather, put your thoughts on what is truly right and acceptable unto the Lord.  Division over minor issues does not bring true Glory to God!  We feel, if anything, we would rather be more grounded with a name of Bible than the name of Baptist. You can’t argue with the Bible! Yet, we are still Baptist…Independent Baptist, and have no apologies for that fact either.

Future

From this point forward we will be Carbon Valley Bible Church.  This name gives us the commitment to reaching the entire Carbon Valley Community.  This area consists of Firestone, Frederick, Dacono, and Erie.  We also have the ability to reach Fort Lupton and Longmont.  This name also allows the community to see that our foundation is based solely on the Word of God, and not on the tradition of men.

 

You can see that there really has not been many changes to our church!  Feel free to check out  our new website CVBibleChurch.com.  If you are in the Carbon Valley Area, we would love for you to drop in!  We preach Christ Jesus Crucified and Resurrected.  Our foundation is the Word of God.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call 303-736-9959 or you can email at cvbiblechurch@gmail.com.

 

Serving Him,

 

Pastor Jason Kokenzie

 

Carbon Valley Bible Church

303-736-9959

CVBibleChurch.com

cvbiblechurch@gmail.com

9:30AM Sunday School/Bible Study

10:00AM Morning Worship

7:00PM Wednesday Small Group Bible Study

*Programs for ALL Ages!

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People Are Reaching Out, We need Your Help!

People are reaching out to us for help, would you consider giving? We have had a significant amount of displaced people from around the community. However, we can only help them a little. These financial gifts will be a great blessing to them.

Help Relieve the Colorado Flood Victims by Financially giving. All proceeds will go 100% to the victims! Click here for more details. ‪#‎Coloflood‬, ‪#‎longmontflood‬

http://www.firestonebaptist.com/floodfund.htm

Or

http://igg.me/at/coloradofloodvictims/x/4596822

If you cannot give financially please share this link.

 

Short Summary

Colorado emergency management officials have released an initial estimate that says the ongoing flooding has damaged or destroyed nearly 19,000 homes.

The Colorado Office of Emergency Management estimated Sunday on its website that 17,494 homes have been damaged and 1,502 destroyed.

In addition, 11,700 people have been evacuated and a total of 1,253 people are unaccounted for.

What We Need & What You Get

Our goal is to get $500,000.00 to go 100% to the victims of these Colorado floods.  These areas include Weld, Boulder, and Larimer Counties.

Firestone Baptist Church is located right in the heart of Weld County of which is central to Firestone, Frederick, Dacono, Longmont, and 30 minutes south of Loveland and 45 minutes east of Estes Park.  We believe that our community will greatly benefit from this fundraiser to help this flood victims.

The Impact

In Larimer County alone, the current impact area is estimated at 1,120 square miles. Another 760 are impacted in Boulder County and 385 in Jefferson County.

An estimated 35 bridges, 100 minor structures and 100 miles of road need repair in Boulder County. Emergency managers estimate $100-150 million in damage in that county.

Statewide, 26 shelters have taken in a population of 1,872 people. Nine counties and five cities have activated Emergency Operations Centers.

Saturday, President Barack Obama also declared a major disaster declaration specifically for Boulder County. That allows for federal assistance with temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners in their recovery.

Other Ways You Can Help

If you are not able to financially help we would love for you to share this with your friends, families, and businesses.

If you live in the area and were not effected by the floods and would like to help our church be a blessing and a ministry to the flood victims by helping them.

 

For more information on Carbon Valley Bible Church please go to cvbiblechurch.com or call 303-736-9959

Find our church on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Firestone-Baptist-Church/203757890870

 

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Help Relieve the Colorado Flood Victims.

DONATE

to the Colorado Flood Victims

Short Summary

Colorado emergency management officials have released an initial estimate that says the ongoing flooding has damaged or destroyed nearly 19,000 homes.

The Colorado Office of Emergency Management estimated Sunday on its website that 17,494 homes have been damaged and 1,502 destroyed.

In addition, 11,700 people have been evacuated and a total of 1,253 people are unaccounted for.

What We Need & What You Get

Our goal is to get $500,000.00 to go 100% to the victims of these Colorado floods.  These areas include Weld, Boulder, and Larimer Counties.

Firestone Baptist Church is located right in the heart of Weld County of which is central to Firestone, Frederick, Dacono, Longmont, and 30 minutes south of Loveland and 45 minutes east of Estes Park.  We believe that our community will greatly benefit from this fundraiser to help this flood victims.

The Impact

In Larimer County alone, the current impact area is estimated at 1,120 square miles. Another 760 are impacted in Boulder County and 385 in Jefferson County.

An estimated 35 bridges, 100 minor structures and 100 miles of road need repair in Boulder County. Emergency managers estimate $100-150 million in damage in that county.

Statewide, 26 shelters have taken in a population of 1,872 people. Nine counties and five cities have activated Emergency Operations Centers.

Saturday, President Barack Obama also declared a major disaster declaration specifically for Boulder County. That allows for federal assistance with temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners in their recovery.

Other Ways You Can Help

If you are not able to financially help we would love for you to share this with your friends, families, and businesses.

If you live in the area and were not effected by the floods and would like to help our church be a blessing and a ministry to the flood victims by helping them.

 

For more information on Carbon Valley Bible Church please go to cvbiblechurch.com or call 303-736-9959

Find our church on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Firestone-Baptist-Church/203757890870

What We Can Learn From Duck Dynasty

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It is no doubt that Duck Dynasty is taking the world by storm!  You cannot get around the great characters in SI, Jase, and Willy!   Si who always has a pitcher of ice tea, Jase who always has something up his sleeve in pulling pranks on Willy, and Willy who has to take care of all of the stooges in the company. So “Hey, Jack” why is this such a great hit and what can we learn from them?

Well it has nothing to do with their crazy antics.  It is interesting to me how many posts I see about Duck Dynasty on Facebook.  Just this morning I flipped open Facebook and within 5 minutes I saw at least 5 posts about last nights episode.  It is no doubt that this show is taking us by storm.  And by us, I mean Christians!

What is also amazing to me is how many posts I see online about how godly these men are.  How they are strong on their stance for God.  How they love the Lord.  How they hate abortion.  I have seen countless videos posted about these men preaching, teaching, and telling others about their relationship with Christ. Obviously there is nothing wrong with this.  I am glad that with this great audience that these men have, that they do take the stand for Christ.  It reminds me a lot of how Tim Tebow has taken a stance for his Christian walk in the sports arena.  The world has flocked to his spiritual character.

What absolutely baffles me is how accepting that we are of these men.  And why?  because they are professional entertainers, they are funny, and they have a hit TV shows.  Now you may be stumped as to what in the world I am talking about.  Well if you are a typical traditional…the mere fact that they have beards and long hair should appall you, it should anger you, it should make your stomachs turn!

Now you may say what?!  Well these have always been signs of rebellion in the heart of a Christian in the Fundamental circles, but for whatever reason, these men are not looked down upon, but rather lifted in praise because of their godly lives and Christian stance.  Now I am not saying that we should all go out and get long hair or whatever, but I am saying is that we can learn something from this acceptance!

See we have traditionally been legalistic by putting people into a certain mold that aligns with what we think spirituality should look like!  But what is interesting about that is that we have been SO consumed with trying to make people spiritual, that we have actually forgotten to really be concerned with their true spirituality.  We accept these characters on Duck Dynasty!  No, we embrace them!  But yet you never hear anything negative about their long hair and beards, but rather just throw out there that it is part of the character.  See when it comes down to it, we know that if we see true spiritual character, we throw out the looks.  When we see something we like, we throw out the looks, and when we see something that tugs on our humor bone, we throw out the looks.

However, the spiritual side of things has been something that God has been telling us for years!

1 Samuel 16:7

“7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

See this should be our mind set as well…As the person grows in the Lord, the Lord will teach them whether or not they should have a certain look or not.  As they are driven to Christ they will be taught and convicted by the Lord if they need to change something.  You see it is NOT our job to tell someone how they should or should not look to a degree! What a Believer should do is show them love and biblical principles and allow the Holy Spirit to work in their lives.  See we interested in their spiritual life according to God’s standard and not our own agenda.  Instead of making them what we want to make them, we should show them and drive them to what God wants for them.

We should expect spiritual growth from a person and some of that growth will indeed change their outward appearance, but we must make sure that we pick the right battles in a Christians life.  Is it more important that they look a certain way or that they get over a sexual addiction, or a sinful habit?  In fact God expects them to change. But we should expect them to change how God wants them to change.  Fight the fights that matter not the fights that only change the outward appearance.  Only focusing on the outward man produces rebellion in the inward man.

So what can we learn for Duck Dynasty…simple, if we can accept them and say they are spiritual, then what can this teach us about those who are around us all the time at our churches?  Well show them love, the Bible, and biblical principles and allow the Lord to change them!  Quit focusing on the outward appearance and focus on the things that have eternal value!

P.S.  By the way a beard in Scripture was a sign of manliness!

2 Samuel 10:4-14

So Hanun took David’s servants and shaved off half the beard of each and cut off their garments in the middle, at their hips, and sent them away. When it was told David, he sent to meet them, for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, “Remain at Jericho until your beards have grown and then return.”

When the Ammonites saw that they had become a stench to David, the Ammonites sent and hired the Syrians of Beth-rehob, and the Syrians of Zobah, 20,000 foot soldiers, and the king of Maacah with 1,000 men, and the men of Tob, 12,000 men. And when David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the host of the mighty men. And the Ammonites came out and drew up in battle array at the entrance of the gate, and the Syrians of Zobah and of Rehob and the men of Tob and Maacah were by themselves in the open country.

When Joab saw that the battle was set against him both in front and in the rear, he chose some of the best men of Israel and arrayed them against the Syrians. 10 The rest of his men he put in the charge of Abishai his brother, and he arrayed them against the Ammonites. 11 And he said, “If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me, but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will come and help you. 12 Be of good courage, and let us be courageous for our people, and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to him.” 13 So Joab and the people who were with him drew near to battle against the Syrians, and they fled before him. 14 And when the Ammonites saw that the Syrians fled, they likewise fled before Abishai and entered the city. Then Joab returned from fighting against the Ammonites and came to Jerusalem.

For more information on Carbon Valley Bible Church please go to cvbiblechurch.com or call 303-736-9959

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Why Video Games are Destroying Society: A part of the Destruction of the Christian Culture

https://i2.wp.com/static.ddmcdn.com/gif/best-games-never-made-6.jpg I can tell you now that I will have many friends and former youth group members, that I was their youth pastor, that will not be happy about this post.  I am sure as soon as they see the title they are rolling their eyes or are angry from me posting this. But as we move on with society, I can see that this era of video games will end up being part of the destruction of our Christian society. I will tell you right now that many of these people who are angry, will probably pull up Google and type in the search bar, “the benefits of playing video games.”  Now before you do that, may I suggest to you that this is not about physical health or mental health.  There has been many studies that are posted all over the internet about these issues.  This is not about the camaraderie that these gamers may feel with each other.  This not about your gang or clan or community that one may be a part of.  This is also not entirely about violence or the sexual content in games. This at first may seem like something that is rather trivial and trite.  This may be something that someone may think that I am trying to push my personal agenda or that I am trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill.  Some may even think that this may be something like the movie theater debate that has gone on for the last 100 years.  “Show me the proof from God’s Word that gaming is wrong!”  But this is much farther than that I believe.  This not a small battle about something that at the end of the day has no validity. May I first say, that I am not anti-gaming.  I do think they have a time and a place. However, everything has to be in balance.  I think this digs much deeper that just whether or not our society plays video games.  Ultimately it is about how video games and the video gaming community is and will be detrimental to the health of the church and of the Christian society. This actually causes two problems within Christianity.  The first is that it will be part of the destruction of the Christian culture.  The second being that this is an unreached community of people, that the church is going to have a hard time reaching.  These two problems can cause major problems and I believe in epic proportions.   Now you may read that and laugh, but let me help you understand where I am coming from. This gaming community has largely become a rather introverted community.  This community can play for hours upon hours at a time, locked away in the rooms, offices, and basements playing these video games of all sorts.  They are constantly thinking of video games.  And now with the advancement of technology they can take video games with them anywhere and everywhere they go.  They spend hours upon hours trying to rank up, get to the next level, beat the final boss, and trying to get the latest feature.  If they are part of the smart phone market they are even spending money to help them make these advancements through the games that they are playing. This introverted mentality is sweeping the nation and sweeping the earth.  The video gaming industry racks in well over 41 Billion dollars annually globally.  What is scary about this is who this is influencing.  This market you would think would be sweeping into our teens and children.  However, the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) has completely different statistics.

  • 67% of all households play video games
  • 49% of those who play games are between the ages of 18-49
  • 25% were under 18
  • 26% were over 50

I am not sure if those number shock you, but they should.  If you notice the number of the least amount of players is actually the teenage!  Most video game players are those who are classified as adults by ALL scenarios.  Why does this pose such a threat to Christianity?  Have you ever heard of the thought that the Young Marrieds and College and Career show a healthy church?  As a church planter, I can tell you this indeed is true!  Young People attract all people when it comes to church. If a church has young people in it, that typically tells the rest of the area, that this church is culturally relevant.  For more reading on culturally relevant please click HERE. Personally I am scared because of these frightening statistics. “The National Center for Health Marketing at the Centers for Disease Control was the strong correlation between regular gaming and internet use, and increased risk for depression, higher body mass index (BMI), and other negative physical and mental health issues. Women who regularly played video games had both higher levels of depression and lower overall health status compared with women who didn’t play, and men who concentrated time on the console were more likely to have elevated BMI and report more time spent on the internet than men who weren’t gamers. Overall there were more male than female video game devotees (55.9% of those who reported playing regularly in this survey were men), but for both men and women, regular gaming was strongly correlated with a higher dependence on the internet for social interaction.” The last phrase of the previous quote scares me, it says that the gamers had a higher dependance on the internet for social interaction.  According to a survey conducted by video game price comparison site Playr2.com, gamers age 18 – 40 may end up dedicating almost two years of their lives playing video games. The company conducted a survey of 1,452 of its members, asking a variety of questions about their gaming habits. The survey found that the average gamer will spend about 1.8 years of their life playing games on various platforms. What this is doing to the Christian community is that instead of driving them out of their four walls of their home, it is driving them farther and farther inside and for more and more time.  I know this may seem small, but in the great cause that Christ has called us, this could be catastrophic. You may think that is over the top or exaggerating.  But as a Christians we must consider our greatest purpose.  If our time is consumed with beating the next boss, or leveling up and we forget the Gospel, what have we become?  If our churches are filled with video game minds rather than the minds of Christ, where will this lead us?  These gamers are the next leaders of our church?  These gamers are the next generation of “God Fearing” Christians? The gamers are the next group of missionaries?  These gamers are the next Spurgeons, Carmichels, Elliots of our time. I fear that this issue needs to be taken into consideration for massive action. Personally I have been concerned with the leadership of our church for years.  Many of the leaders have a hard time describing why they believe what they believe.  If this is the case now, what about the leaders that will be hereafter?  God has called us to be studiers of His Word, to be instant in season, out of season!  Always ready at a moments notice to defend, preach, and teach the Word of God.  He also teaches us to redeem the time because the days are evil.  The Lord’s return is immanent.  Should we waste our minds and time with such frivolous things?  A balanced approach is in order!  A vision of the spreading of the Gospel is in order!  And a mindset of renewing our minds with the Word of God is an absolute! This does bring us to the second problem. And to be honest. It is a problem that I do not know how to effectively solve!  It is a problem of reaching the Lost world who has introverted themselves in their basements playing video games.  How do we effectively reach these people for Christ?  There is an estimated 70% of the worlds population that plays video games!  This proposes a conundrum for us as Believers!  How do we effectively spread the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth…literally defined, the basement? We could:

  • Get more involved in the gaming community
  • Start Christian Clans and gaming communities
  • Create GREAT Christian games
  • Start Boycotting the gaming market

Obviously, some of the above suggestions are silly and ridiculous.  All the suggestions above have some issues that would actually make us spend MORE time in the world of gaming rather than limiting us.  If 70% of the world is gaming, than this is something that I really believe should be something that we as Believers consider.  How do we effectively reach the gaming world, without completely wasting our time as Believers? Truly at the end of the day, this may not seem like something that big right now.  But if the trend is going the way it looks like it will be going, this could be a devastating issue for the church, for outreach, and ultimately for the Gospel’s sake.

For more information on Carbon Valley Bible Church please go to cvbiblechurch.com or call 303-736-9959

Bible Preaching Church?

holding the bible

I know that this is sad, and really should not need to be said. But do you realize that there are a lot of churches out there that do not use the Bible.  What is sad, is that they call themselves a church.  The pastor no longer preaches, but rather gives a talk.  The congregation is no longer a congregation, but rather an audience.  The people are no longer expected to bring a Bible let alone actually open when.  The pastor no longer even opens the Bible, but rather just talks about life events that may have biblical principles.  The pastor is no longer looked as a pastor, nor should he be in these type of churches, but is looked at as a just another person.

We live in a Christian society that is doing everything possible to make church everything but a church.  The sad part is they are still calling it a church.  This is not a church at all and should not be called one.  This is not a place that is for the fellowship of Believers, but rather a hang out for like minded people.  This is no longer a call to holiness and repentance, but rather a social gathering to help others feel good.  This is no longer a place to understand right Theology, but now a place to hear about life stories and how to better live your life morally.

2 Timothy 4:1-5

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

This passage is pretty clear, that we should be expecting these types of churches to come into existence more and more.  God however, expects us to preach the Word. Where?  The church, inside of it, outside of it, everywhere, but specifically inside of it!  This passage is about the church.  A church should be a place that the Bible is not just talked about, but expounded on!  Not just highlighted, but expressed with detail.  Why?  Because it is for the betterment of the Believers.  This is for the shepherding of the Flock.  This is for showing those who follow Christ to look to be like Him.  This is also to protect the sheep from falling under false teaching.

False teaching is something that will penetrate our churches more and more as time moves on.  These people are there to follow after their own passions, and not to worship the True Christ.  If they were there to worship the True Christ, the Bible would be the center of that worship.  The Bible would be the focus of the church on Sunday as they learn to know Him better.

A church if it really is a church, is one that is focused on knowing God more and genuinely wanting to worship Him.  The Bible teaches us that Faith only can increase by the hearing of the Word of God. This is why it is crucial for this to be the center of our corporate worship.

I suppose the challenge would be to look at the church you go to.  Do they open the Word of God?  Do they reference the Word of God, or do they expound on the Word of God.  Do they preach from it, or do they just talk about life’s principles you may see in the Word of God?

For more information on Carbon Valley Bible Church please go to cvbiblechurch.com or call 303-736-9959