Threats to the Church & Keys to Revival

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The onset of the year is a good time to acknowledge the challenges we face, the changes needed, and to look to Jesus through whom we are more than conquerors. The last two articles in my 2018 series of interviews with pastors and pastor’s wives—have bled over into 2019. So, please, grab your favorite hot cup of comfort, pull up a chair, and let us listen to the words of wisdom offered by these mighty ministers.  

How do you feel about the spiritual and cultural climate where you are pastoring?

Pastor Kevin Obermeyer:  I think there is a huge spiritual battle going on, and Christians are losing ground rapidly.

Pastor’s Wife, Janet Foley:  I feel like the Gospel is often misunderstood and disrespected. I feel a bit intimidated here to share the gospel, more than other places. There is a lot of witchcraft, new age religion and political correctness here. A lot of ex-Christians, a lot of drugs too. Pot has been legal here for a few years so many people are hooked on it as well as methamphetamine. There’s also a lot of spouse-swapping, (married people who exchange for fun), which really freaks me out. Ugh.

Pastor Pablo Catala:  I think it has been diluted and stained with perversion and sin unimaginable.

Pastor’s wife, Sophie Foley It’s a breath of fresh air where we are pioneering. This is such a culturally diverse area, that most people have either not been exposed to Christ and so have no formed opinions and are open. Others have been raised with a respect for church so they are receptive and respectful of both the church and the role of the pastor.

What do you see as the biggest threat to the church today?

Anonymous Pastor, Kathmandu, Nepal:  Complacency.

Pastor Tim Schmoyer:  Consumerism is the biggest threat. Seeing church involvement as one of the many choices in the buffet of life.

Janet Foley:  Political correctness, compromise, complacency. Too much activity without true relationship with Jesus.

Pastor Kevin Obermeyer:  Secular worldviews, worldly attitudes, Biblical illiteracy, and ignorance.

Sophie Foley:  Emotional indulgence. People are so very fragile now, and when it comes time to speak a bit of caution or direction, the confrontation of it is no longer acceptable and they leave for churches that never confront.

Also, media. We are a generation so connected to our devices, and yet we are steeped with loneliness and depression, which causes us to withdraw and avoid dealing with the social interaction of church services. We have several people who want to come but are easily distracted, or too emotionally distraught, so they stay home and binge movies, and then feel terrible and it becomes a vicious cycle.

Pastor Pablo Catala:  The biggest threats to the church today are dead religion and homosexuality. Why do I say this? Continue reading “Threats to the Church & Keys to Revival”

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Setting the Record Straight: A Day in the Life of a Pastor

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I have heard people say “The pastor has it so easy, he doesn’t have to go to work. What does he do all day? All he has to do is write a few sermons a week.” So, the following few questions are aimed at setting the record straight.  —What does a day in the life of a pastor, or a pastor’s wife, look like?

Anonymous Pastor, Kathmandu, Nepal:  Actually I had the same thought when I was a teenager, manual labor is hard work, being a pastor would be easier. I would liken that comment to a child saying, “I can’t wait til I grow up and can work a job and not go to school anymore.”

I’m sure each pastor and city will vary, but being a missionary has changed my daily tasks quite a bit. A daily task, that in America would be a simple errand, can take hours. This is hard to explain, but in short America is very efficient country. Continue reading “Setting the Record Straight: A Day in the Life of a Pastor”

A Father to the Fatherless

Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_A_Father_to_the_FatherlessOur culture seems to spend a lot of time demeaning men and undermining the importance of the role of fathers, but wonders at the staggering numbers of fatherless and troubled children. To the fathers out there who are sticking it out and standing up for their families and to the men who have stepped up to the plate to fill someone else’s shoes—thank you. You play a vital role not only in your family, but your positive impact is felt throughout society.

I hadn’t planned on posting for Father’s Day this year, but my heart kept remembering those who do not have a father in their lives or perhaps not a good relationship with them. I remember the longing and loneliness of being in school and my friends making cards for Mother’s Day while mine was overseas and I didn’t have much contact with her at the time. I know there are others who feel this emptiness because their parent has died, is not a part of their life, or is physically present but emotionally absent. So I want people to be aware that for some, Fathers Day can be hard. I’m hoping if you know of such a person, you will be encouraged to consider reaching out to them as a friend or father figure. Or perhaps you know of a dad who is not shouldering his responsibilities, or doesn’t know how to be a father and needs someone to come alongside and help him. Continue reading “A Father to the Fatherless”

A Parent’s Petition

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Sometimes as a parent your heart swells with joy, but at other times you labor in love with tears and a busted heart over your children. For those in a hard season, I thought I’d share some scriptures and re-post my poem, For the Prodigal’s Mom, in hopes of encouraging you.

Whether your child is faring well, struggles or has strayed, whether you just have the occasional hard day or more tough days than not—your work does not go unnoticed. God sees you, He feels your heart. He wants to come alongside and help and strengthen us. Jesus weeps with us and we can take joy in the shelter of Him. He cares for our children. Remember, He sets out in search of the one lost lamb.

We don’t have to walk this road or wage this war in our own strength. Jesus is the difference maker in our lack as we strive to find your footing and guide your children on the right path. We can petition Heaven and storm Hell with our prayers and partner with our Maker, the Good Father, for the needs of our children. God provides and equips for every task He calls us to.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9 KJV

For the Prodigal’s Mom

Mama,

Don’t you know Jesus loves your children

Even more than you?

Pound the gates of Heaven, Mama

Pray without ceasing

Know the God of Heaven, inclines to your cry

He shares your passion for restoration of the prodigal child

So go ahead and cry Mama

But, make every tear a prayer

An offering of hope and heart

Your prayers are the rain

On the soil of your prodigal’s heart

Your prayers are the rain

On the soil of your prodigal’s heart

Your prayers are the rain

On the soil of your prodigal’s heart…

Those who sow in tears 
Shall reap in joy.
He who continually goes forth weeping,
Bearing seed for sowing,
Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
Bringing his sheaves with him. Psalms 126: 5-6

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11 (NKJV)

Suggested posts:

Letters to My Children

The Measure of a Mom

Sometimes it’s a God Thing                                      A Perfect Mothers Day Gift

© 2016, 2018 Rachael M Colby                 Tattoo It On Your Heart

Fathomless

Tattoo-It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_FathomlessWhy do we let our finite problems eclipse our infinite God?

Why do we limit the possibilities

When we  have access to a limitless God?

He is unsearchable

Yet He calls us to know Him

The more I know Him

The less I feel I know

There is always more

He is fathomless

All encompassing goodness and grace

I have tasted of the wine of His Word and will

And I want more of Him

Nothing else satisfies

Nothing ever will

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Morning Song

Jesus,
You captivate me.

Your love overwhelms me.

Your majesty is brighter than the noonday sun.

Your splendor outshines the stars.

I am undone.

You are my everything, my all in all.

My Savior. My friend,

My God.

 

Did you miss last year’s Valentine’s post? Or perhaps you need to be reminded of some of it again. I do. Often. Here it is:

rachael_m_colby_tattoo_it_on_your_heart_moon_rise_romanceBuilt to Last Not a Hollywood Romance

The plan was for me to read the scripture, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, at my brother’s wedding, and sit back down. But that’s not what happened…Sometimes this is what happens when I put pen to paper and God starts speaking. Sometimes this is what happens when you give me a microphone…

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:4 (NLT)

You will notice the scripture doesn’t say, “love is a feeling.” That’s because it isn’t. Love has feelings, but it is a choice and an action. Love is first a proper noun, because God is love. But then Love became a verb, an action…

 

“So, are you the romantic type?” someone asked me recently. Romance, for me, may look a little different than the picture culture and Hollywood paints…

 A Story

The fury of the snowy night downed power lines and enveloped all. They settled into the couch as the story played across the screen. Winter’s icy fingers pressed against the window panes… Continued here: Built to Last Not a Hollywood Romance

Speaking of romance, Here’s some more:

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Romancing the Rock

Imagine a date where you showed up, tossed a list of what you wanted from your date at them, and then left without even partaking of the meal.

Do you know what “I’m busy right now, God,” means? It’s saying “There is something more important right now than receiving what you have to say to me, God.” And there isn’t. Ever. We need… Continued Here: Romancing the Rock

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (NKJV)

Do you know my Jesus?

© 2016 – 2018 Rachael M Colby                                  Tattoo It On Your Heart

Prior Post: I Hate Commitment, (or is it Failure I Fear?) 

gofundme_aleks_battle_against-lymesDear reader,

I’d like to invite you to read about our young friend, Alek’s, battle against Lymes disease. Please consider sharing on your social media and with friends, family and co-workers.

*Matching funds on new donations from February 1st- February 14th! Link to read his story or donate toward his ongoing treatment. the information on Lymes disease in this article by his mom is a good education on the disease and may be helpful to others battling it or with undiagnosed similar symptoms:

Click to read or donate here:  https://www.gofundme.com/aleks-battle-against-lymes

Can We Talk?

 

Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_Can_We_TalkI believe Christians ought to be able to consider another’s view, amicably agree to disagree on some things, and still appreciate each other.

I don’t believe in just tossing relationships because of disagreements, nor only having discussions with those we agree with. There is a give and take in relationship and it should be especially so in the Church.

Sometimes we will be right, and sometimes wrong.

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. Ephesians 2:2-4 NLT

Some things we won’t know for sure until we get to Heaven. What’s crucial and clear is that we adhere to the Bible’s instructions which dictate the road to salvation and share those with the lost and dying world.

Some issues are worthy of debate, and some aren’t. But even when they are, scripture admonishes us that there is a time to be silent and a time to speak.

All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. 1 Corinthians 10:23 (NASB)

If we do speak, let this govern us:

Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. Ephesians 4:15 (NLT)

Regardless, we don’t need to take it as a personal assault or be offended because others have a different view. Neither should we be offensive.

But avoid irreverent, empty speech, for this will produce an even greater measure of godlessness. 2 Timothy 2:16 (HCSB)

 

“Do you just want to be right, or do you want to be effective?” -Pastor Artie Aragon

 

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)

Someone’s passionate adherence to their belief is not necessarily a persecution of another’s. If our heart is to pursue truth and persuade others of it, then we ought not be offended with others’ attempt to proclaim their position, but rather, be patient and open to learn from and teach each other as the situation dictates. We can choose to use opposition  as an opportunity to strengthen our beliefs by further study.

Reading is crucial to personal growth and gaining understanding of others and the world. We can’t effectively engage others and present truth if we don’t know where they are. What they believe is the starting point to reach them.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

Do not be hasty to close the door on relationships because of differences and lose the chance to influence others with truth. 

My desire is to glorify God, to share the Gospel with the lost and encourage other believers.

“Lord help me to be faithful to Your call, to present Truth with grace and love. Help us to be quick to forgive each other when we fall short. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

The real issue isn’t which translation of the Bible Christians choose to read. The problem is people aren’t reading the Bible more—or at all.

May our discourse push us to study, to seek truth, strengthen our faith and pursue Jesus’ heart.

Now go find a lost soul to preach the Gospel to.

 

Ephesians 4:32 (KJV)

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Ephesians 4:32 (NLT)

Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Ephesians 4:32 (NASB)

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Ephesians 4:32 (HCSB)

And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.

 

Colossians 3:12 (KJV)

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

Colossians 3:12 (NKJV)

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;

Colossians 3:12 (NIV)

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Colossians 3:12 (NASB)

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;

Colossians 3:12 (HCSB)

Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,

 

John 13:35 (KJV)

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

John 13:35 (NKJV)

By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 13:35 (NIV)

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 13:35 (NLT)

Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

John 13:35 (NASB)

By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 13:35 (HCSB)

By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

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Peace.

© 2018  Rachael M Colby     Tattoo It On Your Heart

 

 

Brother’s Keeper

Are you your brother’s keeper, or a stumbling block, an instrument for his demise? Are you a light to show the way or an excuse for wrongdoing? Are you salt and light or a shadow for sin to hide in? Do you offer a hand up, or a step down?

Are you willing to become all things to all men so some may be won? Is one of those things you are willing to become, righteous? Are you willing to hold yourself to a higher standard for the sake of others— for the lost, or for your weaker brother?

All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all edify. 1 Corinthians 10:23 NASB

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brother’s and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. Galatians 5:13 NLT

But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.  Corinthians 8:9 (NKJV)

“Your compromise may become your children’s standard,” the preacher said.

If you don’t show your kids that you love your wife, you are telling them that you don’t. Every boy needs to know how to love a woman & your son is watching you to see how it’s done.The man your daughter will marry is greatly influenced by the one she sees in you. #TheFatherEffectBook http://www.thefathereffect.com    @johnpfinch  #TheFatherEffecthttp://ow.ly/7dk030ftW3T

“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea. Mark 9:42 (NKJV)

Your kids are following you. It’s your choice where you lead them. -John Finch @johnpfinch  #TheFatherEffect  http://ow.ly/7dk030ftW3T

Yes, we will each be held accountable for our actions, response to the Gospel, and our obedience to God. But we are still responsible for the influence we have on others. Let it be for good.

Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please himself. Romans 15:1 NASB

“God, I fall so short! Change me. Jesus, help me to live in Your Light; to be the light. Amen.”

Lifesong, Casting Crowns:

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Let Them See You, JJ Weeks Band: 

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 (KJV)

© 2017  Rachael M Colby     Tattoo It On Your Heart