Category Archives: Pastor’s Page

From the desk of Pastor Stan . . .

Learning to Lead Like Jesus With Discipline—Chapter Six Takeaways
  1. Disciplined leaders establish regular routines that grow their devotion to Jesus.
  2. Disciplined leaders plant their lives by the water of God’s Word, and bear good fruit.
  3. Disciplined leaders are wise not to substitute their warm devotion for cold discipline.
  4. Disciplined leaders are influenced by other disciplined leaders.
  5. Disciplined leaders forgive quickly and remain grateful to God.
  6. Disciplined leaders walk with wise leaders, apply their words, and copy their actions.
  7. Disciplined leaders learn to listen to the Lord and receive His sweet love.
  8. Disciplined leaders are relentless in their pursuit of being still and knowing God.
  9. Disciplined leaders take the time to be present and to live in the present.
  10. Disciplined leaders work in a diligent manner that honors the Lord. <!–split–>
Learning to Lead Like Jesus with Gratitude—Chapter Seven Takeaways

1. Grateful leaders look to the Lord often with heartfelt praise and thanksgiving.

2. Grateful leaders have a pattern of ongoing thankfulness to God and people.

3. Grateful leaders celebrate Christ’s restoration of their lives and the lives of others.

4. Grateful leaders are thankful to God for a nation where we can enjoy the benefits of freedom.

5. Grateful leaders who work for the Lord are able to joyfully serve others.

6. Grateful leaders facilitate home environments of gratitude for their families.

From Fearful Disciples to World Changers (Part 1)

It is not a stretch to say that Jesus’ disciples experienced similar feelings as they huddled together in a house with doors locked “for fear of the Jews.” How that small group of disciples moved from paralyzing fear to changing the world is a testament of the amazing work of God in and through their lives. The gospel writer does us a favor by telling us exactly why the disciples locked themselves in the house. “… and the doors of the house were locked for fear of the Jews” — not their fellow Jews on the street, but the powerful Jewish leaders who had engineered Jesus’ execution. <!–split–>

Fear is a powerful human emotion. It shuts all kinds of doors in our lives. It shuts the door on people who are different from us, making us see them more as a threat than a friend. It shuts the door on opportunities that could lead to wonderful new chapters in our lives. Fear causes us to react to the unknown rather than see it through the eyes of God. This day, the disciples locked themselves in the house for fear of what Jesus’ opponents might do to them. Jesus had been nailed to the cross; what hope did they have?

But really, the lock on the door was unnecessary. Fear was enough to keep them locked up tight. They weren’t going anywhere.

Then Jesus showed up. He didn’t knock on the door. He didn’t ask them if it was okay for him to come in. He just appeared. John tells us, “Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’”

After that Jesus “showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.” The gospel does not paint us a full picture of this event. It would be great to know more about precisely how the disciples reacted when Jesus first appeared among them, but John didn’t see the need for that. Jesus appeared and that seemed to be enough.

From the desk of Pastor Stan . . .

Chapter 4—Learning to Lead Like Jesus with Relationships

  1. Relational leaders value relationships—sometimes more than measured results.
  2. Relational leaders understand how relationships affect their quality of life.
  3. Relational leaders value the eternal significance of relationships. <!–split–>
  4. Relational leaders invest their lives in others’ lives.
  5. Relational leaders honor their parents even when they are hard to honor.
  6. Relational leaders engage their children and grandchildren in the ways of wisdom.
  7. Relational leaders view marriage as a laboratory for living out their faith.
  8. Relational leaders do what’s best for everyone instead of showing favoritism.

Chapter 5—Learning to Lead Like Jesus with Teachability

  1. Teachable leaders are ever learning the ways of the Lord.
  2. Teachable leaders learn from other leaders who complement their gifts and skills.
  3. Teachable leaders are careful not to get ahead of themselves or those they lead.
  4. Teachable leaders prepare heart and mind to receive the truth.
  5. Teachable leaders are patient to make things better before becoming bigger.
  6. Teachable leaders have authentic faith that challenges others to have the same.
  7. Teachable leaders grow in their skill to communicate clearly, creatively, and often.
  8. Teachable leaders are willing to move out of their comfort zones and learn new things.
  9. Teachable leaders discuss timeless books and ideas with others.
  10. Teachable leaders love God with their minds by learning and applying His Word.

From the Desk of Pastor Stan ……

Chapter 2—Learning to Lead Like Jesus with Love

In John 21:16-17, Jesus asks us to show our love for him by feeding and loving his sheep. Sheep—all who have given our lives to him. Chapter two for me shows that love is not only unconditional, but also patient, kind and non-judgmental. <!–split–>

Takeaways
  1. Loving leaders show kindness to others by treating them with honor and dignity.
  2. Loving leaders are long-suffering in their love for the unlovely as well as for the lovable.
  3. Loving leaders patiently look for a better way to wait to speak on another day.
  4. Loving leaders grow the capacity to love when they experience forgiveness often.
  5. Loving leaders are motivated to love by obeying Christ’s commands.
  6. Loving leaders persevere when motivated by the greater purpose of love.
  7. Loving leaders are able to love others well when they love themselves well.
  8. Loving leaders are successful when they are loved by the Lord and love others well.

Chapter 3—Learning to Lead Like Jesus With Accountability

The Bible informs us in Romans 14:12, that all of us must give an account of our stewardship.

Takeaways
  1. Accountable leaders take the time to develop plans and work them.
  2. Accountable leaders avoid compromising situations by having clearly defined boundaries.
  3. Accountable leaders fear God, submit to authority, and invite accountability.
  4. Accountable leaders do better because others are watching what they do.
  5. Accountable leaders clarify for their families what’s most important in life.
  6. Accountable leaders have purity plans, and mentors who hold them to their plans.
  7. Accountable leaders engage with communities of accountability.
  8. Accountable leaders set deadlines to help facilitate healthy decision-making.
  9. Accountable leaders are defined more by their “noes” than their “yeses.”
  10. Accountable leaders take the time to follow up and inspect what’s expected.

HE IS LORD

HE IS LORD

HE HAS RISEN FROM THE DEAD

AND HE IS LORD

EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW, EVERY TONGUE CONFESS

THAT JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!

From the desk of Pastor Stan

ACCEPT what is, let go of what WAS, and have FAITH in what WILL BE.

In his book Learning To Lead Like Jesus, Boyd Bailey, a leadership coach and entrepreneur, gives 11 principles that will help us serve, inspire and equip others. I would like as many as possible to read and study this book in 2020.

Summary of Chapter One Takeaways

Humble leaders show respect by planning ahead and listening to others.

Humble leaders ask God for wisdom to discern right from wrong.

Humble leaders celebrate the successes of others and are inspired by them.

Humble leaders use words to build up and not tear down.

Humble leaders use brokenness as a pathway to greater intimacy with God.

Humble leaders do what’s best for “us,” not just what’s best for “me.”

Humble leaders give credit for successes to others and to the team.

Recipe for a NEW YEAR

Take 365 days, trim off all the old memories of hate and discord.

Soak and wash thoroughly in plenty of love and courage.

Cut these days into 12 parts, cooking only one day at a time.

Be sure the fire is hot with enthusiasm and your kettle is bright with hope.

Season each kettle-full with some kindness for others and add patience, for small trials that come up every day.

Add a little earnestness and willingness.

Serve with smiles, praise and plenty of heartwarming joy, with your chin up.

-Author Unknown

GENEROSITY CHANGES EVERYTHING (Part 2): Think like a Farmer (5 things farmers don’t forget) 2 Corinthians 9:6-10 NASB

That’s why Paul wrote Corinthians 9:8 TLB. God is able to make it up to you by giving you everything you need and more so that there will not only be enough for your own needs but plenty left over to give joyfully to others. God gives the farmer more so he can help others with joy! Galatians 6:7 NAB. Again, the thing you want to reap, must be the thing that you sow. <!–split–>

2 Corinthians 9:9-10 TLB. It is as the Scriptures say: “The godly man gives generously to the poor. His good deeds will be an honor to his forever.” 10 For God, who gives seed to the farmer to plant, and later on good crops to harvest and eat, will give you more and more seed to plant and will make it grow so that you can give away more and more fruit from your harvest. God calls you, “The harvest of righteousness.” When sowing becomes your nature, you become the harvest of righteousness. Imputed righteousness, it’s the fact, that the “righteousness of Christ . . . Is imputed to (believers) – that is, treated as if it were theirs through faith. Let’s do some critical thinking, “Sometimes we plant weeds and expect roses!” Sometimes we’re quick to judge others, yet we ourselves are the first to pled for mercy if we fall.” (Think about it). Again, a farmer doesn’t sow corn and expect to reap potatoes. Questions: Is your seed prepared? Yes, but are you prepared? Place your seed in your hand. Here’s 6 steps to follow. By faith, Pray over the seed. By faith, bury your seed. (John 12:24) By faith, water your seed in worship. Give God the sacrifice of praise. By faith, wait on your seed, by waiting on the Lord. Isaiah 40:29, Have you not know, have you not heard, that the Ever Lasting God . . . By faith, keep weeds away by eating and digesting God’s word. By faith, rejoice over your harvest! Rejoice over God’s multiplication! 5. There’s one final principle of sowing and reaping we need to understand. We not only reap what we sow, but we reap more! Say, reap more! 2 Corinthians 9:11 TLB. Yes, God will give you much so that you can give away much, and when we take your gifts to those who need them they will break out into thanksgiving and praise to God for your help. Think about this Bible fact, “Your gift will make many break-out in praise!” Also, your gift, breaks the back of the stronghold of hoarding, and being stingy, you can find a freedom in giving.” P.H.

GENEROSITY CHANGES EVERYTHING: Think like a Farmer (5 things farmers don’t forget) 2 Corinthians 9:6-10 NASB

Today, I want you to think like a farmer. The first thing you’ll learn about farming is you’ll never see a farmer who refuses to plant seeds, sitting around expecting a harvest. About this farmer: This particular farmer may attend church regularly, be a good family man, have devotions every day and share his faith with others, but he’s not going to get a harvest without first planting. <!–split–>

This thought came to me to challenge you with. “On a day-to-day basis, how do you plant spiritual seed?” First we hear. We have to get desperate and intentional. We get in His presence. We understand God is the only satisfaction. We adore Him.

Second, we do. We go into His Throne Room of Grace and linger and learn. Thirdly, we confess we’re empty without Him; therefore, we let go, and He takes over. We stay silent and listen as He speaks. He fills our seemingly empty shell; He walks up and down the avenues of our heart changing what He may will, and when we feel a release, there will be satisfaction that the world can’t give.” Again, the law of sowing and reaping is built into creation.

Remember Genesis 8:22 NASB.  All the days of the earth, seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. Once more, seed-time and harvest are universal laws.

In 2 Corinthians 9:6-10, Paul concludes his appeal by pointing to the benefits the Corinthians will reap as a result of generous giving. Consider this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have abundance for every good work. As it is written: “He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

Proverbs 11:24-25 TLB.  It is possible to give away and become richer! It is also possible to hold on too tightly and lose everything. Yes, the liberal man shall be rich! By watering others, he waters himself. Again, I want you to think like a farmer thinks. Just as you’ll never see a farmer refuse to plant seed, you’ll never see a farmer eat the seed he should be planting. If a farmer is going to reap a harvest, he knows he must start with a seed, not his need. Jesus said in Luke 6:38 TMm “Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing.” Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity. Some of us approach God from a need standpoint, “I can’t give to the Lord because I have to pay these bills.” Remember, we’re still thinking like farmers, right? Again, some say, “I got bills to pay.” Farmers don’t say, “I can’t plant this seed even though it’ll yield a good crop, because I’m hungry right now. “A wise farmer saves for a rainy day.”

2 Corinthians 9:7 AMP. Let each one give (thoughtfully and with purpose) just as he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver (and delights in the one whose heart is in his gift). According to verse 7, this is a well thought-out process. “This is where your faith kicks in. Even though it’s tempting to eat your seed, sow that seed into the ground anyway!” Hebrews 11:6 NASB.  But without faith it is impossible to please him, for anyone who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. When a farmer plants his seed instead of eating it, it’s an act of faith that his seed will turn into a harvest. Remember, harvest takes time—Let faith kick in! *Time to Pray *Time to Love * Time to wait, watch and reap.

Yes, reap the harvest! (part two in December Chimes)

From The Desk Of Pastor Stan

In this month’s issue, I would like to spend a little time discussing Apostle Paul’s message to us and the church as revealed through Philippians 4:13. Not only is this my favorite scripture, but for years it has proven to be a source of strength as I go through life. I honestly believe that like the Apostle Paul, we too must learn the secret of contentment. Think about it, do you really trust Christ to give you strength in all things?

The Bible teaches or instructs us to be content in whatever state we find ourselves. The Apostle Paul learned that lesson well: “for I have learned in whatever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philippians 4: 11 KJV). This in no way implies that we should be content with neither complacency nor mediocrity, thus now fulfilling the call of God on our lives. Not at all. Bethel Wesley and friends, we must work daily to improve ourselves while at the same time remaining totally dependent on God. Whatever we need to do to fulfill God’s purpose we can do, not in our own strength, but through the strength and power of Christ that dwells within our innermost being.

From The Desk Of Pastor Stan

Hello Bethel Wesley and friends, I thought I would try something different to see if you like it. I would like to share my favorite sermon for the month. This month’s sermon is “Learning to Wait on the Lord” which I preached on Father’s Day. Please pay attention to the scriptures noted in the sermon, as they will enable you to get a better understanding of the point I’m trying to drive home.

QUESTION: “What does it mean to wait on the Lord?”

ANSWER: The command to wait on the Lord is found extensively throughout the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament, it is more about waiting for the Lord’s providential care, but most New Testament references relate to Christ’s second coming. In all cases, it is about waiting expectantly and with hope. Fundamental to being able to wait is trusting God’s character and goodness. <!–split–>

Waiting on the Lord is something the godly do. It’s about holding on tight, hoping with expectation and trust, knowing that our Lord is not making us wait just to see how long we can “take it.” There are times when God will delay His answer, and we will at times wonder why He seems so reluctant to intervene in our affairs: “I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God” (Psalm 69:3). But, knowing the Lord, we trust that He will come at the perfect moment, not a second too soon or too late.

Waiting on the Lord necessitates two key elements: a complete dependence on God and a willingness to allow Him to decide the terms, including the timing of His plan. Trusting God with the timing of events is one of the hardest things to do. The half-joking prayer, “Lord, I need patience, and I need it RIGHT NOW,” is not far removed from the truth of how we often approach matters of spiritual growth and the Lord’s will. To wait on the Lord produces character in the life of the Christian in that it involves patience (see James l:4). Waiting involves the passage of time, which is itself a gift of God.

The word wait in the Bible carries the idea of confident expectation and hope. “For God alone my soul waits in silence . . . my hope is from him” (Psalm 62:1,5 ESV). To wait upon the Lord is to expect something from Him in godly hope, “and hope does not disappoint” (Romans 5:5). We wait on the Lord in a way similar to how we wait on the arrival of out of town relatives, with loving anticipation of seeing them again. All creation eagerly awaits God’s restoration: “The creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed” (Romans 8:19). Those who wait for God to keep His promises will not be disappointed.

Waiting on the Lord involves being at rest in the Lord. Psalm 23 provides a lesson concerning being still. Sheep will not be at peace near rushing water, but they will lie contentedly by “still” water, and that’s where the Good Shepherd leads us (Psalm 23;2). The words “He makes me lie down” can be translated “He causes me to rest.” When we, like sheep, are still, we are resting in the Lord and trusting our Shepherd. Being still means we have ceased from following our own agenda or ingenuity; we have stopped trusting in our own strength and will power. We are waiting upon the Lord to exchange our weakness for His strength (2 Corinthians 12:9). The apostle Paul had a “thorn in the flesh,” and, as he gains spiritual insight, he understands that the affliction is a protective suffering meant by God to keep him from sin. As a result, the apostle is content to rest in God’s grace. God does not remove the thorn; He gives Paul a place to be still in the bearing of it. Paul learned to be still and wait on the Lord.

To wait on the Lord is to rest in the confident assurance that, regardless of the details or difficulties we face in this life, God never leaves us without a sure defense. As Moses told the panicky Israelites trapped at the Red Sea by Pharaoh’s army, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14). The heavenly perspective comes as we focus not on the trouble but on the Lord and His Word. When it seems God has painted us into a corner, we have an opportunity to set aside our human viewpoint and wait upon the Lord to show us His power, His purpose, and His salvation.

When we don’t choose to wait on the Lord, we solicit trouble for ourselves. Remember how Abraham and Sarah did not wait on the Lord for their child of promise; rather, Sarah offered her maid, Hagar, to Abraham in order to have a child through her. The account in Genesis 16 and 18 shows that their impatience led to no end of trouble. Any time we fail to wait on the Lord and take matters into our own hands – even when we’re trying to bring about something God wants – it leads to problems. When we “seek fir the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33, ESV), we can allow God to work out the rest of the details.

This doesn’t mean we sit idly by as we wait on the Lord to act on our behalf. We should not spend our time doing nothing; rather, we should continue to do the work He has given us to do. Psalm 123:2 says, “As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he show us his mercy.” That is, we should look to God with the constant anticipation and willingness to serve that a servant shows to his master. The idea of waiting on the Lord is not like waiting for the dentist in the waiting room (thank goodness!) Rather, the sense of waiting on the Lord is somewhat akin to what a waiter or waitress does in a restaurant. Our attitude and actions should be as those of a waiter anticipating and meeting the requests of the one he’s waiting on. Our waiting on the Lord is not biding our time until we finally get the service we’ve been waiting for; it’s filling our time with service to the Master, always on our feet, ready to minister.

The command to wait on the Lord means that we are to be near Him and attentive so that we may catch the slightest intimation of what He wants for us. We naturally think of ourselves as self-sufficient. We turn here and there and expect help from our own ability, from friends, or from circumstances. But in the spiritual life we are taught to distrust self and depend upon the power of the Holy Spirit.

Waiting on the Lord involves the confident expectation of a positive result in which we place a great hope – a hope that can only be realized by the actions of God. This expectation must be based on knowledge and trust, or we simply won’t wait. Those who do not know the Lord will not wait on Him; neither will those who fail to trust Him. We must be confident of who God is and what He is capable of doing. Those who wait on the Lord do not lose heart in their prayers: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us (I John 5;14). Waiting on the Lord renews our strength (Isaiah 40:31). Prayer and Bible study and meditating upon God’s Word are essential. To wait on the Lord we need a heart responsive to the Word of God, a focus on the things of heaven, and a patience rooted in faith.

We should not despair when God tarries long in His response, but continue to patiently wait on Him to work on our behalf. The reason God sometimes waits a long time to deliver is to extend the goodness of the final outcome. “Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him” (Isaiah 30:18, ESV).