Our Eldest Son Answers the Call to Preach

Sunday, September 20, our 17 year old son, Joshua, announced that he felt led of God to preach the gospel. Our church, New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, voted to license him to preach and the following Wednesday he preached his first sermon at Fostoria Oaks MBC and Sunday morning his second at New Hope MBC.

I want to share his first two sermons with you all.

The first sermon we recorded the audio from my husband’s phone. Joshua preached from Proverbs 22:6.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Then this past Sunday Joshua preached from Ephesians 2:8-10.

I should explain the background noises that you will hear during Joshua’s second sermon. Since I was recording the sermon on my phone Elisabeth was a little active. She got out of the pew and about half way through Joshua’s sermon you can hear Scott whispering for her to sit down. Then all those kissing noises. That’s her kissing my arms. I tried to quiet her but well, she likes to give kisses. So you get a taste of what it’s like listening to the preaching with a 3 year old.

(If you are reading this in your email and can’t see the video then click here to view the post on the blog or you can watch Joshua’s sermon on YouTube.)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

And this was a shorter sermon. Imagine what Elisabeth does during one of her daddy’s longer ones. 😉

These are Joshua’s first two sermons and I’m looking forward to watching him grow in the ministry. Scott has already started mentoring him. They get up early every Sunday morning to study together at the Church. Scott wants to pass on to Joshua all the things he needs to know to be a successful servant of God.

I’m very proud of my son. I can only imagine the advantage Joshua will have with Scott pouring as much of his Bible knowledge into him before he goes to seminary.

Scott and I both agree that we want our children to grow up and be better than we are. We want them to raise their children better than we have raised them. Yes, we are setting the bar high. We want them to achieve great things and the only way for them to do that is to set high standards for our children.

Hope you enjoyed Joshua’s sermon. 

Would you like to encourage Joshua? Feel free to leave a comment for him or you can email me and I’ll pass the word along.

I also have a post that went live this week over at Ask God Today entitled “Is Jesus Truly God?” I would love it if you would check it out and let me know what you think.

 

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A History of Family Commitment: My Maternal Grandparents

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James and Charlcye Taylor were married January 1, 1945. We called them Mema and Daddy Jim. They were married 64 years.

I remember how Daddy Jim was always a hard worker. He was a marine. Then he felt the call to preach a little while after being out of the military. I loved to hear my Daddy Jim preach. He was one of those old timer preachers that would emphasize his points with relish.

Mema and Daddy Jim were always good at hospitality. Their family has always been a close knit family. Their doors were always open for company. 

Our family would all get together at Mema and Daddy Jim’s house. I remember gathering around their piano in the family room passing around hymnals and singing beautiful songs of praise to God. Everyone would sing in joyful harmony. taylorfamilyyoung2That is one of my favorite memories. 

Mema and Daddy Jim were always there for us. If we needed help, we could always count on them. 

I remember Daddy Jim many times coming to help when we had car troubles.One time I got my car stuck in a ditch. Daddy Jim was there in no time to help me out. Flat tire? Call Daddy Jim.

No matter where you were stranded you could always count on Daddy Jim. He was committed to family.

MemawDaddyJimOne time my parents were out of town. I was a teenager and we were sure that we could take care of ourselves while they were away. However all three of us, my brother, sister, and I caught strep throat.

Mema took good care of us big kids. My parents didn’t have anything to worry about. Mema took us to the doctor. She made sure we took our medicine and got plenty of rest. She has always been there for us.

As Daddy Jim got older his health began to fail. Mema was always there for him and took good care of him. Even during the times she couldn’t get around as well, she would continue to serve him. If he wanted anything, she would get it for him.

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A Perfect Picture of Commitment
Mema and Daddy Jim’s Hands.

I think the sweetest memory I have of their marriage was on one of Mema’s birthdays. It wasn’t too long before he passed away.

Daddy Jim had just come out of the bathroom and sat in his chair. My mom and her sisters had bought a present for him to give Mema. 

Mema was admiring her present when Daddy Jim told her that she hadn’t even noticed his real present for her and pointed at his face. Mema came closer and saw that he had shaved just for her. She put her cheek against his cheek and gave him a kiss. And the whole room went “Aaahhh!!!”

Of course no one had a camera ready to capture that moment but I guess if a picture is worth a thousand words then maybe I was able to paint you a picture of my grandparents’ faithfulness and commitment with just five hundred. 

Do you know anyone that is that committed to family? Do you have any examples of unconditional love? The kind of love that does something for someone else without expecting anything in return? Please share your stories with us in the comments. 

This is Day 3 in my series  31 Days Building Commitment. You can bookmark that page to see my previous posts in this series. Tomorrow I will be introducing you to the lessons I have learned of commitment from my parents. 

I am going through this series expounding on my book “Don’t Quit: Build a Legacy of Commitment.” Download your free copy today! 
 

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Dear World, You Need A Lesson On Commitment

I am joining several other writers to reply to Josh Irby’s “Open Letter Challenge“.  On his blog he asked us to answer his free download an open letter from the world with a letter of our own. I thought it would be fitting to start my 31 Days of Commitment with this letter.

scottstacieDear World,

It is scary writing this letter when I don’t know how you will respond. I know you say that I have a message that you need to hear. Sometimes it is awful hard to give you that message. I know some people will respond positively to what I have to say but then again they are not of this world.

If I could get one message across to you and change one person’s life in the process, I would do my best to give you a lesson on commitment. That is the biggest problem you seem to have. You are very selfish. It is hard to see what is best for everyone else if you are only concerned about yourself and what you want.

You want someone to love you. You don’t necessarily want to love them back. You are looking for someone to meet your needs. It’s too much work to meet there’s.

Life is not all about you. Life is about commitment. You have to think of other people and how your actions will affect them. This is a lesson that you cannot learn in a normal school. This is a lesson that you will only learn from the example of others that live commitment out.

Look at someone that are committed to their spouse and refuse to stray from their commitment and you will see a good example to follow. I know it is hard to find people that are committed. It is beginning to look like it is really getting scarce in our society.

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“Where is commitment to be found?” you ask. I understand your concern and it is very valid.

Preachers and their families should be a good place to look to for modeling commitment in marriage. After all the Bible says they are to be examples.

“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having [his] children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?);” – 1 Timothy 3:2-5 NKJV

Yet every time I see another preacher’s wife leave her husband for another man, or a preacher that runs off with another woman, I cringe. I realize that no one is perfect but preachers’ families live in glass houses. I know you are watching us to see if we fall. 

We are suppose to be the ones that you can look up to as an example of how God would have us to live. But if preachers don’t have commitment figured out, who will teach you.

That is why I am here. This is why I am writing this letter. I will love my husband and model true commitment for you.

If you will read what I have to say I will teach you. Even when you get mad at me. I will keep giving the message God wants me to give. 

Now take your fingers out of your ears. I know this is hard to hear. It’s hard to give up the things you enjoy in order to do what is right. That takes real commitment. But if you would look ahead at what the future could hold if you would only be committed to what you set out to do.

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Life is so much better when you put out the effort to get along with your family. I realize everyone has different circumstances. I’m not saying you have to be a doormat to get along. You can be strong. It takes a lot of strength to be faithfully committed. Especially with the mess you are in the midst of right now.

This is a hard letter to write but I realize you needed me to write it anyway. How will you ever know what you need if no one ever tells you? I will keep on writing. You need to hear what I have to say.

“Where [is] the wise? Where [is] the scribe? Where [is] the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” – 1 Corinthians 1:20 NKJV

Sincerely,

Anastacia Maness

What would you like to tell the world? Will you strive to be committed? As always feel free to share in the comments.

Tomorrow I will be continuing to write on building commitment for the next 31 Days. Don’t worry I won’t be writing every post as a letter. :)

If you haven’t gotten your free copy of my book yet, you can download it here. My posts this month will be expounding on what I have written in my book. 

Thanks for listening!

~~ Anastacia ~~

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My 10 Favorite Inspirational Quotes

There are so many good quotes in the world it’s hard to just pick a few. As a child I quoted everything from “Rain Rain go away” to “If at first you don’t succeed try try again.” I don’t use those childhood quotes so much anymore but I was challenged by a fellow Tribe Writer on his blog post at Positive Writer to write a blog about my favorite quotes.

It took me a while to come around to it but I decided I’d take up the challenge.

 

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Papa and Nana with the kids

As a grand-daughter of 2 preachers, a daughter of 1 preacher, a sister to a preacher, a sister-in-law to another preacher, and let’s not forget I am a preacher’s wife as well…


Obviously a few of my favorite quotes come from the Bible. Here is one such quote I like as a writer.

My tongue is a pen of a ready writer.“~Psalm 45:1

Sometimes I reverse it and say, “My pen is the tongue of a ready speaker.”

 

Ever since I was a child I loved the adventures of Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery. I still enjoy reading her books over
and over again. One of the biggest things I got from her books and think about when I make a new friend that I relate with is

If a person sees eye to eye with you, and has pretty much the same taste in jokes – why then he belongs to the race that knows Joseph.”
“Oh, I understand,” exclaimed Anne, light breaking in upon her. “It’s what I used to call and still call in quotation marks ‘kindred spirits’.
“~Anne of the Island by L. M. Montgomery

 

Just like Anne, I find friends that even on the first meeting I realize are a “kindred spirit”. They are someone that understands me. Other people might look at me funny but a “kindred spirit” just knows.

 

Here is another favorite Bible quote:

Therefore if thine enemy be hungry, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink; for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil but overcome evil with good.“~Romans 12:20-21

As a child I added a little emphasis to the “heaping coals of fire” part. Now I try to focus more on “overcoming evil with good”.

 

Here’s another Bible quote that I frequently use on the kids. This one you have to imagine Captain Kirk’s phraseology a bit.

The rod and reproof giveth wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother shame.” ~Proverbs 29:15

You have to understand that I’m not angry when I quote that one to my kids. I use that one when they’ve been goofing off while my back was turned. That’s my pre-getting-them-back-on-task quote.

The kids usually respond that I sound like Papa. But they do return to work after my sermonette about what that verse means.
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This next quote, I use while cleaning out my refrigerator, comes from my dad. I don’t know if he actually coined it but he is the only one I’ve heard use it.

When in doubt, throw it out.“~ Paul Clark

That probably goes along with “better safe than sorry.”

 

This morning I am up early during a 30 day challenge with a few friends that are also taking the challenge. We’re reading a book by another Tribe Writing friend entitled Early to Rise.

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Jonathan and Elisabeth

So this morning another couple of quotes come to my mind.

Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.” ~ Proverbs 6:10-11 also Proverbs 24:33-34

That verse is not saying to never sleep but it brings another of my dad’s quotes to mind.

Girl, you’re going to sleep your whole day away!“~ Paul Clark

I intend to not sleep my day away.

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My Parents: Paul and Janie Clark

Here is another I have had to repeat to myself many times.

The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe. ~ Proverbs 29:25

 

I could go on and on with Bible quotes. I’ll just give you a couple more.

 

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4:19

This one I think of whenever we don’t have the money to buy something we really need. God always provides.

 

Finally, one quote that I’ve given a lot of devotions on:

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day [is] the
evil thereof.
” ~ Matthew 6:33-34

Do you have any favorite quotes? Leave a comment to share your favorites with me.

This post was ready to go last Friday but my internet wasn’t working. I plan to blog again before the week is out.

If there are any topics you would like to see me post about or questions you would like to ask just let me know. You can ask in the comments or contact me through my contact page. If you are reading this in your email you can also just reply to the email and I’ll answer as soon as I can.

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Good and Busy Days!

We had a busy week last week. The first part of the week Joshua and Ruth worked on their projects for the Scholar’s Exhibit. Then of course Wednesday night we had church services. Then Thursday night was the Scholar’s Exhibit and Recognition night. Then Friday night we went to the rehearsal for my Sister’s wedding. Then we had the wedding on Saturday. After the wedding we left for the Church of which my husband is now the Pastor.

I am so glad that we will soon be settling down in our new community. Scott is a lot happier fulfilling the calling that God has given him. He does not mind hard work but he prefers the work that God has called him to do as a leader and a shepherd. That is what he went to Seminary for. He has been needing a church to help guide. We do not make very good pew warmers as we like to tell people. We need to be working in the calling that God has given us as a preacher’s family. I have a lot of ideas for our small church that we are now a part of. I hope to see the youth in our church doing more and taking an active part in our services. There are not very many members but there are enough and it is a great number to actually work with the children during services. I hope we are blessed with many years serving the Lord there.

Above is a picture of Joshua holding an Anole Lizard. This is one of the pictures we put on Joshua’s display.

I hope to get a few pictures of the wedding onto my computer so that I can show some pictures of the girls dressed up in their beautiful dresses and Joshua in his suit. They were really cute!

This week should be a little slower I am imagining. Scott will be moving some building material from a house that we had originally planned to rebuild. But when plans changed we had a few things still sitting over there. So we need to move it before that house gets bull dozed.

Wednesday, Jonathan has a Dr. appointment. I anticipate that it will go well. He has been growing well and seems to have no problems with the Baby food that we have been giving him about once a day. So his appointment should be fairly uneventful, except for maybe some shots.

Thursday, there will be another homeschool event. It is a field day. I don’t know what all the events will be but I do know that their will be hay hurdles. So I imagine that the kids will have a great time with that.

Other than that it should be a pretty easy week. I am planning to go to the store sometime this week and buy a few things for the parsonage where we will be living in a couple of months. We will be slowly moving things that direction. This week I want to move some dressers that we have not been using in our present location. I am also thinking of taking a few of our dishes over there. I am looking forward to getting over there full time.

Well, Jonathan is not happy so I must go for now. I need to start putting more Bible verses on here again. I will try to get some passages for next time.
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Busy Days!

I just finished another busy day. Scott started the day sick. I was hoping he would get to feeling better but he wound up having to leave work early. I am hoping that he feels better tomorrow.

The kids were good today. I was trying to print them off some lessons I wanted to start them on from the internet. However, since my laptop is not working and Scott had set up this computer for me to use, I didn’t have Adobe Acrobat on here. So the kids patiently waited quite a bit of the day for me to download all the files I needed. It gave me so much trouble. I even had to restart the computer at one point, which meant I had to re-download all those files I was trying to load. Thankfully, I have that done and should be able to print those papers for the kids tomorrow. I highly recommend http://www.learningpage.com. This is a wonderful resource that I have used with my kids a lot. You can find lesson plans and worksheets. They have lesson themes that have always captivated my children whenever we use them.

I have so many things I want to teach my children that I sometimes don’t know where to begin, I just throw in a new lesson whenever I find an open opportunity. Thursday, I will be taking my children on a field trip to a Planetarium and an Art Museum. This is an activity that is planned with a homeschool group that we are a part of. My husband may accept a church soon and if he does I want to find another homeschool group like the one we were a part of here. I like the support we receive from other homeschoolers in the area. I also like how we can get discounts going to museums and things as a group. It also helps our kids see that they are not the only ones that are learning in their home instead of in a Public educational setting. So if I am able to find another Christian homeschool group, I will be really happy.

Yes, a church has finally voted to call my husband as pastor. He will be preaching there next Sunday and is planning, Lord willing, to accept their call. I won’t name the church at this time but will just say it is another church in Texas. Some reason the Lord has seen fit to have us stay in Texas all these years. Churches are seeking Pastors all over the place. It is hard sometimes to just pick one location and say this is the place we are suppose to be. We just keep following the open doors that God gives us until he opens a new one.

Well, it is very late and I am very tired. I’m not even going to review for typos right now. I hope there are not too many. I will try to post another blog later. Good-night.

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Doing More for God!

It is easy to get comfortable with things the way they are. If you own a shoe that is comfortable and you like it a lot it is sometimes hard to stop wearing it, even if it starts to wear out. It’s easy to say, “This is my favorite shoe. I’ll just patch it up and it will be fine.” I know that it can be that way in life as well. “I don’t want to change what I’m doing. It’s been fine so far.”

The day we are saved there is a change in our hearts. We should not be the same people we were the day before our salvation. We should desire the change and want to grow from the beginning of our new walk with Christ.

2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

If a person prays for salvation but does not have that change of heart, are they truely saved? Or were they just praying for fire insurance? Now maybe a person did have a change of heart after they were saved. They may have become on fire for God, but then over time they become satisfied. “I’ve learned all there is to learn. There is nothing more I need. My friends and family know that I’m a Christian. I’m a sermon in shoes. Look at me! Life is good!”

Then they are satisfied. There is nothing more a person with that type of attitude can learn. They are content and do not want to change. They have done things that way for so long, they are afraid that it would mess something up if they changed and did something different.

I’m afraid that that might be happening to many of the Lord’s churches today. Are we becoming complacent. Are we afraid of change? As I sit here I can think of at least 5 preachers who desire to pastor, but yet are without a church. They are all good doctrinally sound preachers. They have all been taught how to study their Bibles for themselves. They all have expressed a burning desire to reach the lost for Christ and seeing people grow in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The only problem that a church seeking a pastor could possibly have with any of these men, is the fear of change.

If people start seeking God with their whole heart, there is going to be change! It is going to happen, there is no stopping it. A good pastor will preach from God’s word what God has laid on his heart to preach. That pastor should have a desire to see the people in his church grow spiritually. He should not be satisfied with his church not doing more. His sermons and guidance may cause the membership to feel uncomfortable with the change, however it is for their good.

A good parent should want their child to grow. They should teach their child to work hard, and to do the things that are good, even if it is hard at first. What they learn as a child will make them what they will be as an adult. My son does not like to write, however I make him write for his good. I cannot allow him to be content with just drawing pictures. I realize that he needs to develop his writing even if it is not comfortable for him. He may not like the work it takes to change, but I realize that that change is necessary, so I must as a parent lovingly push him to write more.

Shouldn’t a pastor want the same for his church members. He knows what is good for them. As he studies God’s word and tries to make changes in his own personal life, shouldn’t he also desire the best for the flock God has intrusted to him. Should he stand back and allow them to not do what he knows deep in his heart would be better for them to do. But then there is also a fear that if he tells them what they need to hear, they will cast the man of God aside and seek another one that will not push them to change. This treatment has even happened to many prophets in the Bible. And will continue to be a problem according to Paul in his letter to Timothy his son in the faith.

2Ti 4:1-4 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; (2) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (4) And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Scott preached a sermon last night from Revelation 3:14-20 on Lukewarmness.

Rev 3:14-20 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; (15) I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. (16) So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. (17) Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: (18) I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. (19) As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. (20) Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Too many of God’s people are satisfied with being lukewarm. They need to change, but that change is uncomfortable. Jesus is standing at the door of churches today, knocking, desiring to come in. However if it requires change to allow the Savior into their midst many churches will not open their doors.

My prayer is that we allow God to work a great revival in our hearts and in our churches, and that His churches will listen to His messengers and will seek His will with their whole heart. If that does not happen now, one day it will happen at His return.

Rev 22:20-21 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

May we not get caught napping. (Mark 13:33-37)

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Much needed Update

It’s been a few months since I’ve written. Jonathan has now entered our lives and Scott and I have agreed we can’t imagine life without him. He is only two months old but he adds so much to our family life. I mean homeschool lessons wouldn’t be the same without the occasional “Isn’t that right Jonathan?” He just loves it when any of us talk to him. He usually returns a big smile in response.
He also loves the attention of his doting brother and sisters at least until he gets a little overwhelmed by them. Then they all say, “Oh, Oh! We’re making him mad!” then they run away from him. He usually calms down again when I pick him up.
I’m getting fairly proficient at typing one handed as well, being as the only time I really get to get on the computer is while I’m holding him.
Scott and I are very proud of our children. Every time I bring all four of them to Jonathan’s doctor’s appointment I receive compliments on how well behaved they are. The doctor told me that it is very unusual to have a room with that many children that quiet.

We are still waiting for a church to call Scott as pastor. We have been to several churches in view of a call but none have called as of yet. He is not the only preacher waiting for churches to call. We have friends who we go to church with on Wedneday’s and we ask them, “Have y’all heard from ___ church yet?”
And they say “No. How about y’all? Have y’all heard from the church y’all went to?”
“Not yet.”
So many churches say that they are praying for God to call more men to preach and yet there are men called by God waiting for churches to accept them. I don’t know what these churches are looking for. My husband has preached some really good sermons and has the salvation message in each one. He answers all their questions honestly and makes sure everyone understands the answers. He has even stated he is willing to take a part time while pastoring if needed. But he still has yet to hear from anyone. I think these churches should hear a man at least twice before assuming he’s not the one for their church. I don’t know though. Someone suggested that it could be Scott’s beard causing churches not to call him. That seems rather petty to me though. I personally like his beard and I don’t think it should matter as long as he keeps it neatly trimmed.
Scott said that a lot of churches are looking for Saul when they should be looking for a shepherd. The other preachers in our church seem to agree. I’m tired of church politics. It’s almost like preachers have to run for office in order to preach.
Anyway until God sends us to the church he wants us to be at we will continue to do our best where we’re at. I’ll continue to fulfill my purpose taking care and teaching our children and Scott will continue to work hard at his construction job and continue to organize materials for the house he intends to build for us. We will also do our best to help with any local ministries we are able to help.

Well, I must go for now I need to buy some more homeschool supplies. It’s amazing how fast pencils disappear when it’s time for writing lessons. Until next time!

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