A shrinking church in the south…

For the first time in 200 years the church in the south is declining faster than anywhere else in the nation.  The values of yesterday’s front porch have been replaced by the postmodern influence of high-rise and industry.  While there may be a church on every corner, many will be empty in 20 years.  The answer:  a radical reformation of man’s attitude toward God. 

I would venture to say that most sitting in the pew on Sunday are there for wrong reasons.  Church has become just another part of yesterday’s culture, and this is certainly true in the South.  For many, going to church has become something we do as naturally as turning on the TV to watch Saturday afternoon football.  We’d be lost without both.  Sadly, today’s culture has found other things to occupy their time.  The church of today…the people sitting in the pew this Sunday morning…must wake up because the reality of Judges 2:10 is here.  “When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the LORD nor the work which He had done for Israel.”

This map shows you where evangelical Christianity is growing in the U.S. (Pink indicates growth. Blue indicates decline).

 

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Stephanie Schwan is “on mission”

Stephanie Schwan has taken on the challenge of ACTS 1:8 and will embark “on mission” to the Appalachian Trail during the first week of April.  Stephanie will be assisting Lori Watkins (a.k.a. “queen diva”) at the Bears Den Trail center located in Bluemont, VA. 

http://www.bearsdencenter.org/about.html

You too are able to assist Stephanie in reaching out to the hikers passing through this section of the trail.  Feeding these hikers is the first step in forging the relationship so the message of Christ can be communicated.  Stephanie is asking DP to provide some of the food that will be used to feed the hikers during her time in VA.  Listed below are several of the food items they expect to use during the week. 

We have broken these items down by Sunday school classes to we make sure we cover as many items as possible.

NBC:

Veg-all

Green beans

Peas

Rice (yellow Spanish rice)

Naomi-Ruth:

Corn (canned)

Mushroom soup

Celery soup

Enchiladas Sauce

Rice (yellow Spanish rice)

Berean:

Spaghetti sauce

Spaghetti noodles

Lasagna noodles

Forum:

Veg-all

Canned chicken

Green beans

Corn (canned)

Jiffy corn bread mix (box)

Jiffy pie crust (box)

Jell-O

Men’s class:

Brownie mix

Jell-O

Young Married:

Jiffy corn bread mix (box)

Jiffy pie crust (box)

Canned chicken

Feel free to purchase as many of the items as you want, but please stick to the list.  We will collect these items (in our Sunday school classrooms) through March 21st.  We will need to mail these items up to Bears Den prior to Stephanie’s mission trip.  Wal-Mart gift cards are appreciated as well, so that food items can be purchased there in Virginia.

Thanks for your help in reaching out through North American missions!

Jesus wants the rose…

There is seldom a time when I preach that this video does not play in my mind.  We must never forget the redemptive work that Christ can do, and as a preacher, I must always seek to communicate that message.  A message of morals isn’t sufficient.  Only the message of redemption will suffice.  Without redemption we are forced to rely upon our own ability to “do” or “not do.”  With Christ and through Christ we rely upon His sanctifying work do change our behaviors.

This week @ DPBC – February 28, 2010

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The God of the mundane…

Last night, while listening to a talk on families and parenting, the speaker/pastor described God as the “God of the mundane.”  I’ve heard this 100x, but for the first time the reality of what he said hit me.  In 50-60 years after I’m gone, my family will struggle to remember who I was.  I barely remember my great-grandparents, and at least four of them are buried less than 70 miles from here.  Chances are my name (and yours) will never be written down in a history book.  This is the futility of life we have heard so much about through our study of Ecclesiastes. 

To add insult to injury, this speaker commented that we typically only make about 3-4 “big” decisions in life.  Certainly my life has more significance that just 3-4 big decisions, doesn’t it?  Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I’ve pondered his statement and will reluctantly agree with him.  My decision to follow Christ was not a “big” decision for me.  It was a significant decision with eternal consequences, but it wasn’t something I wrestled with at great lengths.  After all, I was only seven.  My decision to marry Keri was not a difficult decision either.  I knew before we began dating that God had special plans for the both of us.  There was a natural progression in our relationship so that when the time came – I just knew!  Our decision to start a family occurred over a discussion we had in the car while traveling the Florida Turnpike.  No wresting there.  In reviewing my life, the biggest decision I’ve made…the one I truly wrestled with …was moving to Chattanooga.  So, according to my calculations, that is 36 years and really just ONE “big” decision. 

Aren’t you glad that life is not filled with those really “big” decisions!  I’m not discounting the gravity of your day-to-day decisions, but how many of those decisions have the potential to really alter your path in life.  Yet, the God who knows the hair upon your head and the flight status of every sparrow knows your every need.  He cares about those “big” decisions of life, but also the mundane…everyday…just part of life…decisions we must make every day. 

He cares for us more than we can ever know.  After all, He is the God of the mundane.