May 6, 2019

What’s Monday without a blog? Ha. I want to say again how much I appreciate those who read this blog each week. I want it to be something you look forward to reading rather than just one more chore. Some weeks I succeed better than others. Keep your fingers crossed for today!!

A common thing that God does with preachers is to test us with our own sermons. It’s kind of like how my wife loves to quote my sermon words back to me. God has an unusual sense of humor when it comes to applying sermons to my life. As many of you know, yesterday’s sermon was on Faith. Let me just stop and say right here that it has been awhile since I have had a weekend where I have felt more anxious, and that has carried over to today. Why do I feel anxious when God has instructed me to have Faith and Trust Him? That is a great question. It is easy for all of us, me included, to talk about Faith and even proclaim that we are people of Faith but for many that is only because we have not stepped out in a way so that our faith is tested. It’s like a quote I read recently (which I can’t find) which basically said you can’t have courage if you’re never in a situation where you are not put to the test. If you are always playing it safe and never risking anything then there is no way for you to show courage or Faith. I believe many of us don’t struggle with Faith because we have hit the Safe & Easy button in life. James 1:2-4 says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” When was the last time your faith was tested? You wonder why you aren’t growing in your faith? You wonder why you are no closer to being complete than you were a year ago? It’s because you aren’t taking that first step out in Faith. You’re standing at the precipice and you’re saying NO! When was the last time you risked anything? I’m not talking about playing the lottery or the slot machines. I’m talking about getting out of your comfort zone. I’m talking about getting out of your easy chair. I’m talking about moving out from conversations with only your close friends. I’m talking about acts of kindness. I’m talking about sharing your faith with someone else, as scary as that seems!! Let me tell you this . . . when it’s a little scary THAT’S A GOOD THING!! When someone is trying to get physically stronger can that be accomplished by sitting on the couch? Everyone knows if you want to get stronger you have to do more and more. You have to lift more and more weight. It takes work. It takes sweat. It takes effort. And yet the older we get (me included) the less we want to work. Some reading this are saying well preacher that’s why I retired, so I wouldn’t have to work anymore. Let me be honest with you, and some of you won’t like this . . . retirement isn’t always a good thing. Oh it can be, if it frees you up to serve God more but if you let that same attitude of “Yay, no work”, permeate over into your spiritual walk then Satan has you right where he wants you.

 Let me repeat a few quotes from yesterday in case you missed them.

“Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man’s power ends.”

“Faith isn’t the ability to believe long and far into the misty future. It’s simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step.” - Joni Erickson Tada

“Depression is the emotional result of hopelessness. Joy is the emotional result of hope. Peace is the emotional result of faith.”

“Doubt sees what currently is and no more. Hope sees what can be but is not yet. Faith sees what will be as if it were now.”

“A Faith that doesn’t reach out is stagnant and the result is a stunted growth.”

And finally, in the words of Max Lucado, “God honors radical, risk-taking faith.” Step out today and if you feel a little anxious that’s OK. In fact, if you don’t feel a little scared about what God is asking you to do today then it’s likely your mission is not big enough. If all we ever do is what we can accomplish in our own strength then we are missing God’s plan. Let Him stretch your faith today. But just know in advance . . . it will require effort, it will require work, it will require being uncomfortable. Yes. You will need to give up some of that comfort. Comfort is quite possibly the biggest weapon of Satan, but that’s a blog for another day!!

In case you just got back from Mars I wanted to remind you this Sunday is Mother’s Day!! Let me encourage each of you to show your Mom how much she means to you. One way you can do that is to go to church with her!! And husbands, it’s OK to show the mother of your children that she is special as well. I would love to be able to tell my Mom just how much I love her but one day I will and I’m pretty sure she already knows. Don’t miss these chances when you get them!

Congratulations to Austin Walker and Sarah Oatman on their upcoming wedding this Sunday as well. We are praying God’s blessings on this sweet couple!!

I also want to wish my daughter, Gabrielle, and her husband, Patrick, a Happy 6th Anniversary this coming Saturday!! Gabby also graduated from the University of Alabama this past Saturday with her Master’s Degree!! You go Gabby!!

Last Word: Happy Birthday to my first-born, Derek Hixon, as he celebrates his birthday this Friday. Derek is a Fort Worth Firefighter and husband to Ashley, and father to two precious girls. I pray he has a great day!!

I am ON MISSION Today! Are You?