Here’s Some Advice I’m Not Using

by Pastor Doug
“Like a bad tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in times of trouble”  Proverbs 25:19

It is good to seek counsel when trouble comes our way, but who you lean on at that time can set the course of your life for a season. Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, took counsel from his peers and rejected the counsel of his elders and the whole future of Israel was affected adversely as a consequence. In our postmodern culture it seems that everyone has an opinion and stands ready to offer advice unsolicited if given the slightest opening. How do you determine whose advice is worth taking when there are so many voices chiming in? AW. Tozer wrote, “Listen to the man who listens to God.” Ask God for wisdom and then learn to listen for the voice that rings true in your innermost parts and not the one that appeals to your outer nature. Part of the sin matrix of our western culture is a pioneer spirit that encourages independence and self-sufficiency. “I don’t need no stinking advice. I’ll stand on my own two feet.” But if you do humble out enough to ask for some input into your situation, be discerning enough to ask someone who has an anointing and not just a title. Then keep in mind that you are still the one who determines whether to act on that advice or not.  

-Pastor Doug




It’s How You Play The Game

by Pastor Doug
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”  1 Corinthians 9:2.

“Dougie does not like to lose.” That’s what Mrs. Johnston wrote on my 3rd grade report card. I would love to let her know that I have learned how to enjoy the game even if I lose. The game is simply something to do while I attempt to build a relationship with the one I am competing against or with. The pressure is off, but I can reveal a lot about my character for better or for worse in the midst of competition. Someone has said, “You can find out more about a person in an hour of play than you can in a year of conversation.” The same could probably be said about riding with a person in the car while they are driving. But we won’t go into that. Who do you become when there is a little friendly competition? Can you play a game without losing your sanctification? Can you play your best without viewing your opponent as the enemy? Can you play and maintain a light heart, humility, love, peace and gentleness, while playing your best? If these virtues disappear when you compete at any level, you may want to avoid competing until they can remain while you play. What do we do with that old competitive nature once we become believers? Kill it! It cannot co-exist with Christ-likeness. Those we rub shoulders with who provoke us into competition must not be successful in persuading us to engage at their level. The only competition that is worthy of getting upset over is the battle for souls and the battle you fight daily between the old and the new nature. Paul seemed to state this in 1 Corinthians 9:25-27.

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave…”  


-Pastor Doug




Christmas Card List

by Pastor Doug
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An Angel of the Lord appeared to them…and said, ‘I bring you good news of great joy…’ Luke 2:8-10.

I think it is worth noting who the Lord included on his ‘Christmas card list’ in those first few weeks of his appearing. The lowly shepherds may have received the most impressive card – although the message the wise foreign guys received from the appearance of an unusual star may have been a close second. Simeon’s card may have been the most personal, and Anna shared hers with all who were looking forward to the redemption of Israel. So we have humble outcasts, alert Gentiles, a devoted seeker, and a godly widow, all of whom God chose to make known that the acceptable year of the Lord had come. I don’t think the list has changed much since that first Christmas. The Lord still sends the Christmas message that He has come and He is near to those who are looked down upon by others; to those who realize that they can only celebrate Christmas because the gift was rejected by those He was sent to; to those who long to see the Lord’s redemption, and to those who go through this world alone.

-Pastor Doug



Why Do We Serve God?

by Pastor Doug
“All these years I have been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders.” Luke 15:29
Have you ever met a sour-faced servant of God? Were you ever one? As a pastor, I am extremely blessed by the abundance of joyful volunteers and servants who appear to serve out of an overflow of love for God. This is wonderful, but it does not mean we never need to check our motives for serving.

If our perception of God is a few bubbles off we can easily misread Him when frustration lands on our lap and find ourselves saying just what the older brother here said to the father when his prodigal brother came home. Suddenly the truth about our service comes out and with it a pharisaical view of God.

“To a Pharisee, the service of God was a bondage which he did not love but from which he could not escape without a loss too great to bear. The God of the Pharisee was not a God easy to live with, so his religion became grim and hard and loveless.” A.W.Tozer.

I think it is important to learn to pay attention to some of the indicators that will keep you from having a service for God that is grim and hard and loveless. Here are a few of the warning lights on the dash for me: 1) I find myself complaining about those I serve, 2) I’m not laughing as much as I used to, and 3) I have difficulty entering into worship.
Here’s what I do if these lights are flashing. 1) I offer up to God each act of service. “Lord, out of love for you I did this. May it be an acceptable offering to you.” 2) I meet with God in quietness and make sure there isn’t anything between Him and me. 3) I become more faithful in praying for those I serve.

One of the things that make our faith attractive to our children and extended family and friends is to serve God and others out of an overflow of love to God.
Pastor Doug