Meet Will George

Will George is one of my little buddies. In the church I serve I have a whole bunch of little buddies across both of our campuses. We fist bump. We laugh. They hit me up for gum balls out of my gum ball machine. They threaten me with bodily harm. I growl. They run. On occasion, one will need to talk or ask advice or need to pray with me.

A few days ago, Will George came to my office and wanted to tell me about his newest endeavor. Will George (he’s a two namer) had a God given idea to start an after school meeting for his fellow 3rd graders called “Church After School” (C.A.S. for short). Here is the letter to his principal seeking permission that he wrote all by himself:

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If you can’t make that out, here’s the transcription, word for word:

Dear Mr. Edwards,
I’m a fellow beleiver in christ and I would like to start a bible study. I’m wanting to teach people about Jesus. The name of the study will in my expectation be C.A.S. (Church After School). You may be thinking, “why ask me?” But here’s why. I don’t have anywhere to teach them so I ask for permission to use you’r school. Please trust me to teach the gospel to the students of this school. There are kids that don’t know about christ and I want to teach them! You’r and my question is, will you let me? If you’ve got the answer, yes or no, I’m in Ms. Lackey’s home room class and I would love to here the answer. The whole thing has been planned. I am a patien kid and give you all the time you need to figure out the answer so wait as long as you want. I will be okay if the answer is no so do whatever you want. Contact me at any time.

Sincerly,
Will George

Third grade, people!!!

After a few meetings and some minor plan revisions, Will George had it all together. Today was the very first meeting of C.A.S. at Johnson Elementary School. Take a sneak peek:

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I have preached a few sermons and taught a few classes where I wished I had that many people for the first meeting. I am so proud of my little buddy! It fills my heart to know that his father and mother, Rob and Julie, have poured into this kid and loved him to the Lord! I weep when I think of Ms. Jeralyn, Ms. Cyrena, and Ms. Lyndy and all of the Sunday School teachers, VBS teachers, Awana and TeamKid leaders who have invested in him and others just like him.

It makes me eager to step behind the pulpit each Sunday with the honor and privilege to preach the Word of God and know that it NEVER RETURNS VOID!

Will George, I love you, buddy! Come by the office for your free gum ball!!!

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Shout Now! Victory Is At Hand.

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of knowing you are about to score. The football may not have breached the goal line; the basketball may still be in the hands of your best 3-point shooter, yet, that overwhelming feeling of victorious euphoria is welling up inside of you. Go ahead… start shouting!

This morning, I read my devotion from one of my favorites, Vance Havner’s Day By Day: A Book of Bible Devotions.  Today’s verse was Joshua 6:16, “And at the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, ‘Shout! For the Lord has given you the city.'” I pray you know the story, if not, read it HERE. Joshua and the children of Israel were embarking on the conquest of the land promised to them by God. Coming to Jericho, God presented a unique plan of attack: marching around the heavily fortified walls of the city for six days with some trumpet playing for good measure. They were not to let their voices be heard until God told them to shout.

Sounds like a winning battle plan if I’ve ever heard one, huh???

As crazy as that may sound, the key point to the story is the first thing out of the Lord’s mouth when He shares this plan with Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hands…(Joshua 6:2).” It was a done deal! The rest of the plan was just faith. Havner says, “Faith is the land deed for our inheritance with God’s signature.”

Dear child, what has the Lord been telling you? What audacious victory has He already promised you? Is he merely waiting for you to demonstrate your abiding faith in Him? Maybe it requires you to do something different from strolling around a walled city and tooting your trumpet or stepping out of a perfectly good boat, but rest assured, whatever He has promised on your faith journey, He will do.

So go ahead and SHOUT! The victory is already won.

Take Hold of Jesus

“There is no one who calls on Your name, who arouses himself to take hold of You…”

Isaiah 64:7 NASB

May this not continue to be said of us!

When I come across things like this during quiet times, you need to know that I share it with you because it first worked on me. I only share things that move me. Things that educate me or teach me something about myself, God or our relationship, these are the things I take the time to share.   If it makes me smile, laugh, think, and/or change, then I may deem it worthy of sharing with a friend whom I would hope would benefit just as I have.

This verse hits me squarely in the face.  Why? Being completely transparent, even though I have dedicated my life to the ministry of the Gospel through a variety of means, there are still those days. Those days when I arouse myself (or stir myself up) to take hold of my smart phone, my iPad, my computer or my TV remote more often than I seek to take hold of Him. What is it for you? Perhaps it’s easier for you to take hold of a bottle, a cigarette, a crack pipe, a needle or some other thing you wish you weren’t holding on to, but you are.

The arousal part is not so difficult. We can get charged up about anything. For many folks, the entirety of their religious experience revolves around the next emotional roller coaster ride. It’s all energy and effort, but that’s an end in itself. In other words, your effort to arouse yourself leads nowhere. Isaiah reminds us that our destination should be the LORD. Our stirring and striving should lead us to take hold of Him.

We are also reminded that our taking hold of Him requires some effort on our part. We must arouse or stir up ourselves. Picture a fire in your fireplace. Not the kind of fire you turned a knob or flipped a switch to kindle. An old fashion, wood fire! As it burns down and down, you have to get some sort of instrument and reach in and…stoke the fire. You have to stir it up. Flip a log or two. Throw another log on. The same is true with our spiritual life. The Lord is ALWAYS near, however, we must discipline ourselves to place ourselves in the right attitude so that He can consume us (Hebrews 12:29).

Don’t be consumed by other things and miss out on the One of whom we so desperately need to take hold.

The Baptism of Cousin Audra

Many, including friends, ISBC church members and, of course, my family have become familiar with the story of my cousin, Audra. A few months ago she began an amazing journey of faith in Christ that began after another long sojourn that led her to faith.

A few weeks ago, I was able to travel to her Florida home and baptize her. While there, we sat down one evening for a chat that I captured on video and made into this mini movie. This is very raw and unpolished. The sound quality is not great either because I didn’t have the right equipment, but the message is still quite compelling.

If you’re a person who’s unsure about submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ or even the existence of God, then I would suggest taking thirty minutes and watching this.

At the end you will see the actual baptism.

May God bless this and use it as He sees fit.

Click on this link to watch the video:

The Baptism of Cousin Audra