Monday, October 29, 2012

Pre-Halloween Blood Drive

I've been amazed at the number of people I encounter on a weekly basis who mention how much they appreciate the "Barbie & Marshall" bi-annual blood drives. They share stories of how they personally were in desperate need of blood or had a loved one who had a surgery or accident and were in need. You never know who may be the next to need a life-saving blood transfusion or platelet donors because they're fighting cancer.

Come join Clarion Ledger Editorial Cartoonist Marshall Ramsey and me Tuesday, October 30 for our Halloween Blood Drive at Mississippi Blood Services on Tree Tops Boulevard in Flowood. Doors will open bright and early at 6am and closes when the last person leaves. We'll provide lunch for FREE from the Pizza Shack as well as you'll be entered to win a 47 inch 3D television and blue ray DVD player.

Marshall and I will be on hand during the lunch hour to sign your t-shirt (design above) and throughout the afternoon.

I look forward to seeing you there as we give the gift of life!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Two Kinds of Unbelief

In speaking at First Baptist Church of Long Beach last week, I shared how unbelief is the thief of God's best blessings.

Have you ever struggled with unbelief? There are two kinds of unbelief: unbelief because you just don't know and disobedient unbelief.

When Jesus went to do miracles in his own hometown of Nazareth, he couldn't be productive because of their unbelief. Mark 6:5-6 says, "And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief." Jesus seemed to be astounded because they had no clue! They were ignorant of who he was and that he was the Son of God. Just as ignorance is curable, so is unbelief. Romans 10:17 says, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God."

The other kind of unbelief is just being disobedient and stubborn. That would be the category that most of us fall into today and it's the exact reason why the children of Israel wandered in the desert for 40 years, going around and around in circles. How do we know that for sure? Hebrews 3:19 says, "So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief." The cure for this kind of unbelief is to obey and act on God's Word. Faith must have corresponding action. James 2:17 says, "Faith without works is dead."

God is still looking for great faith today. But your faith can't go beyond your knowledge of God's Word. Get into the Word and come out in greater faith in Him.

(Barbie will be speaking at the Mississippi Library Association's Convention in Natchez this Thursday.)

Friday, October 12, 2012

How to Hear God: Part 3

In my opinion, humility is a divine virtue. When my son asked what humility meant the only definition I could muster on my spur-of-the-moment-parenting was not being proud. Having humility doesn't necessarily mean you feel worthless, but it does mean you don't trust your own abilities or goodness.

Moses was a prime example. When God told him to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, Moses asked, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" Moses was expressing distrust in his own ability to accomplish this task.

Humble people don't believe luck, intelligence or physical strength determines an outcome, but it is the Lord who determines the outcome. Humility is extreme confidence in God's mercy rather than our best intentions or efforts. Romans 9:16 says, "It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy." A truly humble person knows they can do nothing apart from God and they are willing to associate and serve with those who may be considered of lower position.

Psalm 138:6 says, "Though the LORD is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar." In other words, God is closer and more intimate with the humble, but He keeps his distance from the arrogant and the proud.

Humility is the pathway to intimacy with God. Arrogance leads to a spiritual wasteland.

(Barbie will be the guest speaker at Georgetown Baptist Church this Saturday night.)

Monday, October 1, 2012

How To Hear God: Part 2

I always got check marks in the "Talks Too Much" category on my school report card. For someone who may talk too much, listening can often be a challenge. In order to listen to someone, you have to be willing.

So in order to hear God speak, you must be willing to what He prompts you to do. God speaks to those who are willing to do whatever He says to them. When God sees that we are truly willing to do whatever He says, He will speak. Why should He speak to us if He knows we won't do what He asks? Perhaps one of the reasons why He doesn't speak to us is because of His mercy; He knows we would not be obedient and thus bring judgement on ourselves.

When Philip was in the middle of a tremendous revival in Samaria, the Lord spoke to him in Acts 8:26 saying, "Arise and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza." This probably made no sense to Philip. Why leave an incredible revival to go somewhere else? But the Bible says Philip was willing and obeyed. Eventually, God's request made sense to Philip. But Philip would have never heard God's voice unless he had been willing to do what God had spoken to him.

Sometimes the Lord doesn't speak to us because we aren't listening or because we are rebelling. And sometimes what hinders our hearing from God is our immaturity. As we grow in our relationship with Him, we become more willing to do His will and He will then speak to you about larger areas in your life.