Billy's Blog
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July 5, 2018, 10:37 AM

Hope For The Dark Times


Over 40 million people in America struggle with anxiety. 

Over 16 million Americans suffer from Major Depressive Disorder. 

We aren't just talking about diagnosed instances of anxiety and depression. We know that there are many undiagnosed and unreported instances of anxiety and depression. Plus, what about the millions of us that struggle with discouragement or some minor form of depression that doesn't require medical treatment? 

This is real stuff. 

When you read the Bible you will find many people who struggled with depression and/or discouragement. 

David said his burden was too heavy to bear. Elijah told God he had had enough. Job said he had no peace. Jeremiah had wished he'd never been born. Jesus said that his soul was overwhelmed to the point of death. 

If our Savior struggled with discouragement even to the point of death don't you think that we might struggle, too? 

It's false that Christians have to run around with a fake smile pretending that everything is ok when it isn't. That's called, hypocrisy, and Jesus condemns it. What we need to do is get real with it, understand it doesn't make us a bad person, and get real about our relationship with God. 

In Hebrews 6:19 the Word says that our hope in Jesus Christ is an anchor. You and I need an anchor. We need someone and somewhere to cling onto when the storms come. We need to know that something is going to help us hold it together when the waves and storms of life are threatening to sink us. 

We have to get past the false shame of depression and discouragement. We need to realize that we all deal with it in some way, and that it's ok. It doesn't make our faith weak or relationship with God shaky. We need the anchor, Jesus Christ. We are described in the Bible as "jars of clay"...we are all easily broken. This is our human condition. 

But we have an anchor in Jesus that will help us keep it together if we cling to him and to EACH OTHER. 




June 29, 2018, 2:32 PM

Reaction to Addiction


Addiction is a huge issue in our country. I'm not even going to look up numbers about addiction, because they aren't going to tell the story. Those who are identified as addicts pale in comparison to those who are actually addicted. I'm not talking just about drug and alcohol addiction. I'm talking about food, sex, work...these are all dangerous addictions, too. Addictions to work and money have brought down many a family just like addictions to drugs and alcohol. 

What I want to address is the attitude we have toward people who struggle with addiction. I would say many of us struggle with addiction. We may find food to be a comfort when we are troubled. We might soothe our pain with several glasses of wine. We might go to work to avoid the real issues in our lives. Even though we have our own struggles we might find ourselves very intolerant of the sins of others. Jesus addressed this in Matthew 7:5 when Jesus told us to take the PLANK out of our own eye before we try to remove the SPECK out of someone else's eye. Jesus used hyperbole here on purpose. Imagine a plank in your eye. When I used to set up scaffolding for work we used 2 X 12's for planks. Jesus is comparing our sin, a 2 X 12 plank, with the sins of others, a speck of sawdust. The hilarious visual is of someone swinging around a plank in their eye trying to fix the person with a barely visible speck of sawdust. 

Jesus is not talking about endorsing sin or never confronting sin. He is addressing the idea that we should try to judge ourselves before we judge others. What I've realized in my own life is that when I judge myself first I find that I'm so humbled by own sin that I just give up on criticizing anyone else. 

So try that. When you are tempted to judge someone who struggles with addiction stop and deal with the plank hanging off the side of your own head. You might be so busy dealing with that you won't have time to judge anyone else. 




June 22, 2018, 9:45 AM

The Real Story on Racism


What exactly is racism? Is racism a black cop arresting a white man or a white cop arresting a black man? Is racism a person not hiring someone of a different color because they aren't qualified? Is racism a white person feeling scared in a black neighborhood? What exactly is racism? 

There are lots of definitions, but in my book racism is descriminating against someone merely because of their culture or their skin color. Let me give you an example. I was talking to an older man one time. He was saying that he was going to stop going to this car dealership that he'd bought several vehicles off of, because they had hired a black manager. I asked him if he knew the man or had any bad dealings with him. He said he didn't know him, but he was not going to do business with any...you can fill in the blank. I was very angry and told him what I thought. This was pure racism. 

Division by race is or culture is a battle that Jesus dealt with in his time on earth. When he walked up to that well to get a drink and he talked to the woman there she was shocked. She even asked him why he was speaking to her. Jesus was breaking all kinds of cultural rules. He was a man speaking to a woman. He was also a Jew and she was a Samaritan. She knew that he could get in big trouble for doing what he was doing. He didn't care. Jesus was not bound by the cultural boundaries that people had set up. He crossed over them, because he cared about all people regardless of their nationality or their gender. 

So how do we deal with this in 2018 as a believer? We need to follow the example of Jesus. We need to value people not based on what race they are or what gender they are, but based upon the fact that they are human.  We must decide that we are not going to give into what we've traditionally done or just by what makes us feel comfortable. We treat people the way Jesus taught us to. 




June 8, 2018, 8:32 AM

Evangelism--a big word with big results


There are a lot of "churchy" words that we may have heard all of your life but we just can't quite pin down what they mean. Redemption, justification, propitiation, fellowship...these are a few words you might have heard throughout your life, but if you were asked to give a strict definition of them you would have a hard time. 

Another one is evangelism. What exactly is evangelism? The dictionary defines it as the preaching or promulgation of the Gospel. That doesn't really help a whole lot. Let me help you pin down what evangelism is. 

Evangelism is...service, compassion, making friends, kindness...it's all of these things. When Jesus was questioned in Matthew chapter nine about eating at Matthew's house with a bunch of sinners he answered the critics by telling them, "For I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners." Jesus was doing his mission, which was evangelism, by eating with a bunch of sinners. When Jesus is criticized for going to the house of Zaccheus, a despised tax collector, he simply says, "For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost." Jesus was evangelism by hanging out with Zaccheus at his house. 

Some of you love to serve others. This is when you really feel like you are hitting a home run. You are evangelizing when you serve lost people. Some of you have a big heart. You have the gift of compassion. When you listen to someone, when you allow someone to cry on your shoulder you are doing evangelism. Some of you are very social. When you golf, or fish, or watch a football game with someone who is lost you are evangelizing. 

Evangelism is not for just a certain type of person. Evangelism is not a certain method. Evangelism is about taking on the mission of Jesus to seek and save the lost in your everyday life in ways that make sense to you. 

So go out there this week and evangelize! 




May 29, 2018, 9:19 AM

It's Your Serve


We are going through a sermon series on five different purposes you have as a Christian. The one I'm speaking about this week is service. You could argue that we are most like Jesus when we are serving others. 

Jesus said this in Matthew 20:28... just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Jesus did NOT come to be served, but to serve and to give his life. If this was the life calling of Jesus, and we are to become like Jesus, then this is a pretty good life calling for us, too. Here's how you and I can get involved in service. 

1. Look for opportunities to serve. 

There are more opportunities to serve than we could ever handle, but why don't we see them more? We need to be anticipating opportunities to serve. We have to lift our head out of your self-absorbed existence and see others. It's the older man struggling to put his groceries in his car. It's the person who is using change to pay for a loaf of bread. It's the single mom at church struggling with her kids. I could go on and on and on, but you get the drift. We have to be looking for opportunities to serve. Jesus told his disciples that the "harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few." 

2. Have an attitude of service.

Service is about attitude. If you are seeking for everyone to serve you as if planet Earth revolved around your existence you will never see the chance to serve. We need a shift in this. We are good consumers. We are good at taking and consuming, but what about giving? I'm not really talking about money, but just giving of ourselves. Remember that second part of what Jesus said...he gave his life. This was not just about dying for us, but also living for us. 

What if you woke up tomorrow morning before you headed off to work or wherever you had to be and said to yourself, "I'm going to serve today." I'm going to serve the customers. I'm going to serve my co-workers. I'm going to serve my boss. I know your job may not be what you dreamed of when you were a kid, but just think how your attitude would change if you did this. 

3. The impact of service.

We almost expect to get bad service. I know this, because I know the impact good service has on me. When I get a good waitress or waiter who serves me well I'm impressed. I want to tip them well, because they have done a great job of serving. When I talk to someone on the phone about a problem I'm having and they are friendly and helpful and serve me well I want to write them a nice note. When I walk into a store and I'm greeted and I'm asked if I can be helped and they help me...I let them know how much I appreciate it. 

If we know the impact of great service then we should be involved in it. As Christians we should be serving with excellence. We should be making a difference in the way we serve at our job and wherever life takes us. When you start doing this you'll find out that it makes life a lot more fun. You enjoy the menial tasks and duties of life a lot more when you have an attitude about service. 

Go serve someone today! 


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