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HE MAKES EVERYTHING NEW!
Last night, our family returned home to Winston-Salem from our summer vacation. We decided to spend some time with family and friends in Jacksonville, FL prior to the big push we’ll be making to develop our team and launch New Church.
We had a luau, spent some time at the pool, and enjoyed some good food, as always.
Although it’s good to get away, it’s always nice to return home. We have a lot to look forward to as we to take the next step in this church planting journey. I’m grateful for God’s grace and goodness in my life, and I can’t wait to see what he has in store for our future!
Monday was my youngest daughter, Whitney’s 9th birthday. We celebrated this special occasion by having a luau with lots of family, lots of food, and lots of fun.
It’s hard to believe you’re already 9 years old. I’m so proud of the young lady you are becoming. I’m grateful for the creative abilities God has given you, and I pray you will continue to use them to point people to Jesus. More than anything else, I pray you will love God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Happy Birthday! I love you!
I was recently doing some traveling, and on one of my flights I noticed a gentleman one row up and across the aisle from me that was sporting an interesting hairstyle (pictured left).
Where I’m from, this particular cut is called a mullet. I’ve also heard it referred to as a Kentucky Waterfall, Tennessee Mudflap, Canadian Passport, Achy Breaky Bad Mistakey, and the list goes on.
As I continued to stare at this man’s hair while he played with his ponytail, I was both intrigued and inspired by his courage. Suddenly I was reminded of a passage of Scripture that describes what God considers to be more important than anything that has to do with our appearance.
1 Samuel 16:7 says, “…The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
I’m not inferring that God doesn’t care what we look like, or what we wear, or don’t wear. But I am saying that what’s most important to him is a person’s heart. When we love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:28-30), everything else takes care of itself.
Then things such as hairstyles begin to be viewed for what they really are—preferences.
One of our core values at New Church is Commit Courageously. We want to display our devotion to God by boldly committing everything we do to him as a step of faith!
While I was there, Martha decided to illustrate what it looks like to commit courageously and take a HUGE step of faith by jumping off the highest point in Las Vegas, the Stratosphere Hotel! Check out the video below to see what happened!
Is it possible for people to worship the Lord while also worshiping their idols?
To get the back story, you’ll have to read 2 Kings 17, which I find fascinating.
But the verse that caught my attention is verse 41. “So while these new residents worshipped the Lord, they also worshiped their idols…”
How is that possible? I think the answer is pretty simple. They didn’t worship the Lord with all of their hearts and in the ways he had clearly defined for them. Consequently, they also worshipped their idols, and they didn’t really know God.
This is taking place in churches all across America, but especially in the Bible Belt, and especially in the Buckle of the Bible Belt where I live.
So many people go through the motions. They throw God a bone once a week, and the rest of the time they worship their idols. Consequently, they don’t really know God.
God wants your heart, and when he has your heart, the things (idols) you once gave so much time, attention, and resources to become inconsequential when compared to knowing God and advancing his kingdom.
Happy Birthday to my dad, Ted Ward! The picture to the left was taken back when I coached high school football. He was always my biggest fan when I played football in high school and college, and when I coached for that matter. I’m proud of my dad, and I’m grateful for how he taught me to provide for my family . Happy 75th, Pops! I love you, man!