Tag Archives: country

I Love to Fish

20130403-081446.jpg

I went fishing this morning.

I love to fish. I’ve fished in huge lakes and small streams. I’ve fished on the beach and out at sea. I’ve fished in bayous and bays and in between. I love to fish.

I’m not too worried about the fish. I’m not worried that they’ll like me. I just want them to like what I’m presenting to them. But if they reject it like they did this morning, it’s ok. I still love to fish.

I wake up early and stay up late to fish. I travel long distances and walk across the road to fish. I’ve fished in the heart of cities and up on mountain sides where there is just granite and water. I’ve fished in drainage canals and snowmelt streams. I’ve fished in water where you can’t see anything below the surface and water where you could see the bottom 30 feet down. I love to fish.

I went fishing this morning.

I love to fish. I’ve fished in homes and corporations. I’ve fished in malls and banks. I’ve fished in churches and bars. I love to fish.

I’m extremely worried about these fish. But I’m not worried that they’ll like me. I don’t fish to please them. I’m fishing to save them. My message won’t change. It’s just what they need. And when they reject me I realize it is not me they’re rejecting but the One whom the message is about. I still love to fish.

I wake up early and stay up late to fish. I’ve stumbled upon fish walking along my day and been woken up in the middle of the night to fish some more. I’ve fished across the street and in other countries. I’ve fished online and face to face. I’ve fished for fish that were injured and hurting and for fish who thought they had it all together. And what I’ve found is that no matter what type of fish or where they live they all are in desperate need of what I fish with. I love to fish.

Do you love to fish? Have you been caught by the One who brings life everlasting? If so, He is wondering when you’re going to start fishing.

You have been called to be saved from yourself by the only One who died for you. Then you have been called to tell others about your salvation and how it is offered to them too. Are you afraid to do that? It’s quite common to be afraid, but fear can be conquered.

If you want to know more about how to share your faith with others, then let me know. I’d love to help you. If you’re still a fish waiting on that salvation, I’d love even more to let you know about this offer of salvation to which I’m referring. I love to fish. Jesus called me to be a fisher of men. Let’s fish together.

Advertisements

Waging War with a Pocket Knife

20120110-135402.jpg

Imagine the scene with me if you will. You’re watching the news some evening when you see a report that there is intelligence that Iraq is planning to invade your country. Iraq apparently has specific targets that they want to hit and certain people they want to assassinate.

As the news report goes on they begin to give the list of people targeted, and your name is on the list. You’ve never been a threat to Iraq, but there it is – your name – in living color on the screen.

Immediately your phone begins to ring, and it is family members and friends calling concerned about your safety. Government officials call as well to offer their support, but one after another you turn their offers down. You tell them you believe it isn’t going to happen, so you don’t want to change your life based on an assumption that probably isn’t true.

Over the next week you go about your normal routine with work during the day and watching your favorite shows on the tube each evening. During your favorite show one evening the news cuts in with breaking information about the beginning of the invasion of Iraq into the country, and they’re starting in your state.

This raises concern, so you do the only logical thing you can think of. You have put this off for so long. Now it is down to the wire, so it is time to get ready. You want to be prepared for the battle, so you go to your room and open your closet. There, on the shelf, is your trusty pocketknife.

You take the pocketknife and head back to the couch – fully prepared for the invasion to come.

What’s about to happen? You’re about to get assassinated, that’s what. A country has declared war on you and you come to the gunfight with a pocketknife.

This scenario sounds totally ridiculous, but it happens to each one of us every day.

My friends, Satan has your name on his list of people to assassinate. He may not physically kill you, but he definitely wants to render you ineffective and useless. There is a war. You are in it. But you don’t even realize it.

In Ephesians, Paul speaks of the severity of this war that is raging all around us with the spiritual forces of evil. So many of us, however, bring our pocketknives to the battle.

What do I mean? Scriptures mention the Word of God as being a sword. But we’re not fashioning our lives according to the Bible. We are also called to pray, and yet we do that as an afterthought. We spend countless hours preparing plans for how we are going to live our lives. Then we stop and pray and ask God to bless our plans.

We are coming to the battle with weak weapons at best. No wonder so many of us are spiritually struggling. You’re a prisoner of war, and only desperately seeking the King will set you free. When you seek Him in this manner He will send His Spirit to free you from the bondage of sin and selfishness. He will free you to live a full life. It is a life of service, but this isn’t the empty unfulfilling kind of service. This is service that brings you joy and excitement in your life. It is service to the One who loves you and whom you love. That kind of service doesn’t feel anything like slavery…it feels like freedom.

Back to the weapons, however. When Satan was attacking Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus fought Satan off not with a sword but with the Sword of the Word of God. He quoted scripture to put Satan in His place. Do you know any scripture by heart? The more you know the scriptures in your heart (i.e. memorized) the easier it is to allow that scripture to help you have the best life possible. It truly helps to direct your paths to a place where there are no regrets.

The weapon of Prayer is offensive and defensive. Through prayer we have communication with our Commander in Chief – God Almighty. He is the source of all power, and if we try to fight this battle or make these plans without that power we will constantly fail.

So what do we do? We pray, but normally it is a prayer around the table to thank God for the food. Or maybe it’s a prayer before or after a meeting to ask God’s blessings on said meeting. When was the last time you really spent some time deeply praying to the Father about the things on your heart? When was the last time you emptied yourself to the Father who loves you and wants to refill you with all good things? When was the last time you prayed to God asking for His direction instead of telling Him your plans and asking Him to bless them?

We are called to wield powerful weapons. These weapons have healed the sick. These weapons have driven out demons. These weapons have raised the dead. And Jesus gave these same weapons to us.

It’s time to get engaged in the battle. If you haven’t been fighting, then you are already a prisoner of war. Satan has already rendered you useless. But God can reenlist you and wants to do so. If you’ve already made a commitment to Him at some time in your life, then He just looks to you to re-commit, to re-dedicate your life to him. Prayer is a good weapon to use to do that.

If you haven’t committed yourself to the battle in the first place, then there is no better day to start the fight than today. Before Jesus ascended to Heaven to prepare the victory celebration for you, he said that whoever believes in Him and is baptized would be set free from sin. But all those who don’t believe are prisoners still.

May you join the fight. May you bring more than a pocketknife. The devil is out to get you, and this battle is more real than what you can see. Let’s not waste another day; rather, let’s use the weapons given to us to proclaim victory in Jesus’ name!

If you’d like to talk more about this – especially about committing your life to Christ – then please feel free to contact me at 979-245-1611 or via email at jddobbs@verizon.net. God bless you, and keep fighting!


The Greatest Show on Earth

The Community Actors of South Texas (CAST) have their next production coming up this weekend: “A Country Christmas Carol”. This show will be Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Rhema Fellowship building in downtown Bay City. I’m in the show, and you can find out more about it at http://www.communityactors.org.

I am not writing this article to simply plug the show, though I would love for you to come support CAST. It’s just that as I prepare to perform this weekend, I can’t help but reflect on all the work that must be done to make this show a success. Each person has to do his or her own job to make this work. Actors and actresses have to rehearse lines and movements (in this play, songs too!) or else the play just won’t work. The director has to be preparing for the play before the first rehearsal and has to lead the performers and crew. There are many different roles that have to be undertaken to make this work: stage managers, sound technicians, light crew, prop builders, promotional managers, costumes, etc… Without each person working to prepare then performing their task as needed then this would be a disaster.

As the show grows in its ability to perform, something else grows. The relationships between those working on the play grow. People come together from all walks of like with a common purpose. The result is not only a performed play, but a shared experience that will be a lasting thread to connect each of us no matter where life takes us from this point forward. When this is done right, the performance is great, and others like what they see and want to join in.

As Christians, Jesus is supposed to be our thread. We are his church. The church isn’t a place or a building or even a couple of services on Sundays and Wednesdays. The church is the people who have committed their life to the Messiah.

Through the years the church has morphed quite a bit from the way it was in the first century shortly after Jesus ascended into heaven. Churches today are frequently where people come to be spiritually fed. Usually this is the only spiritual feeding they get each week. Churches have encouraged its members to “bring a friend” in order for the preacher or some other minister to evangelize them taking that burden of responsibility off the lay-Christian. We often speak of “going to church”. Then, when we get there, they are highly ritualized ceremonies where a few people participate and the rest are spectators.

If we could bring some Christians here from the first century they wouldn’t recognize the church.

The church of the first century was quite different. First of all, they had no church buildings, so they WERE the church. In fact, they were so excited about it that they often met daily so they could encourage one another and share in that common thread of Jesus. The church had a common experience (coming to Jesus), and it had a common purpose. The purpose of the church was to take care of each other first, then evangelize the world all with a view of heaven.

The church at one time “had everything in common” and made sure that no other Jesus-followers had anything lacking. Their first priority was to take care of each other in love. They were fulfilling Jesus’ words when he said “by this they will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

They daily shared in that common experience. They also daily told others about the message of Jesus. This was made quite easier by their lifestyle. You see, they didn’t live anything like the world. The world saw their collective living. It saw their newfound love for others, and it wanted to be a part of that. The disciples lived their lives in such a way that led others to ask “what makes you different?” Then they had a great opportunity to start right there with the saving message of Jesus.

You are not called to allow the church to be your spiritual dinner table. You should be fed and feeding others each day as you commune with the body of Christ. How can we be a witness to the world if our lives show that we haven’t witnessed anything?

If we didn’t practice and work together for the play, then even if you did show up, the performance would be disastrous. Not only would you not come back, but you would talk to others about that as well. We are called to “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” (1 Peter 2:12)

So may you re-dedicate your service to God, His church and the world. May you be an agent of change to bring the church back to where it needs to be. And may God use you to show the world what love really is.

Come see me in the show, and if there’s anything I can do for you or pray with you about, feel free to contact me at jddobbs@verizon.net or at the office at 245-1611. God bless you!


%d bloggers like this: