Richie Reads: “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse”, by Kevin Henkes

Actually, today isn’t “Richie Reads”, it’s “Lilly Reads”. Lilly is from one of our families at Westside Church of Christ, and she did a great job! Thank you Lilly.

Today we read “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse”, by Kevin Henkes. We sing “I’ve got the Joy”.

Please send your requests and suggestions for songs and stories and any questions or comments to richie.anderson@alvinwestsidechurch.com.

Westside Church of Christ:
http://alvinwestsidechurch.com/
https://www.facebook.com/WestsideChurchofChristAlvinTX
http://www.youtube.com/WestsideChurchofChrist

Richie:
https://richieanderson.net/
https://www.facebook.com/richie.anderson.9862/

Richie Reads: “If Jesus Came to Visit Me”, by Jill Roman Lord

Today we read “If Jesus Came to Visit Me”, by Jill Roman Lord and illustrated by Renee Graef. We sing “Jesus Loves Me” and “We Will Glorify”.

Please send your requests and suggestions for songs and stories and any questions or comments to richie.anderson@alvinwestsidechurch.com.

Westside Church of Christ:
http://alvinwestsidechurch.com/
https://www.facebook.com/WestsideChurchofChristAlvinTX
http://www.youtube.com/WestsideChurchofChrist

Richie:
https://richieanderson.net/
https://www.facebook.com/richie.anderson.9862/

Richie Reads: “You Are Special”, by Max Lucado

Since our congregation hasn’t been able to meet because of the social distancing suggestions, we have been recording and posting our worship services on YouTube. I also started recording videos for our kiddos who aren’t able to go to their Bible classes. We’ll sing a song or two, read a story, make a very light application, and close with a prayer. Each video has gotten better as I learn more about videography, I may have taken a step backwards once or twice, but forward mostly.

I hope these are useful for you and your families in these strange times of social distancing, and I pray you all stay healthy.

Lay Your Burden Down

Have you even been so busy that you just don’t know what do next? Maybe you have so much to do on your list, you just shutdown and don’t do any of it. Ever felt overwhelmed? Anxious? Can’t catch your breath? You know, other things…

I have, and I’m feeling that right now. When I teach my youth group or preach I often remind people that everything I teach is something that I need to hear or has been on my heart. This blog is no different. The burdens for me right now are: school, big events for the church and youth group, health insurance (I’m getting out of the Air Force and Tricare is going away), our vehicles need some work, and a few other more private matters.

Here are some scriptures that I have been thinking on and praying about today.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  (Hebrews 12:1-2)

 

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

 

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

 

Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. (Psalms 55:22)

 

fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

And this song:

 

What are burdens you are carrying today? I’ll be happy to pray for you and I’d appreciate your prayers for me.

Perfectly Imperfect: Get Out?

Perfectly Imperfect
I came across this while reading for a class this week:

“I do not require my clients to be virtuous in order to continue in therapy. There would be few clients and few therapists if the standard of full moral integrity was imposed on all of us.” (Doherty, 1995)

That’s comforting, right? I mean, the reason most people seek counseling is because they are having trouble with their values, feeling, emotions, etc. So it makes sense that a counselor wouldn’t kick a client out because they’re not perfect! But the author also says there wouldn’t be many counselors either, if they were expected to be perfect. Hmm…

The church is like that… right? It should be. Could you imagine what it would be like if we had to be perfect in order to be a part of God’s family? I think sometimes we expect perfection, and we should most definitely try our best, but we’re just not. We need to stop expecting perfection out of imperfect people who just want to come worship God and have a church family to be a part of. This also goes for ministers, teachers, elders, and deacons… no person in the church, no one on this planet is perfect.

One big difference in the church and a counseling practice, is our Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6) is perfect! But the same as an earthly counselor, he doesn’t expect us to be perfect, he understands us (Hebrews 2:17, 4:15). This isn’t an excuse to not strive to be perfect, to be like Jesus, what it is though is love. He loves us even though we’re not perfect. We need to love each other, even though we’re not perfect.

 

Doherty, W. J. (1995). Soul searching: why psychotherapy must promote moral responsibility.

Jonah, a Rusty Gate, and Me

The Biblical account of Jonah has some crazy action! Jonah ran from God, got tossed overboard in a storm, swallowed by a giant fish, vomited out onto land, then finally preached God’s message in a very dangerous city, in a very dangerous country. The people living the city were so vile, that God had planned to destroy them if they didn’t change their ways! Jonah delivered the message to them and God’s transforming word did its work and they repented! God decided not to destroy them, and this made Jonah happy that he finally performed his God given duties. Right? No!

In fact, “it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry.” (Jonah 4:1) Jonah had a lot of things going into the mission field of Nineveh. He had God on his side, he had a life saving, soul preserving message from God. Through Jonah, God saved many souls on that day! But Jonah was also missing a few things. Things like: compassion, grace, empathy, and love!

In 1 Corinthians 13:1 Paul wrote, “If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.”  Jonah spoke with more than human eloquence and angelic ecstasy, he spoke with the authority and might of God! But he did not love. Paul would go on to write, “So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.” Jonah did end up doing what he was told, he preached God’s life saving message and saved many souls, but he gained nothing. He was spiritually bankrupt! Because he did not love.

Are we any different? I can also go the ends of the earth, or the end of my street, and spread to gospel because it’s what I’m “supposed to do”. But just like a smile that never reaches my eyes, if the gospel never reaches my heart, I don’t benefit at all from the work I do! That’s called going through the motions. The people I teach may end up obeying the gospel and become saved, but if I don’t love them as I teach and preach, I will be lost!

So today, as I labor in God’s Kingdom, I need to evaluate myself. Every word I say, every action I take, every decision that I make, every thought I think… are they done with love?

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Don’t be a clanging cymbal, noisy gong, or a creaking rusty gate! Speak the truth and love (Ephesians 4:15)! 

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7-8)

Have a great week!

Life Changes Ahead!

I’m currently enlisted in the US Air Force, my plan was to serve my 20 years while completing my bachelor’s degree in Bible/Ministry and a companion master’s then retire. After retirement I wanted to go into youth ministry or teach Bible at a Christian school. Well, after many prayers and discussions with my wife and family, I have decided to start applying for open positions and if hired, join the Air National Guard or AF Reserve. I’ll then focus on my ministry and completing my education.

I’m looking for a medium sized Church of Christ in the South Eastern United States (SC, NC, GA, AL, TN, FL Panhandle). Please shoot me an email if you have any leads! And feel free to download a copy of my resume.

More importantly, I would like y’all to pray for me and my family as we look to making a huge change in our lives.

Thank you!

But, who raised Job?

That’s a good question isn’t it?  Who did raise Job? Hmm…

We know already that Job was a Godly and righteous man. God’s Word says that he was blameless (Job 1:8)! Can you imagine God calling you, or the child you raised, blameless? But how did Job get to be that way? It’s possible that he came to knowledge of God through study. Or maybe one of his “good” friends taught him. But Job 31:16-18 tells us something about his upbringing:

If I have withheld anything that the poor desired,
    or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail,
or have eaten my morsel alone,

    and the fatherless has not eaten of it
(for from my youth the fatherless grew up with me as with a father,
    and from my mother’s womb I guided the widow)

You see, Job’s parents were servants before him. He witnessed his parents helping orphans and widows, just as we are told by James what true religion is (James 1:27).

So how did Job’s parents teach him to be such a good man? Deuteronomy 6:6-9 springs immediately to mind:

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

I can’t say for certain, but I would imagine that this is how Job learned, and this is how we are to teach our children. Notice that this passage doesn’t say to let Sunday school teachers teach your children. Neither does it say let the youth minister raise your children. No, the Bible says for YOU raise them (Ephesians 6:4). It says to teach by your example. How do you talk about God? Do you talk about God? Do you pray in the morning, before meals, at bed time? Do your children see you studying the Bible? This passage says they should literally see the Word everywhere!

Now that I’m done stomping all over my own toes, I pray that you have an amazing day.

Should we make a mess so allowance can abound?

Closet Nightmare!My wife and I are just starting an “allowance” for our kids, more like a chore incentive program. They do their chores, they earn a little spending money. My 5 year old son was looking for his remote control ‘Mater and said it was at the bottom of his closet, which is a nightmare! I told him not to make a huge mess, his reply: “Its ok, if I make a mess I can clean it up and get some money!” I told him that’s not how it works, you can’t create the mess on purpose just to clean it up and get some money.

Paul said something very similar to the Christians in Rome:

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?  By no means!

Romans 6:1-2a

 We have a gift of grace from God, but if we sin intentionally knowing that we can ask for forgiveness and He will forgive, we are wrong! That’s not how it works! Just like my son with his intentional mess, we also can’t make an intentional spiritual mess and expect to be forgiven! Of course we will all sin and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23), but if we do our best to walk the Christian walk, and to be Christlike, then God will forgive our sins (1 John 1:5-9).

 

I pray that y’all have a great day!