Archive for July, 2011

Tuscaloosa Alabama Mission Trip

  Having just returned from a week of volunteer work in T-town, I thought I would share a few of my reflections from the past week     First, T-town will bounce back, but it will be years from now, not months.  There was so much damage that the task now is trying to get all of that debris out and away from the roadside so that buildings and homes can be rebuilt.

Second, the process is slow because too many agencies are involved and the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.  The stuff by the road or in piles in a parking lot or field need only to be picked up by heavy equipment or burned in a controlled burn.  Not moved from one spot to the other so the volunteers can be “kept busy”.  Someone needs to take charge and everyone else needs to get to work.  The place that needs the most help right now is the distribution warehouse on 15th street (TES).  They have to be out of the storage area they are in right now in North Port by the first of the month and no one seems to understand this.  If me and the other 5 guys would have been sent there on our first day instead of our last, I guarantee we would have got them out of there this week.  So if you go and volunteer ask to be put there until they are 100% moved

Third, it was sad to see some homes and buildings not even touched yet with help, yet because of insurance companies or FEMA, we were not allowed to do anything to help.  WHAT?  Makes no sense to me.  There even was one of those electronic road signs that said this “Operation Clean Sweep, Private Property Clean Up, 345-6600”; I called the number and told the lady there were 6 men up from Jacksonville Florida and we wanted to know where to go and help.  I was told we could not help, it was only for people who owned land or property and that FEMA was running it, I explained it again that we wanted to help and she told me that we could not help.  I hung up in disgust.

Finally, we made some great friends while there.  We helped a lot of people and we saw people really grateful for us being there.  Would I do it again, IN A HEARTBEAT!

As I looked around T-town I was reminded that a lot more than Tuscaloosa was affected by this tornado.  A lot more communities and cities across our country need help.  So every chance you get, make a sacrifice and help in some way, even it is as simple as handing out water to the workers or sweeping the floor of a warehouse to be prepared for the next load of goods that arrive.  I thanked God for everything I have before I left T-town; knowing that in 30 seconds or less, I could lose it all.  Be thankful for what you do have and as you can, serve others before yourself.  JOY truly means this Jesus, Others,Yourself.  My mission trip this week proved that fact once again.

Thanks to Jim Bailey, Brian Hoffman, Chris Flores, Mike Patterson, and Teshawn Bachan for going with me and ministering with me.  They were a blessing to this pastor.

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Compromise: The Deadliest Word in any Church!

Compromise (n) “a settlement of a dispute in which two or more sides agree to accept less than they originally wanted”

Something accepted rather than wanted.  “Something that somebody accepts because what was wanted is unattainable”

Potential danger or disgrace.  “exposure to danger or disgrace”

Compromise (v)  Agree by conceding, lessen value of something

Why in the world would the church even consider compromise based on these meanings, yet we are asked to do this constantly without any concern of what it does to the body of Christ.  What compromise is really saying is that there is a selfish bone in your body and you want that urge fed and you are willing to settle for something less than the fullness of God.

  • Why can’t we have this type of music
  • Why can’t women be preachers
  • What is wrong with a homosexual preacher or teacher
  • Maybe there are errors in the bible and so we don’t need to teach the controversial issues
  • Don’t preach on hell and eternal damnation, after all God is Love
  • Other religions are ok and we should welcome them in our services to share equal time, after all we are told to “love our enemies” and what better way to love them than to invite them to join us and we will join them.  Again, we are suppose to love our neighbors.

Well pastor you don’t have to do it every week, how about just once a month?  Let me ask you this, would you compromise your house once a month and allow drug dealers to use it?  What about having a drunken party for all lifestyles to enjoy?  Maybe open your house once a month to thieves and burglaries.  After all it will only be for that one day, what harm could it do?

Have we forgotten what God told His people to do when they came into the land of Canaan?  Num 33:50-56 “And the Lord spake unto Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying, 51 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan; 52 Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places: 53 And ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it. 54 And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: and to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance: every man’s inheritance shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit. 55 But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell. 56 Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them.”

Or what Jesus did when He saw the temple being compromised Matt 21:12-13 “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, 13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.”

And what He told the disciples when He sent them out into the cities Mark 6:10-11 And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place. 11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.”

Now you tell me if the word or even the thought of compromise came into these teachings.  If there is neither then why are you asking me to compromise?  Why are you asking the body of Christ to compromise?

The church is built on a confession of Jesus Christ as “the Christ, the son of the living God” and that cannot be compromised.  When Peter tried to tell Jesus that His plans should not go on as he thought they should, Jesus said “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”  Matt 16:23

Compromise was offensive to Jesus and it should be just as offensive to us.  I know this because I have tried this road before and have been rewarded with the offensive mess it leaves behind.  You see it asks for once a month, but as soon as it got that, it asked for more with the statement of “see that wasn’t so bad or painful”.  When in all honesty it hurt tremendously and was offensive to the nostrils of God.

My experiment with compromise is over and I will not travel that road again because I truly “accepted less than I originally wanted” and it “exposed me to danger & disgrace”.  I am willing to take the hit on this one and the bumps in the road it will bring, but I will not COMPROMISE my beliefs and what God has shown me clearly in prayer, in preaching, in my devotions, and in listening to other sermons.  I am a conservative Baptist and I will stand firm on the Word of God and I will not move from it to the left or the right.  Remember to the left and right of Jesus was two thieves!

Just my thoughts on this important topic

Rev Gregory W Crocker

Pastor

First Baptist Church of Atlantic Beach