Author: walter bright

5 Way to help grow the membership of your church


INTRO: One of the most difficult places to minister and build a church is in Rural America. There are varied and complex factors that contribute to this difficulty. UNIQUE & DIFFICULT FACTORS Take for example the lack of stable and competent volunteers. The economic difficulties of a small town. The frequent need for members to relocate for a new job. In a small town there is no telling what your congregation is going to look like from Sunday to Sunday. Families come, families move, hopefully for them, to a better job, housing or school. The membership in most churches in Rural America is aging. These are the folks who despite their age do most of the heavy lifting. If there is community outreach – bake sale, fireworks fundraiser, or movie in the park – these older folks are there. But ‘most’ of them are not necessarily active in sharing their faith or inviting friends to church. The only friends they know are already Christians. Than there is the chronic problem of church hopping, church skipping …

Too painful for words


Isn’t it extraordinary that pain does not rank with “love, battle, and jealousy” among the most important themes in literature? Every schoolgirl who falls in love “has Shakespeare, Donne, Keats to speak her mind for her; but let a sufferer try to describe a pain in his head to a doctor and language at once runs dry.” Virginia Woolf I seek today, to bring not just a word of encouragement, but a message that would bring healing to the sufferer. My goal is that by some miraculous means, the words I write will become the very words of God speaking personally and directly to you today. First of all, let it be known that I do not presume to understand anyone’s pain. I do not pretend to understand the extent and nature of that pain. All I know is that there is a lot of pain in our world and I can only speak as a fellow struggler. From the loss of loved ones, loss of employment, the dissolution of a covenant relationship, to excruciating and …

10 blessings of Repentance


Word sometimes cannot adequately convey or describe the love of God. Scripture calls it everlasting, the greatest of all, perfect love,  greater love, abounding love, enduring love, covenant love, etc. The song writer says,  “O love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong! It shall forevermore endure the saints’ and angels’ song.” The prophet Hosea managed to unveil it even in the midst of a sinful time in the nation of Israel. Come to think about it – that’s exactly where His love shines the brightest. The Description of sin: The prophet Hosea describes the unfaithfulness of Israel in a very creative and telling way. Israel is like: A promiscuous wife An indifferent mother An illegitimate child An ungrateful son A stubborn heifer A silly dove A luxuriant vine And grapes in the wilderness Amidst this horrible ordeal of Israel’s sin – Hosea makes it clear that no sinful act in the world can exhaust the redeeming love of God. His love simply goes beyond reason. We deserved judgment – yet He …

The Gift of Discernment


My post today is on the subject of Discernment. I am persuaded that the days we are living in has called for an optimized level of discernment. This has always been the way God wanted us to do life. Walking by the Spirit. So this is God saying to us – this has to be you new normal. Psalm 119:66 – Teach me good judgment and knowledge Hebrews 5:14 – But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Hosea 14:9 – Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? Prudent, and he shall know them? For the ways of the Lord are right, And the just shall walk in them: Main text: Philippians 1:9, 10 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;  That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of …

Destiny


There is a buzzword in the church today. DESTINY! Everybody’s talking about it and running after it. It is interesting, however what exactly people mean when they talk about destiny. In many cases, it’s about personal success. There is nothing wrong with that! But destiny runs deeper than that. Destiny is not about success status self aggrandizement . It’s is about servanthood. Joseph was a young man who at the age of 16 misunderstood a revelation given to him by God. In his immaturity he developed an air of self importance that drove his brothers to despise him. His interpretation of a God given destiny or dream was all about him, and he paid dearly for it. But after a series of life lessons, Joseph began to understand that though one day he would be elevated to become Prince of Egypt, God was not interested in his status, but his servanthood. God was not interested in his prosperity, but the preservation of his family. God was not interested in his destiny, but the destiny and …

Reflections on John 4:10


All of history, prophesy and promise, is completed in Jesus. Your whole life is completed in Jesus. Every part of your life: your work, family, relationships, friends, memories and dreams are completed in Jesus. Nicky & Pippa Gumbel “Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”” John 4:10 ESV If you knew the gift of God, you would throw yourself in the arms of Jesus: That gift is a gift of eternal life That gift is a gift of unconditional love That gift is a gift of forgiveness That gift is a gift of peace with God and peace of God That gift is a gift of freedom If you understood the value and worth of the gift: You would run through fire to obtain it You would scale a wall to get it You would search diligently for it until you found it You would sell …

10 Scriptures for Gloomy Days of Depression


Depression is an issue that impacts everyone. Christians and unbelievers alike suffer from fear, anxiety, and overwhelming stress. If you are not depressed than you know somebody who is or has been. In any event, depression is not fun. In time past the Church have in many ways sidestepped the issue and was dismissive of it. For most Christians, even admitting that they suffer from depression is something you just don’t do because others see you as a defeated, demon possessed Christian. But no matter where you are in your struggle, you can always find solace in Jesus, Hope and courage from scripture and practical advice and counseling to lift you out of your gloomy days of depression. Or at least help you walk through it. Allow me to share a few: He’s got gold in mind Job 23:1; 9, 10
My hand is heavy on account of my groaning.
Oh, that I knew where I might find him, that
I might come even to his seat! on the left hand
when he is working, I do not behold him; he
turns to the right hand, but I do …