Father: A Man’s Greatest Title

by Pastor Dorrell

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There are a myriad of titles that men can have, but perhaps the greatest of them all is that of Father. Being a dad is an incredible thing, and the position brings with it great joy and responsibility.

The author of the book of Proverbs understood this responsibility when he said to one of his children (in 23:26), “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.” That is an amazing request made by a dad to his son. Yet, it is what every dad signed up for when he made the decision to bring another life into this world.

Above and beyond all other people, a dad and mom are supposed to be the ultimate examples. The request by the proverbial father was to be the chief influence in his son’s life. Above and beyond his peers, the culture, the media, and any other influence, this dad was asking for his son’s heart. I believe that is exactly what God intends.

A child is a product of a father, biologically, and he is supposed to be a product who reflects his father’s character, passions, and heart as well. So, in essence, a dad is saying to his children, “I want you to live as I live, do as I do, and be what I am. One day, my son, I want you to love your wife the same way that I love your mother. I want you to give, serve, be faithful, and go to church like I have done before your eyes.”

When you consider that request, it should make all of us dads seriously consider the grave responsibility of being a dad. It sounds like a lot to ask, and all of us realize we are not perfect; however, imperfections aside, if we can’t be examples to our children, then who can?

There have been many times that I have not been the best example to my children, but when I became aware of it, I was quick to apologize and commit myself to doing better.

Part of being an example is being authentic, humble, and showing our children that failure is a part of life, but it can and should be overcome. Demonstrating growth and the willingness to change and do better, over the course of time that we are raising our children, will speak volumes to them.

Our children don’t need a perfect father. They just need a humble and good one. The greatest gift we can give our children is to show them how to live and navigate life. If we can show them how to love, to get along with others, to share, give, and make God the priority of our lives, then we will have fulfilled our tasks as fathers, and then we can enjoy watching them give the same gift to their children one day.

 

Patriotism

By Pastor Dorrell

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1 Peter 2:17

Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the King.

As Christians, we are called upon to demonstrate love and honor to all men. That honor is to be extended to those who serve in government and are placed in that position by God Himself.

Part of the way we demonstrate honor is by supporting our elected officials and those who serve us within the governmental framework of God’s institutional design. Beyond that, I believe we are to pray our country and ask the Lord to bless it so that we may lead quiet and peaceable lives.

I believe the support we offer and the prayers we extend on our nation’s behalf are part of what it means to be truly patriotic. Patriotism is defined as support for one’s country. Certainly, it only makes sense to be patriotic, because no one wants to tear down the house in which they live. However, supporting our country does not mean we are in favor of every policy or decision made, rather support simply implies we will do what strengthens and helps our country.

We can find scriptural advice here from the book of Second Chronicles chapter 7 and verse 14, which says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” If we truly want to support our country and seek its best, then the best form of patriotism is found in this scriptural formula.

Being good Christians is the best way to do good for our country. There is nothing wrong with displaying flags, having celebrations, and supporting our military. I believe these are good and necessary things and demonstrate that we understand the sacrifices others have made for our freedom. However, to truly strengthen and support our country, we need to understand that this country is held in the hands of God. His blessings flow from the hearts of those citizens who live there and from the relationship they have with Him. As we humble ourselves and turn from unrighteousness, as we seek God’s face and plead with him in prayer to protect and prosper our country, we are engaging in a kind of patriotism that is truly difference making. These conditions of heart and practices of discipline truly support and strengthen our nation and will preserve the United States in the future.

The difficulty here is these things require real devotion and a genuine heart of concern. It can be so much easier to make our patriotism external and superficial only. It is easier to have a special service than it is to have a repentant heart. It is more convenient to say some words than it is to engage in serious, heartfelt prayer. True patriotism is not lip service and decoration but contrition and humility. If patriotism is defined as showing support for one’s country, then let’s support our great nation by continuing its legacy of having a people who inhabit it who love the Lord with all their hearts.

The next time a sermon is preached, and you find yourself in need of change and repentance, then go forward and ask for God’s forgiveness and grace. You will have not only helped yourself and honored God, but will have secured a measure of God’s blessing for our nation. When you are tempted to sin and engage in evil, turn from that wicked way and ask the Lord for strength to truly live for him. You will save yourself from the consequences of sin and will have played a part in God healing our land. The health of our nation and the health of the heart of God’s people are inseparably tied, and we can see that played out in the Old Testament over and over again.

So, let’s follow the command of the prophet Micah when he said, “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” (Micah 6:8) Those who follow this advice secure a better future both for themselves and the land they love and allow patriotism and a good heart to truly meet.

Making the Best Decision

by Pastor Troy Dorrell

Making the Best Decision

According to the data provided by a Harvard study on dietary habits to stave off type 2 diabetes, sometimes people may choose to live greatly diminished lives rather than change. That last statement is probably overstated and doesn’t consider a number of variables. However, it is true that Harvard researchers found that many people chose to suffer the consequences of refusing to make dietary changes in the face of serious health consequences. The point is that ingrained behavior is hard to change even when we have incentive to do so.   

Trusting God In a Changing World

By Pastor Dorrell

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It’s amazing sometime how quickly life can change. We live in a face-paced and busy world, and the life we live can be very unpredictable. Circumstances can change, people can change, and of course we all know how quickly the weather can change. But, with sudden change often comes a sense of uncertainty or insecurity. For the most part, people like things to be the same and to know what to expect. When circumstances or people rock our world, we often worry and fret, or—even worse—we become angry and unhappy.

Reasons to Direct our Thinking Part 1

By Pastor Dorrell

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A number of years ago, we had a skunk problem at our house. Our home backs up to a field that (at that time) had a large population of the odoriferous creatures. Well, a number of them decided to take up residence under the deck in our back yard. We probably would have been willing to share our deck with them, except whenever they felt threatened or the mood hit them – they would utilize the defensive mechanism God placed within them, and they would assault us with their noxious, foul-smelling spray. They did this often enough that our house was beginning to take on the aroma of our uninvited guests. One night, when Teri and I were coming home from an emergency 2am hospital visit, we met and unintentionally cornered one of the little creatures on the back deck next to the door entering our house. He sprayed us both at point blank range. The clothes we were wearing, the Bible I was carrying, and my wife’s purse and all its contents ALL had to be disposed of because of the early-morning attack. For weeks, we continued to live unhappily with the skunks and with the smell they emanated. During that time, we tried to cope the best we could. We tried to minimize the effects with candles and air fresheners. Most of the time, we just tried to ignore it.

Reasons to Read

By Pastor Troy Dorrell

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Over the course of my professional and vocational career, I have been a reader. I enjoy books and the learning process, and I have found that few things in life have benefitted me as much as my time in a good books and what I have extracted from them.

During and after college, I spent many hours reading technical journals, scientific literature, and books about both science and creation. My undergraduate degree was in Biology and Chemistry, and to this day I have a love for the natural world.

Two Are Better Than One

By Pastor Dorrell

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Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. - Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

As travelers through life, God never intended that we make our journey alone. There are simply too many obstacles and challenges to navigate without the help and assistance of others. Plus, life is simply too grand not to have someone to share the joy and wonder of it all with!

Character Matters

By Pastor Troy Dorrell

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In a recent conversation with someone I was reminded of a principle that we would all do well to remember.  We were talking about some of today’s great college athletes who never fulfilled their potential.  Though exceptionally talented; they failed to succeed in both sport and life.  The reason was because “their talent took them to a place where their character could not sustain them”.  Think about that principle for a moment; talent is not enough.  Undergirding all we do is our character and if it is deficient in time it will be exposed and we will come tumbling down.  Every year we hear about athletic stars who get themselves into trouble and lose a scholarship or millions of dollars in the pro’s because of poor character.  We too can lose much when placed in positions of leadership or responsibility and then because of undeveloped character we break a trust, or talk poorly of someone, or fail to do right.  The place we held could not be sustained because we lacked what was most important…character.  Be careful not to let your talents, abilities, intelligence, or even relationships take you where your character cannot sustain you.  The friendship we have, the talents God gives, and the abilities we develop are all wonderful gifts, but all must be supported by character.   It matters!