Monday, December 29, 2008

Question of the Day

I bought a new book a few days ago to help teach my kids critical thinking skills. We read a few questions from the book when we got back to the car from the store. See how well you do on one of them. (Hannah, my nine year old, beat me to the answer on this one. It only took her about two minutes to figure out a very simple solution.)

Imagine you are in a room with three light switches. Each of these light switches is connected to a lamp in another room. You cannot see, in any way from one room to the other. So three switches in one room, and three lamps in the other room. Your job is to figure out which switch controls which lamp. You start off in the room with the switches. You may stay there as long as you would like trying to figure out your plan. Then you go to the room with the lamps and you have to identify which lamp is controlled by which switch in thirty seconds without leaving the room.

OK. Put on your thinking caps. Don't let a nine-year-old beat you...

On to more important things...

We had two very good services yesterday. I appreciate the way pastor Wally led the morning service and pastor Shawn led the evening praise service. It is good to have people like them I can depend upon.

This week is a 'get organized' week for the new year. Carla, Linda, and Sharron (all three office workers) are on vacation this week. How did that happen? It will be an interesting week :).

We have two people from our church in critical condition in area hospitals. Pray that I will have the right words to minister to and encourage these families.

Let me show you something from my devotion time this morning...

I was reading in Acts 6 about steps the Apostles were taking to stay focused on their core ministries of prayer and the Word. Acts 6:7 describes how the ministry of the church expanded when the Apostles were able to focus on the right things. But what is very interesting is how 'the expansion of the ministry' is described here...

Acts 6:7 Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

Notice that instead of saying the ministry expanded, the writer of Acts says, "the word of God spread."

With the aid of a chart in the study Bible I was using this morning I found three other verses in Acts that use similar phrases...

Acts 12:24 But the word of God grew and multiplied.

Acts 13:49 And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region.

Acts 19:20 So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.

So what does it mean that the word of God grew? Did it get bigger? Longer? No. The impact of the word increased in lives and churches and communities!

In the book of Acts, real ministry expansion is seen in terms of the word of God going forth and making changes in people's lives. One of my prayers for our church in 2009 is that the effectiveness of our ministries would be measured by the same standard. As we count things to determine our progress, let us focus on the real question of the day from the book of Acts, "Has the WORD increased?"

Pastor Noel