Category Archives: Thoughts

One God, One Lord

1 Corinthians 8:6  But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

I love this verse.  There are a lot of reasons why, but it succinctly defines God the Father, our Lord Jesus, and our relationship to each.  Just to be clear, I’m not saying that the Father and our Lord are two distinct persons, but how we relate to each of these roles is different and they fulfill different purposes in our lives.  Can I fully explain how this works?  No!  But neither can anyone else.  This is one of those truths that we probably won’t understand until we step foot into heaven.

In his letter to the Corinthians, in the section in which this verse is found, Paul is discussing other so-called gods that the Corinthians believers had once worshipped and were continually being exposed to.  He recognized there were lots of things that people worshipped as Gods, and there were lots of people they bowed to as lords, but he discounts them as nothing compared to the one true God and the one true Lord.

Look at what Paul says about our God – “there is but one God.”  I’m reminded that all other gods worshipped by mankind have no interaction with them.  People dedicate themselves and their possessions to those gods and get nothing in return, because there is nothing there that can give back.  But our God is the one true God, we know Him and He knows us.  He cares for us, loves us and wants to provide for us based on our relationship with Him.  That’s why Paul calls Him Father.  The relationship and the love God has for us are best reflected in the role of a father.

But He’s not just any father, He is the father that conceived and planned and initiated all of existence.  Paul states it “of whom are all things.”  Notice the word “of.”  It means that everything that exists is because of God, our Father.  We exist because of our Father.  We are part of His plan – He has a purpose for us.  If you don’t know Him, and have no relationship with Him, then you can never know and fulfill that purpose.

Understand, Paul is writing to believers.  That’s why he can make the next statement, “and we in him.”  This speaks of the believer’s relationship, purpose, and existence in God.  The ultimate architect of the universe surrounds and permeates us as we exist in His will and according to His purposes.  Think on that just a moment.  Why are we timid to fulfill God’s purpose when we have that kind of power available to us?

Paul also told us of, “one Lord Jesus Christ.”  There is a lot that can be said about that name.  “Lord” is the one who is in control.  The lord of the manner, the lord of the servant, is the one who has authority.  It is by his will and direction that the servant takes action.  When lord refers to our Savior, it reflects the relationship we have with Him.  When we surrender ourselves to Him in exchange for His salvation, He becomes our Lord – the one to whom we should surrender our wills and our desires.

The title “Christ” designates Jesus as the Messiah, the Savior of the world.  He is the one and only way to salvation for mankind.  By using this title, Paul is both acknowledging Jesus as the Savior, but he is reminding believers of their relationship with Him.

Now, consider that next phrase: “by whom are all things.”  This statement takes us back to creation.  When God created the universe, Jesus was there.  It was God’s plan and it was through God’s power that everything was created, but it was by the actions of Christ that creation occurred.  I want you to consider the implications of what that means.  Not only does it mean that the Trinity was active in the creation, it means that Christ was active in creating you.  You were created by the Savior!!!

Is it any wonder that Jesus was willing to undertake the mission given to Him by the Father?  Are you surprised that Jesus would give up the perfection of heaven to come to this earth and take on human flesh?  Can you even imagine the kind of love it took for Jesus to submit to the ridicule and torture He would endure during His earthly life?  He did it all because He loves His creation.  The great news is, He still loves His creation, and that means He still loves you!!!

As believers, we exist, “by him.”  Not only did He create us, but He redeemed us when we accepted His gift of salvation.  When we were covered by the His precious blood, we became children of God.  This could only happen through our relationship with Christ.

Two roles of the same God.  Two ways of viewing our relationship with our God.  This verse has a lot to say to us as believers.  If you are not a believer so you don’t have this kind of relationship with God the Father – God the Creator, and God the Son – the Savior, I encourage you to seek Him out.  You can learn more from the blog post What is Salvation? Found on this site.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to post a comment to this article or email me at

With all God’s love and blessings,

Bro. E.C.

A Strong Tower

Welcome to the castle.  The picture above was taken as we were getting close to finishing our decorations for Vacation Bible School.  We have a blast with a church full of kids for a week at the beginning of every summer.  This year is shaping up to be just as much fun.  In this post, I want to direct your attention to the two castle towers in the picture.  On the left is a short tower, and on the right is a tall tower.

I have to admit that the design for these two towers was mine.  Now, I’m not trying to brag on myself; if you really want to know the truth, I would just as soon try to build them again and do a better job.  But these two towers are what we have.

After getting these things constructed, I stood at the back of the auditorium critiquing them and my handiwork.  I looked at the small one, the first one we built, and saw all the flaws.  I don’t really want you to take too close a look at it, but I noticed the walls that weren’t square.  I saw the corners that didn’t meet up quite right so there were gaps.  I saw where the pieces that weren’t cut just right were used in hopes that the mistakes would be hidden.  Bottom line is that I saw the irregularities and the things that could have been done better.

Then I looked at the tall tower.  We built it second so we knew more about what we needed to do.  We recognized that there were other ways to do things that made putting it together easier, quicker, and more accurate.  Now, I wouldn’t say there aren’t any mistakes in it, but it does seem to be a bit straighter and have fewer flaws.

As I considered these two towers, an idea began to form in my mind as I remembered references to God as our strong tower.  One of those verses is found in Proverbs 18:10.

Proverbs 18:10  The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

As I developed the idea, I began to think of the small tower as what we build ourselves.  Verse 11 tells us about that tower.

Proverbs 18:11  The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit.

You know, the small tower’s not that bad.  The walls are pretty straight.  It has battlements at the top (that’s what the cutouts at the top are called – battlements).  It’s certainly usable.

The short tower represents what we can do in our power to protect ourselves.  Maybe we’re physically strong.  We place our security in the money we have in the bank – financial security.  We can find our security in the things we have – our houses, our cars, the great electronics we enjoy, and all those other things we’ve accumulated.  Maybe you’re counting on your health to be your security – nothing can hurt me – I’m indestructible.  Security can be found in the job or career we have.  Sometimes, it’s not so much a matter of how much money we make but how consistent that income is.  We can learn to do a lot with a little bit as long as we can count on it continuing to come in.

But how secure are all those things.  One catastrophe in life can wipe out a savings account.  Even if it doesn’t all go away at once, it can be dwindled down until it’s all gone.  Cars can be gone in an instant when someone runs a stop sign.  Almost daily, there’s at least one story of a fire consuming someone’s house and all they had in it.  We’re all just a breath away from a heart attack or stroke – and cancer is no respecter of persons.  Jobs end, no matter how secure they seem to be, companies are always changing and sometimes those changes end jobs that people have worked for years.  The tower we can build is full of flaws and kinks.  It can come down around us at any time.  There’s no real security there.

But look at the tall tower.  Think of it as representing our God.  I know it’s not perfect like He is, but compared to the small tower, it is better.  The walls are more square.  They’re straighter.  The corners meet much better.  There aren’t the gaps in certain places like there are in the small tower.  The battlements are at the top.  And, more importantly, it’s taller.  It’s a stronger tower.

If we use it as a representation for God, think about what that means.  It doesn’t matter how good we’re able to build our tower on our own, God’s tower is better.  The book of Hebrews is all about how Christ is better than anything man has been able to accomplish.  God is better.  God is perfect in every way.  Everything about Him meets exactly as He intended for it to.  Not only does He not have any flaws, He is our refuge in times of trouble.

Psalms 61:1   Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.

Psalms 61:2  From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Psalms 61:3  For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.

God is our strong tower – the refuge of the righteous.  It doesn’t mean you have to be perfect all the time.  Righteous means that you appear before God as right.  He doesn’t see your rebellion and disobedience to His commands and will.  He sees Jesus, His perfect and righteous Son.

Isn’t that the way you want to be seen by God?  Seen as just as righteous as His perfect Son, Jesus?  That is possible.  There is a way in which you can appear before God just like that.  The thing is, you have to get there God’s way – the way He provided for you to get there.  That way is Jesus.  To be able to be in God’s presence and be there as righteous, you have to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior.  We call that Salvation.  For more information on salvation, please read this article – What is Salvation?

I encourage you, if you’ve been touched by this article, let other people know, especially those who can benefit from it.  If you don’t have a church that you attend regularly and you live in the neighborhood, come by for a visit.  If you’re not in the area, find a good Bible believing church and begin to live a life worthy of the great gift of salvation you’ve been given.

With all God’s blessings.

Bro. EC

A Pastor’s Priorities

It may be interesting for you to know that a pastor’s church is not at the top of a pastor’s priority list, or at least it shouldn’t be from a Biblical perspective.  Sometimes, we (meaning church members and pastors) need to be reminded of that.  So, if his church is not a pastor’s top priority, what is?

Here is the way I try to line things out in my life, and I believe it is healthy and scriptural.

  • God
  • Family
  • Church
  • Everything else

I think it is pretty clear that God intends for us to put Him first.  Now, there are a lot of things that go into Him as the top priority.  The things that come to mind are remembering Him in all actions and deeds throughout the day, spending time in conversation with Him (prayer), and Bible study.  I know these are just a few, but they seem to be the most important to me at this time in my life, and they are the ones I actively work on.  I’m sure God will reveal other things He wants me to work on as my relationship with Him grows and strengthens.

It may come as a surprise to some people that I believe family comes before the church.  There are several reasons for that, but keep in mind that God instituted the family before He instituted the church, so it must be important to Him.  Combine that with the passages of scripture that compares Jesus’ relationship to the church to the one between a husband and wife and you get a more definitive idea that this marriage relationship is important.  And, this relationship is the core of the family.  The Bible tells us that our children are a blessing to us; and as that blessing, we are to take seriously the assigned task of raising them with knowledge and respect for God.

Then comes the church.  Yes, I am extremely thankful that God directed me to the Baptist Church at Park Glen, and I pray constantly that I make the right decisions and provide the right guidance.  This church is God’s mission and ministry for me and I take this responsibility very seriously.  The people who make up this church are constantly on my mind.  The facilities we use (the church building) occupy time that I wish I could dedicate to other, more spiritual, things.  But this is the life I have been called into, and I accept it with all joy and enthusiasm.  Even if I was not pastor of this church, I would still want to attend, serve, and be part of a church.

Everything else in life comes after these three – work, play, and everything else you might think important – should give way when they conflict with the other three.  Sometimes, we don’t want to do that, but it is the way God intended it to be.

So, you might ask why I write this blog at this time.  Well, the situation I am in is not always easy.  You might think pastors don’t have anything to worry about, but you would be wrong.  I have a family situation that has me in a difficult position.  I have to choose between my responsibilities as a pastor and the love of a father.  Some think my responsibilities as a pastor should dictate my actions toward my family.  As I have described above, I do not believe that is what God intends, and here’s why.

As I model my life with my family on the relationship that God has with us, His children, I believe that love is the overriding factor.  God loves us in spite of how we act.  If you are honest with yourself, you know there are things that you do of which God would not approve.  Those things affect your relationship with Him and continue to affect that relationship until you go to Him, confess them, and repent of them.  And the thing is, God will do this for you as often as you go to Him.  He does not put a limit on the things He will forgive, or the number of times He will forgive them.  I want you to note, however, that as He reveals those things to you, and as you repent of them, He does not want you to continue in that sin.  The key is that you be willing to go to Him and admit your mistake.  His love for you is so great that He never kicks you out of the family and is willing to restore the relationship.  Aren’t we glad we have a God that is so loving, tolerant, and forgiving?

If He is my model, then how could I do any less for my own family?  Yes, I have to take a stand on Biblical principles.  If you have been a parent any length of time, you know that there are things that children do that would not please God, and therefore go against the standards that the Bible says we must stand on.  When they do that, it affects their relationship with us.  It is hard for us to show and express the love for them as long as they are outside God’s will, but that does not mean we love them any less.

As a father, my heart yearns for my children to make right decisions.  I want them to reflect the Godly principles I have in my life and that I have tried to pass on to them.  When they do not, I have to take a stand, and sometimes, that stand is difficult – it breaks my heart.  I want the very best for my children, just like God wants the very best for me.  When they are in a time of rebellion, I look for any sign that they recognize that rebellion and are willing to make changes.  When I get a glimpse of remorse, I want to grab onto it and nurse it into true repentance.  If nursing that hope conflicts with what other people think I should do as a pastor, then I am sorry.  I will choose my family as long as I see that hope.  Is that not what God does for us?

As a pastor, I attempt to model that same love and respect for my church.  If a member is involved in something that goes against what is clearly outlined in scripture, I still love them even if I am unhappy and disappointed in their actions.  Their actions affect the relationship I have with them, and it generally affects the relationship they have with the rest of the church.  It is my responsibility to take a stand on what is right (and if I happen to preach on something that brings you conviction, I am glad for it, but I do not target messages to individuals).  And the messages I preach are always couched in the love I experience from my Heavenly Father.  Our relationship is affected as long as that rebellion and sin are in that member’s life.  But just as God is ready, willing, and able to forgive those things we do against His will, I stand ready, willing, and (with God’s help) able to forgive those things that affect my relationship with them.

Remember that we are all part of the same body.  When one part hurts, the rest hurt with them.  When one part is healed and restored, the rest of the body rejoices and finds peace.  It is important for us to pray for each other and to lift each other up.  Criticism and grudges only destroy what God has put in place.

God bless you all.


Pastor E.C.

One Approach to a Personal Intimate Prayer

I was tempted to title this article, How to Pray, but that implies there is only one way to pray. Clearly, because our prayers are intimate and personal, there is not a single way to approach God. This article is written based on something that works for me, and it might help you develop an approach that works for you.

To be clear, I am not talking about different channels to the ear of God because Scripture is very clear that Jesus is the only way we have access to the Heavenly Father. What I am talking about are different internal visual tools you might use to aid in your prayer life. The visuals I use are loosely based on the structure of worship and prayer found in God’s Word.

For example, when the people of Israel approached God in the wilderness, there were steps they had to go through to go into the presence of God. This is the way God established worship in the tabernacle, and it can be used as an example. First, there was the outer court. Here, much of the business of worship took place. It was the place where the people offered sacrifices for their sins. From there, priests would enter into the Holy Place where the candlestick and showbread were kept. This was reserved specifically for the priests, so it represents a more personal closeness to God. Finally, the High Priest alone would go into the Holy of Holies. This represents the most intimate contact with God.

Likewise, the Model Prayer found in Matthew, has different layers. The first is worship, followed by confession, then petitions. Sometimes it is easy to look at those stages, understand them intellectually, but find it difficult to implement personally. With that in mind, I want to tell you what helps me. Again, this is personal and may not work for everyone. The key is to find something that works for you, and be consistent.
When I enter into daily prayer, I first have to settle my mind and heart. We are all busy and there are many distractions in life, so I find it helpful to simply take a few seconds to shove those random thoughts swirling around in my mind out of the way and focus on my prayer. Once settled, I step through the door of the throne room of God.

It will take longer to write this, and longer for you to read it, than it does for me to picture it. Directly in front of me is a magnificent dais with steps leading up to the imposing throne. Upon that throne sets God in all His majesty. In my periphery, I see saints who have gone on before me worshipping Him; angels are also worshipping and singing His praises and are busy about doing the work He has assigned them; overhead, the stars in the sky twinkle and shine and make beautiful music to honor Him.

But my focus is on the One sitting on the throne. In Him, I see majesty, power, and strength. In His bearing, I see justice. He is the King that all other kings defer to. He is the Lord that all other lords submit to. He is the creator of all, and it is only by His will that everything stays in its place and performs it purpose. It is in this setting that I know He is worthy of all worship and glory. Here is where I praise Him for all He has done for me. As blessings come to mind, I lift up praise to Him as my gift to Him. In return, I find joy and excitement. But I also see mercy in His gaze as it rests on me, and I experience the unbounded love in those eyes.

That is when I take my next step toward the throne. Now, my vision changes. Gone are the worshippers. All that is in the room is the throne, but God is no longer on it. He is now standing in front of me. I see Him as my Heavenly Father. Still shining through those eyes is the love I know He has for me, but I also see concern and disappointment. You see, there are barriers between Him and me; barriers of sin and rebellion. It is time for me to confront my shortcomings, to see them for what they are, and to understand how they affect our relationship. These sins must be removed in order to fully experience His presence. As they are revealed to me, I confess them and ask for strength to not do them again. I don’t want to see the scolding in His eyes for those things again. Admittedly, there are faults I must address again, but I find that each time I confess them and see in His eyes how they affect Him, I find myself more resistant to their influence.

Finally, all the barriers are removed, all the sins confessed, and there is nothing between God and me. That’s when I see the smile on His face, and the joy in His eyes. And He opens His arms wide. I run into those arms for the hug of a father for a beloved child. As I enter His embrace, I step even closer to His throne. In that embrace, I find that my vision changes again.
God and I are sitting on the steps of the dais. We are no longer Father and child; we are now best friends, confidantes. We are in easy conversation as we exchange thoughts and ideas. Here is where I make my desires known. As we talk, I know that He knows more than my words; He knows my heart, the things I can’t put into words. We talk about my dreams and what I want to accomplish. I receive from Him positive feedback on those things that are within His plans. He directs my aspirations to things that will bring Him glory, and I am grateful. We talk about my cares in life; the situations I find myself in that I am not sure how to handle, and I wait for a sense of direction to come from Him. These are the close times that mean the most to me. This is why I come back every day, because there is nothing like the joy, peace and love I experience during this time.

As a pastor, I bring to His attention each of my church members. We are small now and I don’t know how I will handle it when God allows us to grow; but for now, I bring them one by one to Him and pray for them and ask for His blessings for each one. And, I bring to Him those prayer requests that have come my way. Sometimes they are people I don’t know, but I know the concern of the ones who brought them to me, so offer them to Him, also.

This is an intimate time that has become a vital part of my life and my ministry. The more I engulf myself in this kind of prayer, the stronger I feel; and in spite of my limitations, I have faith and trust that God will give me what I need to accomplish what He has given me to do. The prayer never truly ends, but other things intrude upon the moment. The tasks of life and the activities around me pull me back into the life He has set before me. The difference now is that through His strength, I know I can handle it.