Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Sin of Being Stupid

I'm fond of saying, "God's not mad at you". And the Bible insists that when we're under the blood of Jesus, He isn't mad!

Apparently though, suppressing and denying the truth really ticks God off! ...

Note this verse:

"But God shows His anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who push the truth away from themselves" (Romans 1:18 NLT).
Those who push the truth away are labeled as sinful and wicked and are, as a consequence, the object of God's wrath. To push the truth away--to refuse reality--to embrace ignorance--is to enrage God. Thus, it is a sin to be stupid!

The Bible tells us to "speak the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15) and we spend a lot of time talking about how to do this effectively . . . but maybe it's time we learned how to "hear the truth in love". It's been said, "You can't fix stupid!" Well I've got news for you--Jesus can fix anything--even stupid!

If you're tired of stupid, take a look at James 1:5 and James 1:19-25.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Never Trust a Crowd!

1 Crowd - 2 Outcomes

"But even so, Paul and Barnabas could scarcely restrain the people from sacrificing to them.  Now some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and turned the crowds into a murderous mob. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, apparently dead" (Acts 14:18-19).

You can't trust the crowd!  When they are cheering, when they are applauding, when they are loving and gracious--you can't trust the crowd!  I'm tempted to trust the crowd. I want their love and I want their praise.  It feels really good to be accepted and honored.  But I know that I can't trust them.

Paul and Barnabas had healed a man who couldn't walk and the observing crowd immediately concluded that Paul and Barnabas were gods worthy of great sacrifice and honor.  Just one verse later, the crowd is trying to kill Paul and Barnabas.  Conclusion? You can't trust the crowd!

Jesus didn't trust the crowd!  In John 2:23-25, the crowd had begun to love Jesus because of the miracles that he was doing.  "But Jesus didn't trust them, because he knew human nature. No one needed to tell him what mankind is really like" (v23-25).  Sure enough, later, we see the crowd giving Jesus a parade in Matthew 21 to begin passion week--only to crucify him by the end of the same week. Never trust a crowd!

Though I'm certainly not Jesus, Paul, or Barnabas, I am quite familiar with the ability of a crowd to quickly turn.  I've tasted the sting of betrayal by friends and coworkers--sheep for whom I've provided care.  Maybe we all have?  Never trust a crowd!

So if we can't trust the crowd, who can we trust? "This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I TRUST HIM" (Psalm 91:2).

Monday, December 09, 2013

Turning 50

December 9, 2013 . . .

Today I turn 50 . . .

For those of you who are older, you can relate to the milestone and with a slight smile on your face you recognizing the brevity of 50 and the future milestones to follow...60...70...

For those who are younger, I doubt that you can appreciate the significance of 50--the number seems very old to me.

So much has happened in these five decades--the movie of my life even now plays out in my mind....childhood events, my teenage years, high school, college, marriage, children, a dozen different jobs...each generality brings vivid remembrances: good, bad, neither and both!

My life at 50 is nothing that I had imagined.  I'm not as successful, not as healthy, and not as stable as I would have liked.  That being said, my life is so much better than I ever thought it could be.

The bride of my youth has now been by my side for some twenty-eight years of marriage.  We are now thriving together in a way that we never experienced in our youth. Tina is my delight!

My two sons are godly, growing, and gifted!  I've held my breath so many times as youthful decisions were lived out--and yet today Jaren and Zachery are so very good!  I am pleased!

My life's work, my ministry, my mission is more clearly lived out, more authentic, and more effective than at any point in my 50 years.  Thanks to all of those who have allowed me to practice on them:
--Youth Choir Tours with FBC, Seymour, Tennessee.
--Baptist Student Union at Union University, Jackson, Tennessee.
--Summer Youth Worker at First Baptist Church, Camden, Tennessee.
--WJAK Radio in Jackson, Tennessee.
--KWAS Radio and Z93 Radio in Amarillo, Texas.
--Teaching Junior High Youth Sunday School at Coulter Road Baptist Church, Amarillo, Texas.
--The honor of pastoring my first church--Cliffside Baptist Church, Amarillo, Texas.
--Youth Ministry at Olsen Park Baptist Church (Now LifeWay Baptist), Amarillo, Texas.
--Youth Ministry at First Baptist Church, Monterey, Tennessee.
--My first full-time pastorate at First Baptist Church, Lipan, Texas.
--Mission trips & Revival Teams through Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.
--Leadership opportunities through Paluxy Baptist Association, Granbury, Texas.
--10 great years at Cornerstone Baptist Church, Windsor, Colorado.
--Leadership opportunities at Colorado Baptist General Convention & Southern Baptist Convention.
--and the reflection of my heart: Grace River Church, Windsor, Colorado

My influences and partners are many, family and friends.  I am so very thankful for...my high school roommates at HCBA: David Short, John Williamson, Pat Keebler, and Tim Minter. Thanks to Mr. Casey for being my dad and to Fred for being my big brother at HCBA. Dr. Smothers cared enough to write a note asking the president of Union to keep an eye on me and help in every way possible.  My dear friend Rose Snider got me interested in ministry at Union and served with me in off-campus ministries. Bruce Pique has been a true friend.  Dr. John Adams allowed me to serve on campus revival teams and gave me money for gas. Chuck Maxwell got me into radio.  Thanks to Ron Haney for being my good friend at WJAK.  Thanks to 80-year-old Deacon Marion who walked the streets of the Cliffside community with me inviting people to church.  Pastor D.M. Newton took me under his wing and taught me how to pastor.  Richard Holloman has been a true friend and mentor through the years. David Peacock is my friend and my first son in the ministry.  I love Larry Rainy's great big heart!  Gary Clyma didn't give up on me when I was down. Martin Castro very likely saved my life. Tom Pals and my dear friend Ken Datson gave me a new perspective on how to live.  Amy Fulton and Steve Ramsey carried me when I couldn't walk.  My friends and family at Grace River are a God-send--a safe place where I can come as I am and find hope and healing.

And of course, I am surrounded by family: Tina, Jaren & Jillian (and now Abigail), Zachery, my mom and dad, grandparents, the Kinsey's, Sandra, Cindy, and Mike, cousins, nephews and nieces.

Thanks to all of you for making me who I am!

50 down....and the best fifty yet to come!

--David

Monday, March 25, 2013

Wounded Women of the Bible

I'm so very proud of my wife Tina Kinsey Samples! Pre-orders are underway for her new book Wounded Women of the Bible with the release to be officially July 1.  I can't wait.  Pre-orders are discounted by 33% at Amazon if you want to pre-order a copy.  It includes Bible study in the back of the book for your small group. If you live in Northern Colorado, Tina would love to come and lead your first session. Just let her know: www.tinasamples.com.  Here is the link to Amazon: Amazon

Saturday, March 09, 2013

My Most Popular Blog!

Since the beginning of this blog, I have written on a great many subjects and ideas.  It's interesting to me that the most popular thing I've written by far is this:

MY_PERSONAL_PRAYER_GUIDE

This particular blog article has been read more than 1400 times! I'm sure it will get a few more now since I'm promoting it. :)

Friday, March 08, 2013

The HIGH Cost of HIGH School

Well the early numbers are in and it appears that since the legalization of marijuana in Colorado . . . wait for it . . . MORE KIDS ARE GETTING HIGH! 

Read the news report here from Denver's CBS4:  http://denver.cbslocal.com/2013/03/06/drug-testing-company-sees-spike-in-children-using-marijuana/

Of course. Who could possibly be surprised? Let's make it easier to access pot and then pretend that usage will not increase?

Here's the problem. #1--If kids are high while in school, then they are not learning anything. #2--If these kids are driving themselves to and from school, then they are driving while impaired and risk a DUI or worse, a fatality--theirs or someone else's.  Have you seen the car accident stats for teens? It ain't great!  Let's add pot to the mix and see what happens.  #3--We already had a drug problem in our schools and it's not getting any better.

Anyone have a thought on a solution?

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Write!

I'm not a writer.  I don't like to write.  I don't ever like to write. I would rather do almost anything to keep from writing.  I'm a speaker, a teacher, a preacher . . . but not a writer.  The problem is that I've got ideas, and some of them are good.  One of the best ways to communicate ideas, beyond my little world, is to write them down and send them out.  And so I write. And I don't much like it.  You would laugh to see me write. I speak out loud and then write it down.  I read out loud back to myself and then edit whatever I've written.  That's another obstacle to good writing. I spend too much time editing and not enough time writing.  I wouldn't bring it up except that Tina and I are working on a book together and books require writing.--lots of writing.  Tina is a writer. She loves to write. She writes and then says whatever she wrote. That's very different from me.  I write what I speak. She speaks what she writes. We couldn't be more different.  lol  Someday, you may own a copy of my book. It will likely be available in the discount bin. When you read it, do me a favor and read it out loud, because that's how it will have been written.