Church Website Redirect

If our are looking for our old church website, lbcwylie.com, it is is now found at lbcwylie.ORG. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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An Open Letter To Grandpa Me

fathers_dayDear Grandpa Me,

I am writing this letter to you at age 39. Tomorrow is Grandparents’ Day, and I have been giving some thought to what I would like to be as a grandpa. 17 years ago, I thought about the kind of father I wanted to be; I probably haven’t lived up to my goals like I should have, but I tried. It’s sure been a lot of fun. And I hope that if God blesses my four children with children of their own, that I will be the kind of Grandpa that I ought to be.

No, I don’t have any experience, except as a son and grandson. I am thankful for my grandparents. My kids have been truly blessed by the investment and influence of their grandparents. They have surely set an example for me to follow.

I’m going to speak bluntly to you, Grandpa Me, and to keep my word count low in this blog, I am not going to sugar coat it much. You can take it.

First of all, remember your conviction that you were going to train them up and let them go. You can’t be in control forever. You raised your kids to be adults and you’re going to let them be adults. That means biting your tongue sometimes  a lot as they make the same kind of dumb mistakes that you’ve forgotten about making yourself.

grandparentsSecondly, remember how fiercely independent you were when you left home, and how much you wanted to live your own life and lead your own family. Your kids have probably inherited some of that independence and, if you are fortunate, your daughters married men who have some of that themselves. Remember you didn’t like anyone butting into your business, whether they were right or not. No one learns to walk without falling down sometimes and you’re going to have to let them pick themselves up and grow.

Thirdly, you only get to raise your own kids. You don’t get to raise theirs. God gave them to them for a reason. You get to spoil them some – but not too much. You will respect Continue reading

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Article: Issues of Forgiveness – How To Handle Offenses

the-prodigal-son (1)In a previous article, we discussed the importance of repentance in regards to reconciliation and forgiveness. In this post, we are going to discuss how the Christian can scripturally handle offenses when they come. And they will come. Jesus told us so:

Luke 17:1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!

In a world full of sinners (including ourselves), all sorts of issues and stumbling blocks will be cast in our way. Some stumble over those offenses and end up out of church, out of the ministry, out of God’s will. Others stumble into a bitterness that poisons their lives. Some stumble into the dungeon of unforgiveness (see Mt. 18:34).

When we are offended, what scriptural options do we have?

I. We can PASS OVER IT. 

Proverbs 19:11 The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.

Some people live with a chip on their shoulder. And if no one knocks it off, they will do it themselves, and blame whoever happens to be nearby at the time. They are the stars of their own soap operas; drama queens who are constantly stirring up arguments, Continue reading

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Article: Why The Fire Just Won’t Go Out

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAJeremiah 20:7-10 O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived: thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me. (8) For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily. (9) Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. (10) For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him.

The prophet Jeremiah had a tough, fifty-year ministry. Over the years, he saw the great spiritual reforms of Josiah disappear under the ungodly leadership of his successors, and then sat and wept as the nation was destroyed and carried off into Babylon. At one point – weary from being derided daily, mocked, persecuted, reproached, and defamed – the prophet decided to quit preaching. He determined that he would no longer make mention of the Lord or speak in His name.

But there was something in Jeremiah that would not allow him to be silent. There was a fire deep within that would not allow him to quit. This unquenchable fire was Continue reading

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Article: You Don’t Need A Jungle To Be A Missionary

Jungle-Forest-HD-Wallpapers-Photos-Download-WallpaperIn studying once again the missionary journeys of Paul for a series of sermons I am currently preaching, I have been reminded that Paul focused his ministry on the big cities of the Roman world. He seems to have been suited for urban life, as one who grew up in the cities of Tarsus (“no mean city” – Acts 21:39) and Jerusalem, where he sat at the feet of the great rabbi Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). In Acts 13, he was serving in the church of the great city of Antioch (the third largest city in the Roman empire, called “the Queen City”). In his missionary journeys, he invariably went to the great cities of the various provinces – Antioch of Pisidia, Iconium, Ephesus, Athens, Corinth, Berea, Rome, etc. Paul did not blaze a trail through the bush, as David Livingstone did in Africa; he traveled down cobblestone streets and great Roman highways. Yet he is our model missionary in the New Testament. The city churches that he established reached out into the entire region around them (see 1 Thess. 1:8).

Have you ever heard someone make a statement like this: “We had a missionary visit last Sunday who is going to England” (or France or Ireland or Bermuda or Hawaii, etc). “Boy, they are going to be suffering, huh?” Have you ever thought it yourself?

Sometimes Christians reflect the attitude that someone isn’t really a missionary unless it involves jungles, leeches, lions and at least the threat of dying from some exotic Continue reading

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VBS 2014 – Pictures and Ideas

Logo 2014 VBSVacation Bible School is always a highlight of our summer activities. This year our theme was “The Regions Beyond,” and our lessons centered around the missionary journeys of Paul. We had a high day of 82 kids and averaged over 70 each night with many trusting Continue reading

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Article: “I Repent” – The Oft Missing Element In Reconciliation

handshake2Luke 17:3-4 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. (4) And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

The Christian life begins with forgiveness. We who were undeniably guilty were forgiven solely on the merits of Jesus Christ and our faith in Him. To be saved, we repented toward God and received His pardon by faith. God forgave us freely “for Christ’s sake,” and commands us to do the same – “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32). This brought reconciliation. The Christian life therefore begins with forgiveness, is based on forgiveness, and must practice forgiveness towards others.

However, it is a sad trend that people want and expect forgiveness and reconciliation without any repentance on their part. I believe we should examine the above passage from the perspective of the one who has done the offense. Yes, the Christian has a responsibility to forgive. But does not the offending brother have a responsibility to say, “I repent?” Is there no responsibility on that brother’s part to sincerely acknowledge his error, own up to his action, and admit that he was wrong?

We teach our children to say “I’m sorry” to their little playmates; yet how often do we as adults remain silent when we should acknowledge our faults? This expectation of forgiveness without repentance hurts marriages, parent/child relationships, friendships, and relationships within the church. Some husbands never acknowledge their wrongs, and it hurts their marriages. Some wives do the same. Some parents could be reconciled to their adult children if they would say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong;” some adult kids could enjoy a restored relationship with the same words. Sooner or later we have to start taking responsibility for our actions – and take our responsibility for our part in reconciliation.

The Lord is “good, and ready to forgive” (Ps. 86:5), but doesn’t He also tell us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9)?

Now, this view of Luke 17:3-4 does NOT justify unforgiveness on the part of the offended. Forgive for your sake and move on in life. There’s no sense holding a grudge or becoming bitter over things in the past. And there are many things we can “pass over” in our daily relationships that shouldn’t require a tear-filled apology and a hug (Prov. 19:11). However, reconciliation between two people is going to require more than quoting scripture at them and telling them they should be more forgiving when you’ve never bothered to say, “I repent.”

It’s time that Christians grow up and act like little children. A little kid knows to say “I’m sorry,” the other kid says, “That’s OK,” and they go right on with life. Let us learn to say, “I’m sorry” again – or, to be more Biblical, “I repent.”

Thank you for reading. God bless.

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Article: Why Don’t Some People “Stick?”

sowerThe Parable of the Sower is repeated in all three synoptic Gospels (Matthew 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8). When the disciples did not immediately understand the Lord’s meaning, He carefully explained it to them, leaving us with no doubt as to the interpretation. “The seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11). The soil represents the human heart (Luke 8:15). The birds that ate up the seed by the wayside represent the devil and his work (Luke 8:12).

We are commanded to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mk. 16:18). We are to go forth with weeping, “bearing precious seed” (Ps. 126:6). As we do so, the parable of the sower illustrates the fact that we will see four different reactions and results to our efforts.

Notice that the sower goes forth to sow. Apparently he is casting seed everywhere: on the wayside ground, stony ground, the thorn-covered ground, and plowed up ground. This illustrates the fact that we are to share the gospel with everyone – no matter how difficult or hopeless the situation may appear. We aren’t called to interview the ground to see if it deserves the seed, but to cast the seed everywhere. How many of us would have seen Saul of Tarsus as “good ground?” Don’t worry, there’s no danger in running out of or wasting the gospel seed. God has enough for all mankind. You can’t take the gospel to the wrong person.

Notice the first and last groups mentioned. Some seed falls by the wayside. The heart is hard, unreceptive. The birds quickly snatch it up and fly away. Nothing spiritual happens. There is no new birth. The last group mentioned is the “good ground.” Broken up, receptive to the seed. It is received, and with a good and honest heart brings forth fruit with patience.

What about the two middle groups? Well, Jesus said plainly that each “received the word” (Mt. 13:20,22). In Acts 2:41, the 3000 on Pentecost “gladly received his word,” Continue reading

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