Get Your Motor Running

All the power you need to succeed


As a new year begins, I’m often full of energy and willpower to change and improve my life. This year I will lose those pounds, make time for relationships, draw nearer to God. But without fail, that energy and optimism all but disappear when resistance inevitably kicks in. It reminds me of a time years ago when, as a young pastor, I had an invitation to go fishing with my neighbor.

I hadn’t done much fishing in my life, but I thought it would be a great opportunity to get to know him better.  So we loaded the boat on a trailer and hooked up to his pickup. The sun was shining and it looked to be an awesome day to be on the water.

We launched the small fishing boat onto the Ouachita River, he pulled a cord on the small motor and it sputtered into life. We headed downstream on the rain-swelled river at a pretty good clip.   In short order we arrived at his favorite fishing spot and spent a good deal of time there.  As I recall, he caught quite a few good sized Bream and I drowned a lot of worms.

When we had about as much fun as we could muster, it was time to head back to the truck.  My friend pulled the rope and the engine once again hummed into life.  However, now we were headed upstream.  The river seemed angry and fought against us.  Progress was slow.

Powerless on our own

About half-way home, that little motor decided the river could have its way.  It sputtered, coughed, and choked  — then stopped.   This did not bode well.  My partner in misery reached into the bottom of the boat and picked up a couple of oars.  I looked at him like I’d never seen one of these strange contraptions before. He handed one to me and told me to get busy rowing if I wanted to get back home.


So we rowed.  We rowed hard.  We rowed valiantly.  We both began to breathe hard and sweat was pouring off of us.  It was then that I glanced toward the shore.  What I saw was utterly demoralizing. Giving it our absolute best effort, we were drifting downstream.  The current was much stronger than we were, and it was clear the river would win this fight.

We had two choices.  Steer to the bank and begin a long walk back to the truck or give the engine another try.  He reached back and with a mighty pull on the rope, nothing happened.  Two more tries.  Nothing.  Then, on the fourth attempt, the motor woke up with renewed vigor!  We were back on our way again!

There are times in my life when I try to handle things by myself. I give it my all — my best efforts. But, the truth is, if I look over at the banks of my life I’m losing to the current. So much around me is bigger and stronger than I.  My very best effort will not ever be close to enough. The end result of all that rowing and struggle on my own will be wasted sweat and tears, and lost progress.

The Good News is that God knew that all along!  He has placed in my life the power to overcome!

Here are three ways that we can bring our spiritual motor back to life.

  1. Look at Jesus, don’t look at the power of the current.  If we only see how powerful the river is, we can be overwhelmed and give up.  Our boat is small and the water is moving so fast that fear can take us over! Remember what happened to Peter when he stepped out of a perfectly working boat onto the stormy waves?  When he kept his gaze on the Savior, he was able to do supernatural feats. It’s when he took his eyes off of Jesus and gave his full attention to the storm that he succombed to his circumstances..
  2. Acknowledge that your strength is not enough.  This is a case of your weakness being a strength!  Knowing our limitations will cause us to look outside of ourselves for help.  Because my efforts alone will not get me home, I cry out to the One who is more than enough.
  3. Believe that God is with you and for you.  His power is greater than any storm we will ever face in life.  Listen to what Paul had to say about it in Ephesians 1.  “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know …his incomparable great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead…”

The motor of God’s Holy Spirit can roar back into life and we can overcome the strong currents that oppose us.  There is nothing we will ever face in our lives that is bigger than God.  The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to you and me!  Think about that.

Power that gave life to something dead, that caused an idle heart to begin beating, fresh blood to flow once again through veins, breath to return to empty lungs…that is the power available to you and me to accomplish His purposes. It amazes me!

I think it’s about time we pull that rope, don’t you?  We can trust Him and rest on the knowledge we are not alone in our struggles.  God is with us and for us, and He is big enough.

A Prayer for Power

Lord, life can be hard.  Sometimes we feel like we’re going the wrong way even with our very best efforts.  Help us to remember that we aren’t dependent on our strength, gifts, or talents alone. Because You are with us, we can overcome.  We choose to put our trust in the power of our Living Lord in Whose name we pray.

Amen

How will you make a habit out of relying on God’s power instead of your own this year?

Fantastic Harvest at Summer Camps

Our 38th Year!

 

What an amazing harvest!!

God has used this ministry to introduce thousands of children to Jesus over the past 38 years. This year we had the privilege of being storyteller in two camps, Ceta Canyon, TX,  and Sacramento, NM. Between the two camps there was an awesome harvest!

There were 60 who made profession of faith in Christ, over 150 recommitted their lives to follow Him and 25 answered the call to full-time ministry.

Here’s a video where I prayed for children in Sacramento after they had made decisions the night before.  It was amazing!

We had a great time in worship with the children. They sang their hearts out to the glory of God!

They also had the opportunity to learn the books of the Bible using one of the songs from our BibleQuest program.

The children were totally fascinated with my beard!  Here are pics at each camp showing boys and girls petting my beard.  It was really a sight to see.

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We are so grateful for those who have helped support us and who make this kind of life-changing ministry possible. God gave the harvest because you were faithful to give.

We are moving into a busy fall schedule. Please pray for us.  We want to be used by God to make a difference! That is our heart.  Be sure to follow our schedule and pray for us as we go.

CHRISTMAS BOOKING OPPORTUNITIES Though it’s 100 degrees outside right now, it’s time to start thinking about Christmas worship services. We are beginning to book our Christmas stories for this December. We can come to your church and share the story of Christ’s birth as told by the Christmas Shepherd. In addition I will share a concert of Christmas music from our latest album, ‘O Come, O Come’.  We are also booking now for the Spring of ’17. We’d love to come to your church!  Email us: booking@wesleyputnam.org

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT…

Please, remember that this ministry can only continue as our friends support us with their prayers and finances.  We really need your help this month. Our camping ministry yields great fruit for the Kingdom, but we end up with little to no love offerings for July. Would you send a generous gift to help us continue this vital work?  It will be an wonderful encouragement to us.

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Give a great gift and help Wesley Putnam Ministries!

Sculpture_Full_grande

I first saw this wonderful Kenneth Wyatt bronze in his Red River gallery.  I was struck by it’s simple beauty and profound meaning.  It is titled, “Legacy”.  As I looked at it, I was struck with how God has given us family so that the future can be a place of hope and goodness.  I remember thinking that this bronze really captures the heart of what Wesley Putnam Ministries is all about.  We long to impart God’s love into the next generation.  When the time comes for us to go home, we want to leave a long line of believers who we will meet in heaven.

Here is how Kenneth described this piece.

“To me it represents the legacy of faith we leave behind for our children. I closed, in prayer, the eyes of the upturned face of the father as he holds his youngest. The little girl clings to her daddy by holding on to his pants pockets and reaches as high as she can by standing on his shoes.

Like my father did so many times, the man has rolled up his sleeves. I did this to show the muscles and strength of the man. I wanted the power of the man to be felt so I gave him a strong curved backbone and wide shoulders. Here was a working man and regardless of what we work at: carpenter, bookkeeper, preacher, cook, athlete, or anything else, our work also becomes our legacy to our family and to the nation.”

– Kenneth Wyatt

That day in Kenneth’s gallery, Felicia purchased this bronze as a Father’s Day gift for me.  I loved it so much, when I got home I called them back and ordered one for each of my sons who were also fathers.

If you like the message of this wonderful work of art, you can give one of the most meaningful gifts your friends and family have ever received, a signed, numbered, limited edition bronze by Kenneth Wyatt.

Wesley Putnam Ministries is making these available to the friends of our ministry this week for a donation of $125 or more to our ministry.

Click here to order.  Be sure and order soon to make sure your gift arrives before June 19.

What really happened at General Conference? – Part 2

Should I find a new church??

In part one, we looked at the events of the first week of General Conference, the conservative advances that were being made, and the secret meeting that brought the church to the point of asking the Council of Bishops to intervene.  Today we will examine what the Conference did with the proposal and what it might ultimately mean for the future of United Methodism.

On the day the Conference was expected to vote on issues of sexuality, and seemed poised to strengthen the Biblical interpretation, the bishops instead offered a new proposal to delegates. It would set aside debate on sexual matters, form a commission to study the issue, and return in two or three years to a special General Conference to finally vote. After an incredibly confusing debate, this ultimately passed with a 23 vote majority, 428 for and 405 against.  Bishop-Bruce-R.-OughThere were several questionable parliamentary maneuvers that kept that vote in place for the remainder of the conference.  If you want the nuts and bolts synopsis of this process, here is a play by play. The end result was that all the hard work from the previous week ironically served to build the pressure that ultimately led to the creation of the bishops’ commission.  The truth is that there is no way a negotiated settlement could have been worked out at General Conference, so a commission is really the only way we could move  toward a permanent resolution of our division.  If handled with integrity, the depth of our division will be clear, and steps can be taken to move us either back to a covenant-based unity or an amicable separation.  If the Council of Bishops does not deal in good faith with the more conservative commission members, there will be major opposition from what has become the evangelical majority of the UMC.

What really happened at General Conference? – Part 1

I’ve been traveling and ministering in United Methodist Churches for 45 years now. In recent years, it’s been incredibly frustrating that the people entrusted to lead the denomination have pursued a liberal, progressive agenda, consistently ignoring what the people in the pews expect them to do. Indeed, most of the people I worship with each week have no idea of the things the Church is saying and doing on their behalf, and they would be horrified if they did. Every four years, the UM Church holds a General Conference where these battles are fought anew.  I went to the Conference in Portland this year, expectant that the denomination would begin to more accurately reflect Biblical truth in all areas of leadership.

“The Showdown in Portland”

The dust is settling from what became quite a showdown. This General Conference certainly lived up to all the pre-meeting hype!  The conservatives hoped to maintain the stance on human sexuality that has stood fast now for over four decades, despite regular and forceful attempts to change it. In recent years there have been many very public efforts to disobey the Book of Discipline, so they also hoped to tighten up the language to provide for a new level of accountability.  The progressives came with the agenda of finally overturning that language and “moving the denomination into the 21st century,” as they put it.  They were emboldened by the recent shift in public opinion engendered by the actions of the Supreme Court.  Surely, this would be their year!