Wednesday, June 21, 2006

What questions can I (attempt) to answer for you?

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Okay so i want to grow in my faith. It's been a rollercoaster. I've been a Christian for along time and I know how important it is to read my bible so that I know how Jesus wants me to live. Where do i start? How do i grow?

Pastor Doug said...

This is a great question. You have the right answer for why we are to read the Bible...to know how to live. I would suggest reading one of the Gospels to start with. Mark is a great book and it's the shortest one. Read the stories, stop and think about them. What can you learn from the story, how does it invite you to live and how does it invite you to be more like Christ to the world?

Growth will come through action. If you want to be nearer to God, start doing the things that matter to God. Serve people, get involved hang out with those that need God and you'll start to see what God's heart breaks for. Christianity is not about going to church but about being the church to a lost and dieing world.

Do you have a church that challenges you to live out your faith? This is a great starting place as well. I hope this helps some!

AL VOGEL said...

HELLO DOUG ! AL VOGEL HERE SEATED AT THE COMPUTER TERMINAL TRYING MY DARNEDEST TO TYPE SOMETHING OUT . I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO TYPE . I JUST WANTED TO SAY I THOUGHT THE MEETING LAST NITE WENT WELL .THANKYOU FOR PREACHING A GOOD LESSON/SERMON PRIOR TO THE MEETING .ALSO THANKYOU FOR PRAYING FOR ME AND MY SITUATION I AM IN !AS YOU KNOW I AM SO THANKFULL THAT I HAVE A ROCK TO STAND ON DURING THESE TRYING TIMES , IT SEEMS THAT MY RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST GROWS SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT EVERYDAY !AS YOU KNOW THE STORMS MY FAMILY HAVE BEEN WEATHERING HAS SERVED A LESSON TO ME MORE VALUABLE THAN I COULD EVER EXPLAIN . IF ANY ONE READING THIS WISHES TO DISCUSS THIS FURTHER PLEASE FEEL FREE TO E-MAIL ME. (I DO NOW KNOW HOW TO FIND AND READ MY E-MAIL AFTER HAVING A E-MAIL SITE FOR OVER A YEAR OR MORE , I THINK)GOD BLESS YOU ALL & IN CHRIST LOVE & GRACE ! AUG.21 ,2006

Pastor Doug said...

Thanks Al! That's what the church is all about...being there for each other. Following Christ will never mean that less "stuff" will happen to us, but it does mean He (God) will help us through the tough times and we will have other people (the church) to help us as well. We are here for you and will continue to pray for you!

Anonymous said...

Yesterday you talked about a calling in your life and the example of how the apostles dropped there nets and followed the Lord. I have often wondered, what more is there to life then a typical 8-5 job. Is this a call or a pondering, frustrating thought about the repetitiveness of life? The apostles had jobs as fisherman but just walked away from there jobs. Was it because Jesus's call was so powerful and clear or was it because they were frustrated with the repetitive 8-5 life and once something different came along that seemed better, they leaped at the opportunity?

Pastor Doug said...

The answer to your question is yes and no. Anytime life has no purpose, it will be frustrating. A "dead end" job is a job that does not fulfill your life purpose. When Jesus tells a sales clerk at Hy-Vee to follow, it could be that she leaves her job to follow Christ's call but it could be she follows the call right there at Hy-Vee. It could be she decides to be like Christ to others right there. All of the sudden she treats people like she would want to be treated. All of the sudden she has extreme patience. All of the sudden she has the mindset that her job as a sales clerk is to improve the lives of others and be Christ to the world.

But on the other hand, it could be that Christ is calling you to some other job…that your current job will not fulfill that call. This is something to talk with others about before making any major decisions. You want to be sure you are hearing and understanding God correctly. I made a pretty radical change from the business sector to a pastor. It took me 3 years to respond to God’s call and another 6 to be trained…that’s 9 years. But the result is I am right where God has called me to be.

Now there is also a third option. God could bring an opportunity or ask you to live out your calling after your 8-5 job. Just like Wes did with the apartment ministry. Serving at church, getting involved and helping others discover their calling are all ways God might ask you to live out your call.

The reason why the disciples dropped their nets and followed Jesus was because it was the only way they could live out their specific call. What they did is what God asked them to do. It will not look the same for you or for someone else. But there is one thing you, I and the disciples have in common…something better has come along and that is Christ!

What is he calling you to do? I’d love to help you discover and take steps toward living out that call!

Anonymous said...

Hi Pastor Doug.

I just really want to thank you. We have been going to Hillcrest for a couple months now, and I have never experienced something like this. Your teachings are so honest and down to earth. You have evoked the spirit within me like crazy. I have found that I can't not read the Bible or think about Jesus. I even listen to 96.5, yes I got it bad and it's great! I find it hard to believe I am turning into "one of those Christiany people" but I feel great and I thank the Lord we stumbled upon this wonderful place. Hillcrest is truely the best thing that's happened to my family.

Thank you for being so normal and making it so easy to be a part of a great thing!!!

Pastor Doug said...

That's so cool! It is my belief that being a Christian should not be something we do just on Sunday, but it should be a way of life. Following Christ is a decision of how to live because of who we decide to follow and imitate. It's not always going to be easy and there will be times you don't "feel" it like you do now, but push on and keep your eyes on the one who you can trust in. Christ is worth following!

If I can be of any help, please let me know!

Anonymous said...

After hearing your message on the purpose in our lives it made me really excited and pumped to do whatever it is that I'm supossed to be doing. One question that ALWAYS runs through my mind when i think about Listening to God and doing what he wants me to do is, How do i know the "voice" i hear telling me what to do is God? Or is it just my own desires telling me it is the right think so therefore it is what God wants? It's kind of confusing to me but I am still trying to find whatever my purpose is in life.

Pastor Doug said...

It's tough sometimes to know if God is telling you something or if you are only hearing or "feeling" your own thoughts, let alone Satan's urgings. The best way to determine who is speaking is to see what God actually has to say about it. This is done by reading h His Word...the Bible. In the Bible, God has already given us the guidance we need for every decision and situation life or Satan can throw our way.

Maybe you have a friend that invites you over to watch football, but he drinks too much and gets drunk. You want to know if you should still hang out with this guy...you want to show him a better life but is it okay to hang with him? In the Bible you will read where you are not to get drunk on wine, so joining him in the drinking would not be advisable, but you will also read how Jesus hung out with drunks to show them a better way of living. God's Word does have the answers.

If the thing you think you hear is not supported in what God has already said (the Bible) then it's not God's voice. If it is backed up in the Bible...go for it!

Anonymous said...

How do you do it? How do you stay pure in a world that throws sex at you everywhere? Looking away doesn't work because you look away from one place and then it is in another place and then another. I get so tired of short skirts and skin tight shirts. How can a man survive in this world? Can you ever not mess up? Can you ever "get better"? I mean i got rid of bad movies, and by bad i mean any with sexuality or nudity and even then if there is something i look away, but that doesn't seem to help. I look away anytime a girl wears something innapropriate but just walking around or driving I have to look away probable 50 times a day. But I just can not handle it. I am tired of the battle. I am tired of the guilt ridden life that says did you mess up today and then the questions in my head that say well did I? I mean i looked away, but did i turn away fast enough. Or was that a double look or just accident. I am tired of it all. I really do not want to keep living like this. Please give me some advice or encouragement that can help me. Or at best let me know that I am not the only one.

Pastor Doug said...

Let me start by saying...YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I struggle like this as well as every other man who has blood running through his veins. There is hope. First off, remember that you will never be rid of these temptations and God has some cool stuff to say about these temptations:

1 Corinthians 10:13 (MSG) No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it.

Now I know what you're thinking...why do I fail? The issue is not "will I be tempted", but what do I do with it. You are doing the right thing. Turn away, ask God to help you with the temptation. Go the long way to the food court and don't walk by the Victoria Secret store. God will help you as you desire to not fail.

It's not easy. It's a battle. I would suggest finding one or two other guys you can meet with weekly for accountability. To ask each other the question, "Have you viewed any sexually explicit material or struggled in any way?" If you are helping others and they are helping you, you will find it gets easier to "win" the battle.

Don't beat yourself up. There will be sin in your life, but desire it to be gone and work hard at doing the right thing. Paul also did the exact things he did not want to do...he called himself the Chief of Sinners! We can relate! If you need help finding an accountability partner, I would love to help get you connected!

Anonymous said...

I notice that the communion is only offered in the evening, is there anytime it will be offered during the morning services. As I am usually unable to make the evening service, I constantly miss one of the Lords sacraments. Will it ever be offered for the seekers?

Pastor Doug said...

We celebrate the Lord's Supper every month on the first Sunday. Jesus said, "as often as you do this." Most evangelical churches do it once a month and usually the first Sunday of the month. So that's when we do it as well. We are given strict warnings on how we are to eat the Supper and who is to eat the Supper. Our PM service is a believers service. It is when the believers gather for the hearing and teaching of the Word of God. Sunday morning the service is filled with nonbelievers and many that should not be taking communion. Those Christians that understand its significance and desire to remember Christ through communion return that evening to eat the supper.

But we still offer communion on Sunday morning twice a year. When we do, we have to devote the entire service to it so that we can teach what it is, how to prepare to take it, how to eat it and who should be taking it. We alienate some people on that Sunday, but we want people to understand what the Lord's Supper is and we want to offer it to people who may not be able to come on Sunday night.

I hope this answers your question as to why we don't offer it every month on Sunday Am and you can see why its significance is so much greater for the community on Sunday night.

Anonymous said...

i have a friend i was talking to and i asked him what he believed about God and faith and he said "i believe everything, except the church part. why must we give them money? why must we do what they say? why do we need them to be between us and God?"
and i was wondering what your opinion is.

Pastor Doug said...

What's the point and purpose of the church? What a great question, and one that is very misunderstood. The first question to ask is; what is the church? The church is only a group of people that have decided to follow Christ. The job that God has given the church is to do his work in the world, love others, bring God’s grace and hope and be Christ’s hands and feet. The church is a place where people are encouraged and where they can come together for a common goal.

I give money every month, but not to the church, I give to God and his work. All my money is his and he wants us to use some of that money to bring his message of hope to the world. I partner with God.

Also, the church doesn’t tell anyone what to do. If the people in the church are following God, they will do what God says to do. God says do not murder, so those that follow Christ are not to murder. The church will teach do not murder but it is not their precept, it is God’s. If a church is telling people what to do I would have some concern with a church like that.

Jesus created the church, he is the head and the church is his body. As a follower of Christ you need church and the church needs you. I would tell your friend to look for a church that doesn’t guilt him into giving and doesn’t tell him what to do but teaches how God wants him to live. A good church will be full of imperfect people. A real church is a great church to be a part of.

My hope is that Hillcrest is becoming a church like this. Here are a couple of passages in the Bible that speak to what I’ve posted today.

Romans 12:4-5
Ephesians 2:20-21

Anonymous said...

suppose there's a christian, a jew, and a muslim. they all prayed and all their prayers were answered. how does one say which religion is the correct one then? all 3 have claimed miracles. all 3 have claimed answered prayers. I could swear the 3 were praying to the same god without ever admitting it.

Anonymous said...

If God already knew what would happen here on this earth and that as His people we would screw it up why did he create it?

Anonymous said...

Why are church christians so hard on each other? Why do they need to have things their way, and if they don't they get mad. I see that many churches in Sioux Falls have issues, the congregations, seem to be in constant turmoil, what is the deal? How does this further the kingdom?

Pastor Doug said...

In saying that they were all praying to the same God would be the idea that all roads lead to the same play. Just be devout in any religion and you’ll be okay in the end? This is a popular idea; the problem is you have to take Christianity out of that mix. Christianity does not teach this. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me (John 14:6). Other religions make room for all beliefs, but not Christ. There actually is a real truth. Christianity is the only religion that does base its truth on what you do, but on what God did for you. All other religions require you to do deeds and acts of righteousness to become “okay”. Christianity is the only religion that teaches that God did the work to make us righteous. You can’t earn what God has done; it is a free gift to all who will receive it. Only one road leads to the truth.

Pastor Doug said...

The reason God made us was because he desires a relationship with us. God wants us to choose him and so he made us with free will. God did not want a creation that was forced to love, for that’s not real love. God even knew the risk as he had already created the angels with a kind of free will (Lucifer chose not to love God and evil resulted). It’s summed up in John 3:16 (MSG) "This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God created us because he loves us and wants a relationship with us.

Pastor Doug said...

God warns us about fighting in the church. The first three chapters in Revelation are to the churches, warning them about their witness, attitude and relationship with God. Most of our denominations are a result of sinful people. God is not happy with what happens in many of our churches. My church is not immune. Over the years I have witnessed division, slander, unbiblical conflict resolution, lies, gossip, hatred and even violence from those that say they love God. It’s a sin and a sin God will deal with because you’re right, it does not build the kingdom, it tears it down.

Anonymous said...

I want to know why you look so blue?

Pastor Doug said...

I look so blue because my father was a Smurf...it's really not more complicated than that. Thanks for asking!

Anonymous said...

Doug, I have really been struggling with the purpose of life thing today, and what god is calling me to do. I guess, it all kinda started last night as my wife and I went to crossroads to find a devotional. We couldn't really find anything that we were interested in and ended up going home with Grace for the moment by Max Lucado and had also decided to go through the purpose driven life together since we already had that book but haven't read it. Well this morning we started and obviously the first part of purpose driven life was on our purpose in this life and how we are to live for God and not ourselves. Then I opened Grace for the Moment to July 10th and it was titled "The Purpose of Life". At this point I new God was probably trying to say something. I simply prayed and went on with my day. As I left work for lunch I started my car and on the radio was Rick Warren talking about living our purpose in this life. By this time I knew it was God speaking to me, but not sure what to do next. I know that I am suppose to pray about it, but I also have a hard time with distinguishing what is my desire and what is God's desire.

Pastor Doug said...

Discovering God’s purpose for your life is no easy thing…but…God will reveal what it is He wants you to do. Most of the time we are so busy, we never stop to hear, let alone ask what He wants of our lives. It sounds like God is trying to get your’s and your wife’s attention…and it looks like He has it. So my advice is…listen! Listen to the Scriptures, listen to others and weigh them against what the Scriptures say. Is what you hear God say seen in Christ’s life, example and teachings? Talk to God and talk others…but most of all, listen.

Matt Wilson said...

I just wanted to thank you for all that you guys have meant to my family. I had stopped going to church for a while and I honestly missed it. You guys were the first that I tried, and I have been attending since. Also since I have been attending I have seen a wonderful change in some of my family, my wife (who had bad experiences with ministers treating her like a dumb pile of crap and therefore hated church and the idea of going)well she loves attending you guys. My mother inlaw also got serious about her faith after visiting us and attending church with you guys. I don't think that she has really known any true followers since her parents were the we-put-a-20-dollar-bill-in-the-plate type. She has since been reading the bible, and told her mother (who can hold a grudge like none I've everseen) that we were all sinners and going to hell unless we followed Jesus. So thankyou for all that you guys have done, and are continuing to do. God Bless.

Pastor Doug said...

You're welcome Matt. Remember that it is God that does these great things. If you see anything good in me or any other leader in the church, it's a result of God's Spirit at work. God is the good one and I praise Him along with you!