The Discipline of Ministry to Others

We live in a world full of give and take. Unfortunately, many of us are more geared to take than to give. That’s why we should regularly be involved in serving others. People need to know they are loved, noticed, and not forgotten. That’s where we come in. Serving and ministering to others is an important discipline for us to practice. In the today’s sermon notes, Jesus is dared to heal on the Sabbath. His response shows us how valuable we are to Him.

Message 13 The New me and Healing others

Beginners welcome

No one likes to be a beginner. When we start something new, there is so much we don’t know. And the worst part is that  Beginners make mistakes, embarrass themselves, and make bad or expensive decisions. This is true of first-time parents, learning a new instrument, or being a Christian.
Christianity is both simple and complex. The simple part is that, to be saved, all we have to do is believe in Jesus and confess he is our Lord and Savior. The complex part is that, as the Holy Spirit begins to change us, we have to let go of some stuff, change priorities, and allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. This is a good thing, but it is also hard.
Through this process of the Holy Spirit changing us, we will certainly meet resistance. Sometimes that’s from our friends or family. But the most resistance comes from within ourselves. Our self is the biggest enemy to  the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. So if you made a New Year’s resolution to become a better person or Christian, but you are finding it hard, that’s ok. We all have struggles, we all have obstacles. In fact, we are all beginners just like you.
Thomas Merton said, “We do not want to be beginners. But let us be convinced of the fact that we will never be anything else but beginners, all our life.”  This is from a guy who literally wrote the book on prayer and spiritual disciplines.
What can we do to overcome our biggest enemy, ourself, and draw closer to God this year?
  1. Read your Bible. Get a plan (I recommend the app). Start in the Gospel of Mark or Luke and then read from there. Don’t start in Genesis, Leviticus, or Revelations.
  2. Make it a priority to pray everyday. If you miss a day, don’t quit or give up.
  3. Consider fasting, taking a Sabbath, and other spiritual disciplines. There are many great books and resources out there that can help introduce you to spiritual disciplines. One of my favorites is by John Ortberg called “The Life You’ve Always Wanted”. You can buy this at Amazon or consider used from
Too often, we feel that only super spiritual people or pastors can draw closer to God. “Real people don’t have the time to fast, go to church, or read their Bible everyday”. But that isn’t true. Disciplines like Bible study, fasting, and prayer are for everyone.
Richard Foster in “Celebration of Discipline” writes,
“We must not be led to believe that the Disciplines are only for spiritual giants and hence beyond our reach, or only for contemplatives who devote all their time to prayer and meditation. Far from it. God intends the Disciplines of the spiritual life to be for ordinary human beings: people who have jobs, who care for children, who wash dishes and mow lawns. In fact, the Disciplines are best exercised in the midst of our relationships with our husband or wife, our brothers and sisters, our friends and neighbors.”
You don’t have to quit your job, join a monastery, or lock yourself in your room to draw closer to God. Find ways to implement spiritual disciplines into your everyday life. Find ways to invite your family, church, or friends in your journey too. We are more likely to implement spiritual disciplines when we practice them in a community of others who are of like mind and purpose. In other words, you don’t have to do this all on your own.
And if you feel like a beginner at all of this, that’s perfect. The best place to start is right where you are.
If you want to grow closer to God, find freedom from a life-changing addiction, or simply want God to use you more this year than last, consider putting a plan together and start practicing some of these spiritual disciplines. Don’t try to do too much. If you have never read all of the New Testament, don’t set a goal of reading all of the Bible in a month. On the other hand, if prayer is hard for you then don’t try to pray an hour a day. Or If you have never fasted, don’t try to fast for 30 days. Instead, ask God what step He wants you to make and let that be the goal. You’ll find that God will challenge you but he won’t set you up for failure. He wants you to draw closer to Him and He wants you to win.
For all you beginners out there, congratulations on starting something absolutely incredible. Stay tuned to my Facebook page and blog at for more resources.

Re-defining the New Me

This is it. The last weekend of 2017. For some of us we wonder where it all went. Others say, “Good riddance”. My self, I’m pretty excited for a new year. Fresh year, new possibilities, and an opportunity to restart and renew. In a sense, I want to be a new (and better) person. So, I’m “Re-defining the New Me”.

Many of us will make New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight, become a better person, and not waste as much time on Facebook. I hope you also have some spiritual goals as well. Reading your Bible everyday, praying everyday, and attending church as often as possible are all great goals. For me, I already do these things and, yet, there is a desire for more. I want and need a closer relationship with Jesus. So how do I get there? The Ancients practiced “Spiritual Disciplines” like fasting, solitude, and meditation and there is still value to these ancient (and biblical) disciplines to help us empty ourselves of, well…. ourselves, so we might be filled with God.

This sermon series and blog series focuses on Jesus’ teaching in Mark 2-3, where Jesus challenged the religious traditions of the Pharisees who were doing all the right things for the wrong reasons. If you are like me, and want to draw closer to Jesus, then check out the sermon attached below from December 31st, 2017 and make sure you follow this blog as I dig in during the week with some very practical thoughts and plans to help you grow in 2018.

Message 11 A New me in a new year

I Saw the Son of God

What did Mary see when she gazed upon this newborn baby? Imagine the thrill, joy, and awe she must have felt knowing that this baby was no ordinary child but was the Son of God.

This sermon looks at Jesus through the eyes of Mary and Joseph while exploring why it’s necessary to believe in the immaculate conception and birth of Jesus.

I Saw the Son of God

I Saw…The Promise

Anticipation, excitement, and waiting are all fundamental parts of the “Christmas” experience. Whether it is waiting on presents, for school to be over for the semester, or a few days off work, the Christmas season is full of waiting, anticipation, and excitement. But no one waited longer, and anticipated the true meaning of this season more than Simeon. In today’s sermon, we see Jesus 40 days afters his birth. The scene has changed from Bethlehem to Jerusalem, from shepherd’s fields to the Temple. And here we meet a godly man who had waited a lifetime for the opportunity to see the promised Messiah.

I Saw the Promise

I Saw the King


This week’s sermon asks an important question…How do I view Jesus? Matthew 2 features three different groups of people: Magi, Herod, and the religious leaders. They each had a view and opinion of who Jesus was but only one view led to worship. In the below sermon notes from Sunday, December 10th, we see explore the importance of seeing Jesus through the eyes of adoring worship.

I Saw the King

I Saw the Bringer of Joy

The Christmas season is upon us, and that’s a good things. One of my favorite things about this season is looking at the familiar story of Christmas and finding out how applicable and meaningful it still is.

In the attached notes is the first sermon in our new “I Saw” series. Today, we look at Jesus through the eyes of the Shepherds in hope that we may see what the Shepherds saw.

What did they see? They saw the “Bringer of Joy”.


I Saw the Bringer of Joy

Dinner with the Mob

What would you think if you saw your pastor eating with the mob? Some people would think the pastor had some illegal deals going on. Others might begin to wonder if this was the pastor’s fundraising plan. Very few would think that the pastor’s purpose was to share the love and hope of Jesus with them.

When we share a meal with someone, we are sharing a part of life with them. For that moment, for that time, our lives are intertwined over the simple act of eating with someone else. We know this and Jesus knew this. When Jesus chose to eat with known tax-collectors and sinners, he was sharing life and hope with the ancient equivalent of the mob.

This week’s sermon looks at the time that Jesus shared life with people that no “respectable” person would eat with. The disapproving looks of the religious leaders did not stop Jesus from sharing the Good News with those who needed it the most.

If you don’t feel worthy of Jesus’ love, of forgiveness, or a fresh start, you are in good company. But remember that Jesus came for all people regardless of where they are from or what they have done.

Message 10 Dinner with the Mob

Sermon: In Need of a Friend

Life can be incredibly lonely. God new this and that’s why he created us to live in families, communities, and churches. In Mark 2, we find the incredible ministry of some friends. This sermon shows why and how we can be friends to each other and how Jesus is the ultimate friend.

Sermon: In Need of a Friend

Oct 14 “Touching the Untouchable”

Have you ever thought to yourself, “Jesus can’t love me because I have….”  I have heard many people say they can’t go to church because they were afraid the building would fall in or catch on fire. Comments like this illustrate a fundamental thought that many of us have: That I’m too messed up for Jesus to love me.

This sermon shows Jesus’ willingness to “touch” our lives, even in those areas that we deem are untouchable, inaccessible, and unchangeable.

No matter what you have done, where you have been, or no matter how “messed up” you may think your life is, you are never too far gone for Jesus to change you.

Click Below for Pastor Paul’s Sermon Notes to read along with during the sermon or to review during your week.

Message 8 Touching the Untouchable

Celebrating the Move of God in Licking, MO


Congratulations to the 20 people who were baptized on Oct 8th. It was the largest baptism service in the sixty year history of Licking Assembly of God. What an incredible day to witness the move of God upon individuals, families, and a community. For those who were baptized, take the next steps: 1. Attend church regularly. 2. Find a Bible and read it. 3. Pray at home, at work, and whenever you think of it. 4. Join a Wednesday small-group. 5. Ask Jesus to Baptize you with the Holy Spirit. 6 Tell your friends, family, and neighbors about what God has done for you and what He can do for them.

If you aren’t currently part of a church family, and you live in the Licking, MO area, come check out what God is doing during our Sunday morning services and our Wednesday night small-group and worship time.