Thursday, April 30, 2009

Listen to thyself

I preached a pretty good little sermon Wednesday night, if I do say so myself. I waxed eloquent as I spoke of the need to look at every situation in life with a positive affirmation of the ability of God to work on our behalf. I am sure God was impressed with the sermon:) It was uplifting and challenging.

Upon arriving home, my wife told me I need to listen to my own sermons. She went on to express that if I would take my own counsel, I would avoid the negative complaining that sometimes proceeds from my lips.

Ooouch! That hurt, lol. But I needed it. Trish is right. I need to be reminded sometimes of the very things I teach others. I got the message, from her. It was to listen to myself. Take heed to the words God has given me. They will work, not only for those I am called to lead, but for me as well.

I posted her comments to me on Facebook and Twitter. Got a lot of comments, some from other pastor's wives. Seems there are others who have the same problem.

Y'all be blessed!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Great Morning, Great God

Each day upon arising to face the day, we should embrace God. I have learned that the day goes much better when I have acknowledged Him. Sure, there may be challenges today. There may be opportunities for stress, fear, or discouragement. But when my heart is towards the Lord, I am able to draw His divine strength into every situation.

It is important to remember that God made each day. I hope you will enjoy the beautiful day the Lord has made.

What a great day. What a great God!

Be blessed

Friday, April 24, 2009


I had a really big scare last week. My blood pressure ran up to a dangerously high level. The combination of my excess weight, pressures of ministry, and family needs together probably contributed to it. And my family has a history of high blood pressure.

I decided it was time to do something about it. I talked about going on a diet the first of the year, but did not do so. I have continued to add on weight. Trish and I had gone on a diet 3 years ago. At the time, I lost 50 pounds. The problem has been since then I have put on 60. Once I got off the diet, I went right back to the old pattern of excessive eating. And my problem is sweets.

Joined the YMCA this week, and have started doing some workouts. Those, plus an extra busy schedule at church has contributed to an aching body.

I hope in the future you will be seeing less of me, physically. But it will be a process and not an instantaneous thing. To all of you out there who are attempting to get your weight under control, I feel for you... all over my aching body. And I am craving chocolate :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Outlooks and Uplooks

I am not sure when or where I first heard the expression... "If you don't like the outlook, try the uplook." The phrase comes to my mind this morning. It is Monday, and I am out of coffee as I rise up to face the day. I am thinking about things in general- life, goals, challenges.

Had a great day yesterday at church. There was an awesome move of God. Attendance was down a little. Folks at the mountains, the beach, sick. A small church takes the hit more noticeably when several families are away. My mind is racing as I plan several projects and attempt to think of ways to bring a fresh wave of growth. I realize it is not all UP to me, but sometimes I feel it is all ON me.

Thinking about things going on around us: the economic climate has affected people's lives here in rural western North Carolina. 16% unemployment at the latest count, and crime is up in the county. People ask if this has affected giving in the church. Don't mean to be sarcastic, but what do you think? Of course it has. My mind races also to some other situations going on around me: marriage situations that needed our prayers and counseling, family problems, and more of the usual in church life.

Yeah, the outlook sometimes seems bleak. And I will admit that I have often given out when I felt like my own gas tank was on reserve or empty. Run? I have thought of it before, have you? And there are times in life when it is not ONE thing that puts you at your limit, it is just ANOTHER thing. Like the proverb about the straw that broke the camel's back.

I am not intending on having a broke back. But last week something happened that got my attention. My blood pressure shot up dangerously high. I know it was a combination of things that led to this. My family has a history of such problems, so I can say it is in the genes. Plus, the improper eating habits and lack of exercise have caused me to continue to gain weight I do not need. And then there is the stress that goes along with the position I hold.

Outlooks and Uplooks. I realize for my outlook to change, I must change my uplook. I cannot continue to look at things from my vantage point. We must view them from God's. We must also change what we can. But the ultimate challenge for us each day is not whether there will be problems and stress, but how we deal with them.

I've decided I am not going to look out today-- I am going to look up!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Roller Coasters

Life is sometimes like a roller coaster ride. You have the exhilarating highs that are filled with anticipation and excitement. You also have the times when the bottom seems to drop out and you hold on for dear life.

I have never been one to hold my hands up in the air at the very top of the roller coaster, when it is about to make the big drop. I love the adrenaline of speed that will come, but I am fearful of heights and sudden falling. So I hold my head down and hang on for dear life.

In life there are cycles. There are the high highs and the low lows. We learn to enjoy the high times and endure the low times. The last few weeks have been somewhat of a low spot for me. It has not been one thing, but a combination of things that have brought this about. Of course, the passing of my father has been the hardest to deal with. Since then, I find myself sort of numb.

I generally attempt to write something that will inspire and encourage. But when you are drained, the opposite can come out, if you not careful. And I find myself functioning from that vein. I want my every action to be productive, and there have been some times recently when they have not been.

I like riding some roller coasters. I love the rush, the thrill of the speed. It is the emotional roller coasters I don't like. When God told Joshua to take courage, it was like he was saying, You can't go where I am going to take you walking in fear and discouragement, get yourself strong, son. That is my version of Joshua chapter one. I preached it this past Wednesday. Yes, Lord. With You, I can ride the high times and the down times.


I tried to take my blog down while I revamped it. I generally get tired of the same thing after a while, and was looking for a new template. Couldn't find what I wanted, and took it down temporarily. I meant only to disable it, and I actually deleted it.

I deleted some of the pictures and links I had on here, including some of my friend's blogs. I hope to have everything back up in a day or so.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Under new manageMEnt

When I read the sign saying under new management, I always wonder what was wrong with the old management. It usually is an indication, at least in my mind, that the old system was not working or had ran its course. Of course, this is not always true. Sometimes new management comes as a result of a buyout, retirement, or sale.

Whatever the reason for the new management, it is a reminder that things do not stay the same forever. Change is constant. And sometimes there is a need to change. Change can be better. We tend to get stuck doing the same things the same way.

New management can also mean that we go back to the original vision or purpose for the thing. New can be a return to the old. Going back can be going forward. Not as in being stuck in the past, but in following the pattern, the blueprint.

I am announcing new manageMEnt. I am hereby resigning. No, I am not stepping down from the pulpit of the church I pastor. The dictionary defines resigning as (not as in re signing, or to sign again) to submit, relinquish the right to, give control of. The resigning I am referring to is ME. I want ME to be under submission. I want God to have complete control of ME. My heart's desire is that I would be under new manageMEnt. And yes, the new I am speaking about is a return to the former. My aim is to seek Him first.

We do it without meaning to. Like the church at Ephesus Jesus spoke to about returning to its first love, we drift. We get distracted. We allow earthly things to dominate our minds. From TV to internet, to everything around us. Those things are not necessarily sin, but they become sin when they become our dominating thoughts and take control. Anything which takes His place in our hearts is a violation.

Yeah, it's time for a change. Maybe not for you, but for me. Gotta discipline my heart, my mind, my spirit. Gotta change my attitude about some things. The new manager I want in my life is the Ancient of Days, the I AM.

Pastor Ronnie

Saturday, April 11, 2009

He is Risen

What a message we are entrusted to share. Christ our Lord is risen. Death could not hold him. On the cross Jesus bore our sins and carried our shame. He paid the price for our freedom. The debt was one we could not pay. The fallen nature of Adam was put upon us all, and the penalty was passed on as well.

But the good news is that Jesus is alive. Death could not hold him. We live today because of him.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

Today is Good Friday. Jesus died on the cross for our sins. He became the ultimate sacrifice, giving himself in our place. Of course, we could not save ourselves. We were hopelessly doomed for hell as a result of the fall of Adam. The curse and consequences of sin were on each of us, and nothing we could do would prevent the ultimate destination of hell.

But he came. From the throne of heaven, emptying himself. God became flesh. Jesus went to an old rugged cross, dying there. For you and for me. He took my place, and he took yours.

The bible says "he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed." Isaiah prophesied this of Jesus, hundreds of years before he would be born, go to the cross, and give himself for us.

Today we observe the crucifixion. It is Friday, but Sunday's coming. Resurrection day will soon be here!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Love always wins

Love will always win out, even when it doesn't look like it. Choose love over hate. When others draw a circle and exclude you, draw a bigger circle of love and include them... the greatest of these is love. Don't get bitter, get better. Choose to forgive. Bitterness poisons you, not your enemy.

The above thoughts were two different things I posted this morning, one on facebook, and the other on twitter. Both of them got reposted, so it seems the Lord was not only speaking this to me, but to others as well. I am sometimes faced with opportunities to remember what someone did in the past, and hold it against them. The past week a couple of occasions have risen where I have been tempted to draw back to past hurts. But I remember what Jesus said, and what the bible teaches. I must forgive, and I must love. To fail to do so hurts me, holds me back. It is a conscious choice I make, it is not necessarily what I feel or want to do.

Lord, help me to love and to share your love, in all situations!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Thankful for the team

I am so glad to be connected to such a great church family. Our team has stood beside us during the recent passing of my dad. They have gone the extra mile and then some in comforting us and strengthening us during this time. I couldn't have asked, nor expected what they have done. Their heart of love to us has been a tremendous source of strength. Trish and I are so blessed to have them by our side.

As I sit here this evening unwinding from everything that has transpired this week, a team from the church is visiting the first church I served as pastor. It is nearby here. The youth team will perform a dance/drama skit, and our youth pastor will preach. I know they will do a great job. I had intended to go and support them. But I have simply ran out of steam and am sitting at home. I love those guys, and am praying for them. I know they will represent New Harvest well.

We had an awesome service this morning. I know the Lord gave me strength to preach. It was the first service since dad passed away. Mom was there, I know it was hard on her. God was with us, and the service went well. We observed communion, and I preached. I asked Trish, my wife, a few minutes ago if I did communion correctly. I remember taking it, don't remember what I said. Everything is sort of blurry right now.

I know I am rambling. I just wanted to say, Thank you, New Harvest Church family, for standing with us. God has given us a special church family. I love you guys. Thanks also to all our family and friends, and other churches. You guys have stood by us and with us, and we are so blessed to have you in our lives.

We love you!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Moving on, but never forgetting

The last couple of weeks have been a blur. The passing of my father has been a tremendous blow to the family. Although the battle over cancer has been ongoing for a year, the abrupt end has been difficult to accept. I know dad was prepared to go and be with the Lord, and I know he is in a better place. But to a family who has just lost a loved one, sometimes those words can seem empty. Even though we know they are true, we want to hold onto our loved ones as long as we can.

I look up hill to the other side of the road to mom and dad's house. Although I am 55 and dad was 74, I still felt protected by him being there. Something about the security from a man that represented strength to me all my life. I know it doesn't make sense, but it is how I felt. I never saw my dad cry, except on rare moments in church when he was happy. That is, until a couple of weeks ago. Daddy would cry in pain. My dad, the strong one.. it was too much.

We buried him yesterday. He was my father, I was his son, his firstborn. He was not perfect, and neither was (or am) I. We had the father/son type fights over the years. But I loved my dad, and he loved me. Not only was I his son, I was his pastor. Daddy supported the church, and my ministry. I never took a missions trip, but dad would call me over and hand me some money. Or anything else for that matter.

The living have to move on. I am trying to get positive, to get myself prepared mentally and spiritually. I must help people, motivate people, stir people. There are requests for counseling, needs of people. I know I am called to do this. My brothers went back to work today in the family business, which my dad started. One of my sisters goes back to work in a day or two, the other one left going back to Alabama today. Mom will be in the house by herself, and will have to learn to work the remote on the TV, dad always did that. We will move on, we have to.

I will again preach, write positive blogs, encourage, stir. But with tears as I write, I want to say..


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Thank you for your prayers

As many of you know, my dad lost his battle to cancer Tuesday morning at 3:33 AM. The last week has been a difficult one for us. I confess to you that I am somewhat numb as I write this note. However, I did not want to let another moment pass without acknowledging my gratitude for your prayers.

From your notes to us posted on the wall of facebook, placed in the inbox, an email, text, or call, Trish and I, and our entire family, have been lifted up by your thoughts and well wishes to us. We cannot begin to express how the support of family and friends has been such a great source of strength. I haven't taken the time to respond much in the last few days, but want you to know that I am so very thankful for you.

We will continue our grieving process. We will bury our dead. But we know we have an incredible God who gives us His divine strength, and we have a support base of family, friends, and churches who help carry us through these difficult times.

From the depths of our hearts, and on behalf of the Robbins Family, I want to say, Thank You.