Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Today I enjoyed watching the vehicles pour into our church parking lot to test the ice. It was kind of funny watch as people "lost it" more than they had planned and really went sliding from time to time. All in good fun, until they almost hit our basketball goal a couple of times. It's also funny because it's mostly adults and not teens. (Those wild and crazy adults!)

Okay, I must admit, I had some fun too. I pulled the tightest donut in the parking lot today. But hey, isn't it great to cut loose every once in a while and just have fun? Yes, even pastors like to have fun every once in a while...or a lot! As far as I know, it isn't immoral or illegal to do donuts in the parking lot. (I know this now because two Enid Police cars were at the car wash shooting radar and talking while watching me slide around in the church parking lot. I didn't notice them till I was going to park my car. Too funny!)

Sometimes we just have to have fun in life and cut loose. I've enjoyed staying up late with my girls the last 2 nights because we had NO SCHOOL. Amy and I have enjoyed the time together as a family. No schedule, just enjoying the evening together. It's been fun and refreshing to be stuck at home with the family. I think that as a society, we don't do enough of that. We've got to get back to what's important, time with the people we love.

So enjoy the time off from school, work, or whatever time you are given. There's no church tomorrow night so play with your kids, start the fireplace, and make the evening count. And if you need to, come up and do a donut or two. I'll just watch and laugh with you.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ice Shmice

First of all, sorry again for not blogging more often. It's been crazy busy. We're a full-time minister down right now and that means that everyone is dealing with extra to do. In spite of all of that, God is still working in mighty ways in His church! Amazing!

It's icy. So what. Slow down and watch out for that guy (or gal) that isn't, and you'll be fine. It's the one who's in a hurry that seems to get us all in trouble. It's also the one that doesn't know how to drive on ice. I've seen both today.

Fear not, your friendly neighborhood pastor is hear to give advice. Stay home. If you don't have to get out, don't! The less people there are out, the less wreckage to clean up.

Derek (our youth minister) and myself did the preschool "bus" runs after school this morning. The roads were already slick and treacherous by that time. It was crazy! It took me 45 minutes to get to Chisholm elementary and back. Crazy!

So for all of you daredevils out there that want to drive on it, go ahead. Just be careful! And yes, you have my permission and blessing to do donuts in the church parking lot as long as you don't hit anything. Oh, it looks like several people already have.

Be blessed in the Lord and in His mighty power!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

First things first

Every morning I start my day by spending some quiet time with the Lord. It doesn't matter what's going on, who's talking to me, who needs me to answer a question or anything else. I'm excited every morning to see what the Lord has for me. It takes a few minutes, but it is so worth it in the long run.

On the days where I miss the quiet time (which are honestly very few and far between now), I don't seem to accomplish as much. I really believe that God sometimes supernaturally blesses my time when I first take time and spend with Him. Have you ever had that experience? It just seems that I get a lot more done when I take the time and spend it in the Word first thing everyday. You can call it silly or supernatural, but that's really the way I feel. When I keep the priorities straight, God blesses me. First things first.

Monday, January 19, 2009


I apologize that I have not been able to blog more often in recent days. We have a lot going on at the church, as you can imagine. When our children's minister resigned the work load went up for everyone. It's just where we are at for right now.

I am energized by what God is doing in the life of our church. I feel as optimistic about Oakwood and what God is doing here as I ever have. It's such a blessing to be a part of what God is doing to change hearts and lives for His purposes.

We have a lot of really great ideas as staff and leaders in the church. It's always good to see God's people stepping up and doing the ministry of God's church. I see people getting out of their comfort zones and making new people feel welcome. God has been really working on me in my preaching and I feel that He is refining me day by day. I'm most humbled, but excited at the same time.

I guess with all this being said, God's got me on a journey. God's got Oakwood on a journey. God has other people in our church on a journey. It's exciting, draining, fulfilling, painful, but necessary, all at the same time. God has us on a journey. I'm praying that He would keep pushing us so that we can become the church that He needs us to be for the people of Enid.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Economy & Our Opportunity

As many of you know, the economy leads the news all of the time these days. You can't pick up a paper or a magazine without seeing something about the economy. Even in some of my recent Christian publications that I receive, I see comments, articles and thoughts on the economy.

From a business perspective, how does a business survive these times? This country has had economic downturns before, sometimes lasting for years with no end or relief in sight. How do those businesses survive in a recession? I think that some of them just choose not to participate.

In every economic downturn the country loses some businesses, both large and small. You can tell by the company's demeanor and attitude early on whether they will be able to survive the storm or not. Some companies and businesses don't believe in themselves enough to survive and you can see it in how they conduct themselves. There will be businesses that not only survive, but also thrive through this time. What really is making the difference? I would say that it starts with confidence in who you are and what you are doing.

How does this relate to the church you ask? I think there is a lot we can learn. There are more than 300,000 churches in this country. Many, for various reasons, are struggling to survive. Maybe their mindset is narrow and they can't minister or relate to people's real spiritual needs. Some churches seem to be "status quo" churches, happy to be the "saint's club", keeping the lights on and having a good program once in a while are highlights of church life. They have little concern for the unchurched community around them, for reaching out to the lost. I think that a lot of these churches will disappear in the next few years, like many businesses, and that might be a good thing for the body of Christ. Where will these people go? Into churches that have vision and life and are doing what God has called the church to do.

It's time to seize the opportunity. We must remain faithful to the One who has called us. We must be obedient to his commands. We must pray. We must read and study His word. We must stop worrying about the "light and momentary struggles" and get on with what we are called by God to do. We must look beyond ourselves to the lost and dying world around us and offer them what we have. We must listen to the questions the lost are asking and provide them God's truth. We must reach out to the people who based their lives on their company pension, portfolio, and their next tee time. We must get the word out that even though we live in the same world as our neighbors do, and struggle with the same things they do, that we have some answers. In fact, we have the Answer.

We have confidence in our vision. We know the world needs our product. It's not time to survive...it's time to thrive!!! Now...wouldn't you say it's time get after it?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Beat Up or Upbeat

I deal with people almost everyday. I see people who come to my office or who I talk to on the phone that all have a couple things in common. First of all, most are lost and looking for a Savior. That's a good thing. And most, in all honesty, are looking for happiness in some form or another.

This is not the happiness that most think. For most people it's not the personal gratification type of happiness. It's not the selfish type of happiness. They just want to feel good...about something...sometimes about anything. Sad? Maybe. But very true. And probably true for me and you as well.

I learned a long, long time ago that happiness is a choice. (I should write a book about that. Bummer, somebody already did.) You choose to be happy or not. Paul had many things happen to him in the New Testament that were horrible at best, but his happiness was not based on his circumstances. His joy was found in the Lord and in life, not in any cerebral or worldly delight.

We have a choice to make everyday. We can be happy or not. It's our choice. Your demeanor is your choice. I'm not saying that you can't have a bad day or a bad week. But how are you going to respond to those circumstances?

You can be beat up or upbeat. Last week there was a lot going on in the church office. It was just one of those times where all of the staff just had a lot going on. I taught/ presented 5 times last week. Everyone had new stuff kicking off. You talk about feeling attacked by Satan! Whew! It was a bad, long week. I remember talking to a couple of other staff members about it. We were all kind of down. But we had a choice to make. Was our glass half empty for half full? Were we going to act beat up or be upbeat? That is a choice that we all make everyday.

You've been around those people, haven't you? You know, the ones who are chronically beat up? I don't know about you, but I kind of get sick of being around them. That's all they talk about...their problems...their bad weeks...their tragedies or mishaps. Do they think they are the only ones having a bad week?

Regardless, the bottom line is this. You can either act beat up or upbeat. I hope that as a child of God, you'll choose the latter. Remember, happiness really is a choice.

Here's to a great week in the Lord!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

After the challenge

As so many have inquired of me today, I thought I'd blog about it too for the faithful blog readers. Many people wanted to know how yesterday went with the challenge to the congregation to step up and commit to sharing their faith with one person this year. If you'd like to know how that went and how I presented it, feel free to catch it on the website at www.oakwoodchristianchurch.org/sermons. They were supposed to indicate that on a card that they turned in. So far from yesterday we have over 50 committed to sharing the faith with one person this year. That's great. I did say that I wanted everyone to think about and take it seriously, so I offered for some to think about it and write it on their card next week. I'm excited to see what God does through these who are stepping forward in faith to BE the disciples and witnesses that God's called them to be.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

First Sunday of the New Year

I'm excited about preaching tomorrow. I feel that God has been pouring into me the last couple of weeks and it's time to let 'er fly. Tomorrow's message will be simple, yet very profound. It's spoken to my heart and challenged my passion for God's mission and I hope it will speak to the hearts that are open at church tomorrow the same way. I'm talking about the Mission of Oakwood. Text is the great commission, Matthew 28:19-20. I'm also challenging everyone to share their faith and really be evangelistic as God wants us to be in the new year. My prayers have been that God would use tomorrow to light a fire under our church and to get them to reach out. I thank the Lord for allowing me to be His servant. Now, let's win Enid and the surrounding area for Christ.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to one and all! I prayed the new year in with thoughts of all that God is going to do in our church this year! Praise the Lord for all of His goodness, mercy, and grace. Give a prayer of thanks to Him and ask Him to use you to further His Kingdom this year.

The year of our Lord 2009!

By the way...my exciting new year's eve festivities included a video game on my Playstation 2 of college football 2007 with OU winning big in their game. Then a little Sportscenter and Fox news. This is Eric Keller signing off.