Wednesday, January 16, 2019

FBCP 2018 Assistant Pastor’s Annual Ministry Report

God’s WillDiscipleship in Three Parts

As I look back at 2018, it seems to have gone by in a flash, but in fact, it contained the same 365 days, and 8760 hours, as each previous year since creation, and just as the servants were given talents to invest for the Master, we too have been given resources.  So, how did you invest those 8760 talents?  Well, for me, I slept for about 2090 of them, leaving me around 6670 hours to do what I considered to be the best use of my time.  To name many of my investments— I worked, drove, ate, talked, taught, listened, thought, vegged, prayed, counseled, called, texted, preached, wrote, shopped, studied, learned, walked, visited, searched the internet, attended performances, played games, attended meetings, shared the gospel, listened to music, watched TV, read the Bible, and went to church.  

So, as I look back at how I spent the time God gave me to steward in 2018, I have to ask, “How much of it really counted, how much of it did I manage well?”  The answer depends on how much of it I spend doing God’s will.  Paul wrote to the Church in Ephesus, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15–17.  The bottom line is that God has a will for mankind, He has a will for our nation, our church, and for each of our lives, and He wants us to understand what His will is.  

For starters, God wants us to be careful with how we use our hours, He wants us to be wise with our time, and invest our lives according to His desires.  So, what does that look like?  Paul indicates that the wise follower of Christ understands the will of God, and then does it.  So, what is the will of God?  Well, there’s God’s particular will for us as individuals, there’s God’s ultimate will for His glory, and there’s God’s general will for all people.  Let’s look atGod’s general will for all people. First, God desires— 

The Salvation of the Unsaved - Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 2:3–4 (ESV): This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  We also see this inpassages, such as John 3:16-17, Romans 10:10–13, and Hebrews 7:25.  The best part here is that God not only wants to save all people, but He wants to use us in the process (Matthew 28:16–20).  It is the will of God that we share the gospel of Jesus Christ with those who are going to perish.  We can think of leading people to Christ as Discipleship, part 1.  God’s will also includes

The Spiritual Maturity of the Church - Thessalonians 5:14–18 (ESV): And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  We see here that we are to invest in the lives of our brothers and sisters.  This is to happen in our relationships with each other, and can look like formal counseling sessions, casual conversations, and everything in between.   It is the will of God that, as iron sharpens iron, we helpothers to grow in their relationship with Christ and the Church.  Regarding the Great Commission, our call to make disciples, we can think of this as Discipleship, part 2.  

So we see here, two aspects of God’s will.  First, the salvation of the lost, and second, the growth and maturity of the church.  A third is—

That by His Love and Power, He would Equip us and Change Us - Hebrews 13:20–21 (ESV): Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.   Notice that God equips us, so that we may do the works of His will.  It’s important to see that works are only part of God’s will.  It’s not just a functional change in us that God wants, He wants to be pleased with us, but even as believers, there are things we are lacking, without which, we will not be pleasing in His sight.  This is the fruit of God’s grace in our lives, and as God works His attributes in us, and as He sees Christ in us, we are pleasing in His sight.  This is Discipleship, part 3.  

So, how did your investments work out in 2018, have you been on God’s discipleship plan?  God gave each of us various talents to invest, everything we would need to do His will. He equipped us to share the gospel, to discipleothers, to show love toward one other, to do the works of God.  For 2018, God gave us each 8760 hours to invest.  We don’t know how many he will give us for 2019, so we better use them wisely. Jesus said We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work, John 9:4.  

As we dive into 2019, let’s remember that God’s glory is the pointSo, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31.  
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Pastor Jim

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Too Many Cowards

There are too many Cowards in SBC leadership today, I can only wonder how long it will last as the only denomination ever to recover from the disease of liberalism.  I’ve been waiting to see how some of Patterson’s long time friends and colleagues would respond, and now that many have, they should be ashamed of themselves.  Paige Patterson is a modern hero of the Faith, and some poorly chosen words, and alleged bad counsel, cannot change that.  To say the least, what the trustees of SWBTS has done to this man is shameful.  I often wondered what it would take to destroy the Conservative Resurgence of the SBC, and redirect it’s course back to its previous state of compromise, and I believe this may be it.  

Who’s next, Al Mohler, Danny Akin, Ed Stetzer, Thom Rainer?  You can make your own list, but someone is next.  If we pour through the recorded and written sermons, conferences, blogs, you name it, and parse each and every word, thought, and idea, we are bound to find things that are objectionable to the modern ear.  Then, I suppose, they too, should all be fired, publicly humiliated, and stripped of their retirement benefits.  

Geisler is right, but he did not go far enough, see http://normangeisler.com/why-firing-paige-patterson-was-a-mistake/.


May God bless the SBC, and its Great Commission, gospel mission.  May God bless Paige Patterson, and shut the lions mouths.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

FBCP 2017 Assistant Pastor Annual Ministry Report

FBCP 2017 Assistant Pastor Annual Ministry Report

Jesus said, "I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown" (Rev 3:11).

First, the promise.  Jesus is coming back, and it’s going to be soon.  On several occasions, Jesus taught His disciples about what it looked like to serve Him, by using the example of the returning master and his waiting servants.  The difference between the servants gaining reward, and the servants suffering loss, is based on whether or not they were faithful to the master’s parting command (make a profit off the master’s investment, and for us, make disciples).  Jesus wants us to know that He is going to return soon, but not just for the sake of knowledge, or of being encouraged, He wants us to live like He’s going to return soon, so we will live lives of obedience, lives that bring God glory.  Jesus said, "Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.  “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes"  (Matt 24:44–46).

One of the concerning issues for the Church today, is the issue of indifference toward Christ’s return.  Jesus, Himself, presents His return as being imminent, and therefore, as His servants, we are to be prepared.  We should each ask ourselves, “Am I busy working to fulfill the Master’s interests, or am I busy working to fulfill my own?”  This was the issue for the servants in Christ’s parables, and it is no less the issue for us today.  No worries though, the Master will sort it all out upon His return.  

In light of Jesus’ soon return, He advises us to “...Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.”   He says here that we should forcefully hold onto to the spiritual advances we’re making.  In other words, keep moving forward, don’t get lazy, don’t start to coast, keep doing faithful works of righteousness like you’ve been doing, or else you may not finish well, you may not receive a crown.  How we finish the race matters.  Remember, “...we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:1–2).

During 2017, we’ve continued the study of Systematic Theology during Adult Sunday School hour.  We started this class in order to help us all better understand God, and how God relates to us.  We’ve also begun Biblical Counseling Training on Sunday evenings.  These classes are designed to help equip the the church to counsel others/each other, biblically.  Each one of us counsels others, we need to counsel according to God’s word.  Over this past year, we held a Marriage/Discipleship class on Thursdays.  Seeing the need for more Christ honoring, gospel focused marriages, we studied through Frances and Lisa Chan’s, “You and Me Forever.”  Wednesday Evening Prayer Meetings have been an encouragement for those who attend, and we would love to see more and more of you to come out.  

It was a blessing to serve alongside you, as we served dinner to families living at the Bellport Homeless Shelter, as well as at the Christmas School Outreach with Lighthouse Mission.  It has continued to be a great honor and blessing for me to serve my God, my family, and you, my church family, one more year.  

My prayer for FBCP is that by the end of 2018 we will look back to see that we have worked more service projects together, served more meals, met more needs, evangelized more people, made more disciples, and gained more ground for the Kingdom of God, than we have ever done before.  

Jesus is coming back, and it may Be this year.  Let Him find us faithful.

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen" (Phil 4:23).

Pastor James M. Winslow
January, 2018, East Patchogue, NY 

Friday, January 20, 2017

FBCP 2016 Assistant Pastor Annual Ministry Report

FBCP 2016 Assistant Pastor Annual Ministry Report

If FBCP had a 2016 theme, it could have been, Intentional Discipleship. We recognize that the greatest need in the Church of America, the greatest need in FBCP, and the greatest need in our own community, is discipleship. This is because everything that God has for us to be, to do, and to enjoy, flows out of discipleship.

In case you missed that point, I'll repeat it. "Everything that God has for us to be, to do, and to enjoy, flows out of discipleship." Put another way, everything in our Christian experience, from our initial hearing of the gospel, to our last breath on this earth, is a matter of discipleship. It's not just about being saved and going to church, it's about how we live our lives, how we walk with Christ, how we finish the race. Discipleship is about the decisions we make, the attitudes we hold on to, and the priorities in our lives. As Christians, we are grateful for God's merciful grace, and we truly want Jesus to be our Savior.

But do we, with as much enthusiasm, want Jesus to be our Lord? Do we obey Jesus as Lord?

Discipleship is when Jesus says, "Come follow me," and we actually follow Him. Following Jesus means taking the path He takes, going where He goes, living as He lives. If we are to follow Jesus, it means we lose our own agenda for life, we dream His will, and we have as the purpose for our lives, His purpose for our lives. This is discipleship.

A central motivating factor of each area of ministry at FBCP, is Jesus' command to make disciples. This commission from our Lord is not only that we are to make disciples of those outside the Christian faith, but is also to make stronger disciples of those inside.

This past year, in adult Sunday School, we began teaching the basics of theology. Because, to grow as a disciple, we must be grounded in the truths of God, the doctrines of the Faith, and their application to life.

Likewise, we seek to accomplish this during Wednesday evening Prayer Meeting, where we have a short Bible Study before going to the Lord in prayer. And then, with no subtlety, there is Thursday and Sunday evening Discipleship Class.

Jesus said in Matthew 28:19–20, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

For some, 2016 contained great sorrow, while for others the year is marked by great joy. How we respond to these contrasts in our lives, will depend on our relationship and walk with God. No matter where we are on the journey of discipleship, whether we've just begun, or if we've been at it for a while, we can have the assurance that we are not alone, for Christ said, “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

May God continue to bless you, and may He allow 2017 to be the greatest year ever for the cause of the gospel, starting with us.

Pastor James M. Winslow 

January, 2017, East Patchogue, NY

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Why I Believe Christians Should Vote For Donald Trump Today

Why I Believe Christians Should Vote For Donald Trump Today

I read the words of many Christians who have been attacking each other over the lead up to this election.  There is the "Vote for Trump" side, and then there's the "Vote only for a Godly person' side.  I have been tempted to weight in, but I'm usually smarter than that, since it's like getting in the middle of an argument between a group of drunken fools.  

Remember Israel during the time of the Judges?  "In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes" (17:6).  What was right in their own eyes, was evil in the eyes of God, rebellion, idolatry, etc.  Notice that the people did not need an evil king, to do evil in the sight of God.  If the people would have been godly, the absence of a king would not have hindered that godliness, likewise, if they had a godly king, they would not have been more godly, than if they had a wicked king.  The state of whether or not a nation pleases God, has little to do with its leaders, and everything to do with its people.  A wicked king, presiding over a godly people, should worry about God's judgement, and a wicked people, regardless of the king, should do the same.  We have become a wicked people.

Our, lying, abominable, leaders are not the reason the American people have tuned away from God, in fact, we have these reprobates in elected office, simply because enough people want them, it's basic math.  Our godless immoral leaders are a consequence of the American people's godless immorality.  We have taken for ourselves, leaders like ourselves, leaders that will give us what we want.  We, as Americans want no moral restraint, and we secure leaders that will lie, cheat, and steal, to assure that end for us.  Our rebellion against God is the cause of our national troubles, and the corrupt leaders we have been getting, are the effect.  

As Christians, we pray for godly leaders.  Why?  It's practically insane to do so.  Do the American people deserve godly leaders?  Would the American people even tolerate godly leaders?  We are getting the leaders that we should have, God is allowing for us the leaders that represent us as a whole.  No, I'm not being represented, no True Christian is, but we're not the majority, the majority of Americans are being wonderfully represented.

Maybe, instead of fighting amongst each other, proving our points, and severing relationships, we should be praying for the American people, and for the Church that should be reaching them with the gospel that transforms lives.  

Ultimately, God picks our leaders, but in America, He allows us to be apart of it.  

I have no reason to think that Trump is a Christian, baby or otherwise, and as it relates to this election, I really don't care.  He has displayed bad fruit, and according to Jesus, that's what I need to go by, in determining who is a follower of Christ, and who is not.  Besides, can anyone say, "Jimmy Carter!"

If you are a Christian that is just too righteous to vote for Trump, I will not judge your love or devotion for God, but I will judge your ability or willingness to reason.  Jesus didn't say to pluck out your eye because there are sinful things in the world that you will see, He said, "If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it into the fire."  Will Donald Trump as president cause you to sin?  Would a righteous president cause you to be more righteous?  If you would chop off your own feet, because you never wish to walk on unholy ground, there is something seriously wrong with your understanding of God, and your application of His word.  

Hillary Clinton seems to truly hate God, the things of God, the word of God, and those who try to follow God, and she has made it clear that she is going to do things to harm the Church.  I do not see any of these characteristics in Donald Trump.  I believe that if every Christian in America would vote for Trump today, he would win by a landslide.  This would not make America great, but it would give the Church in this country four years to realize that we almost lost America for good, and we better repent.