Archive for June, 2012

Cleaning Up Our Mess

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

I love the funny story about the young barber who moved to a new community and decided to open up a barber shop.  The problem was that there was already a very established barber in town.  So the new guy decided to open his shop right across the street from the old barber.  To attract business the new barber put out a sign that read: “We Give $5 Haircuts.”  The next day the old barber put out a sign in front of his shop across the street: “We Fix $5 Haircuts.”

The fact is that there are plenty of cheap offers in this world.  Satan loves to tempt us with cheap cuts and short cuts.  Usually it involves doing things the world’s ways rather than God’s way.  And the result is that we find ourselves in a big mess. (more…)

June 24, 2012 “Survivors”

Thursday, June 28th, 2012
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June 24, 2012 “Survivors”

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Open your Bibles to the book of Joel. Today I’m concluding this long series of messages I’ve entitled “Profiting from the Prophets.” I’m so grateful for the tremendous response to this series, and many have asked if it will be possible to purchase the series. There are three ways you can do that: Go to our website travis.org/faith-factor and download them for free. Go to the website and order a CD album for $25.00. Go to the foyer after the service and place an order to be picked up in 3 weeks. Now I want to begin by reading Joel 2:28-32.

Now v.28 begins with the words “and afterward.” Now Joel, like the other 17 prophets we have studied, has a word from God for His people in a particular historical situation. The challenge here is to know exactly what the situation was in Joel’s day. Some scholars say Joel was one of the first prophets; others say he was one of the last. Either way Joel has a message from God about the circumstances of his day, and also a word from God about something that will happen “afterward” (v.28). (more…)

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June 17, 2012 “A Man God Can Use”

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012
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Dad’s … Being All There

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

The prophet Malachi envisioned a great movement of God that would come at the arrival of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus:

“He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse” (Malachi 4:6).

The Lord predetermined a day of revival in families where a true heart connection would happen between fathers and their children.

In our day there’s a lot of talk about the phenomenon known as the “absentee father.”  It describes the terrible predicament in homes where children grow up with the healthy, positive presence and influence of a dad.  Sometimes dads can be physically present, but emotionally absent from their kids.

Steve Smith, in his book The Jesus Life describes his own heart-breaking experience with an emotionally absent father:

“One of the deepest memories I have of my father is when we would have breakfast together. We’d each pour a bowl of cornflakes and sit at the same table, but my father’s mind would wander beyond our kitchen while I was in his presence. I called it “the Cereal Stare.” It was a stare that I can easily picture even now in my mind. He emotionally left the breakfast table and was evidently chewing on the day’s concerns at work. That look would overtake my father’s eyes as his mind wandered to another country—a place of work deadlines, problems with a colleague, a crisis that had claimed his mind and heart, possibly even unfulfilled hopes and dreams. My father sat in this stare while I looked on, always an arm’s length away but never invited into this distant land.

“He rarely asked me a question. We discussed no topic. We would just sit and eat in silence. Now I realize the pain I was in—wanting so badly to connect to my dad, to be seen, to be noticed, to be loved by him. And I can also imagine the pain that perhaps choked his words: paying for college for my two older siblings, a conflict with an associate at work, trying to remember if he had actually returned a call that came in at closing time yesterday. Did he sit in silence because of a fight he had with my mom and felt at a loss as to how to make it right with her before he left for work?

“It’s uncanny how many people comment to me about the Cereal Stare, saying it was so descriptive of their families. We simply must learn to do more than eat cornflakes together and call it a family meal.”

Years ago I heard someone say something that really struck a chord with me:  “Wherever you are … be all there.”  What great advice!  Whatever we are doing, whether it’s eating breakfast with our kids, sitting quietly with our mate, or listening to a hurting friend, we must strive to all there.  So dads, give your children your time, your ear and, most importantly, your heart.

June 17, 2012 “A Man God Can Use”

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

Now with your Bible open to Zechariah 3 let me give you a little background.  There’s a connection between Zechariah and the prophet we studied two weeks ago … Haggai.  They both are part of encouraging and strengthening the Jews to rebuild the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem.

God had an extraordinary task for two men, Zerubbabel, the governor, and Joshua, the high priest.  They would lead the Jews to rebuild the Temple, the most important feature of the faithful worship of the Lord.  He raised up the prophet Zechariah, in part, to prepare the men for what God wanted to do through them.  In the Zechariah 4 the Lord had a word for Zerubbabel.  But here in Zechariah 3 the Lord has a word for Joshua to help him become a man that God could use.  To get us started let’s read Zechariah 3:1-4. (more…)

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June 10, 2012 “What’s In Your Wallet?”

Thursday, June 14th, 2012
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June 10, 2012 “What’s In Your Wallet?”

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Would it surprise you to know that when God was speaking so powerfully through his prophets long ago that He would touch on this matter of what His people do with their money?  Open your Bibles with me to the very last book of the OT, the book of Malachi.  (Some speculate that this prophet was an Italian prophet and his name was pronounced Malachee … not so.)  This isn’t the last of the messages I’m preaching on the prophets; we have two more to go in this series I’ve entitled “Profiting from the Prophets.”  In the last few books of the OT God is speaking to His people after they have returned to their homeland having been in exile for 70 years, to rebuild their lives and their nation. (more…)

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Wonder in our Worship

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple” (Isaiah 6:1).

I often catch myself just coasting through a worship experience or through my time alone with God in His Word. How could I approach the great God of the universe with such a lackadaisical attitude? Why am I not filled with the same wonder that gripped the prophet Isaiah when he had the awesome vision of God? (more…)

June 6, 2012 “Moving Beyond Discouragement”

Thursday, June 7th, 2012
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  • Bio & Introduction

    Dr. Michael Dean has been the senior pastor at Travis Avenue Baptist Church since 1991, having also served churches elsewhere in Texas and New Mexico. He and his wife Nan are blessed with two married children and two grandchildren. With a keen sense of calling to shepherd the flock of God entrusted to his care, Michael longs to see people become passionate followers of Jesus Christ. His hobbies include long-distance running, golf and hunting.

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