Highland Park Baptist Church
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Give Me A Break

June 24th, 2013 | Posted by bvosler in Dave - (Comments Off on Give Me A Break)

It’s officially summer – and all God’s people said, amen!  (I know there are some parents of school aged children who aren’t nearly that enthusiastic).

Sometimes we do need to get away from the routines, sameness, pressures and intense responsibilities of day to day life – for awhile at least.   And, if nothing else, summer schedules provide a welcome break up to the monotony and regularity of our typical schedules. Just the fact that it stays light outside until after 9:00pm – what a gift!

So let’s take a break.  How about (1) standing outside in the early morning or early evening to simply enjoy the beauty of God’s creation – listen, look, smell, silently praise.  No need to even dress up for this occasion.  Take a break, and . . .  (2) talk to your neighbors who tend to stay inside all winter, like we all do.  Be attentive to their stories, and the potential of a need in their life that you could assist. Take a break, and . . . (3) get some outdoor exercise – walking, working around the house, shop in places other than indoor malls.  Take a break, and . . . (4) focus on family, relationships, and farm fresh food.  After all, everything on TV is a rerun.  Baseball is best enjoyed at the ballpark – not in a living room.  The selection of Michigan grown products at this time of year is plentiful and delicious.

Taking a break from the routines of day to day life can be extremely refreshing.

More and more, though, the need for a break is being used as the reason for a summer sabbatical from being active in church.  After all, what better time than these summer weeks to make alternative Sunday plans?

So what about a break from church?

We only take a break from church if the church is a building, a location, a destination, or a weekly routine of coming and going.  Remember, we are the church.  We are followers of Christ who gather regularly for worship, encouragement, learning, growing, and serving – together.  Our life in Christ is just that – our life.  And gathering with God’s people is an expression of our life in Him.

We certainly wouldn’t consider taking a break from our walk with Christ.  Our passion for worship, encouragement, growing in Him and serving – is constant.  If who we are in Christ is the core of our identity, then taking a break is not an option.

So, as we all take a much needed break this summer, let’s use it to stretch ourselves toward furthering our walk with Christ – not taking a break.  Let’s keep up with the Bible reading assignments for the Cover to Cover series.  How about reading that Christian growth resource that sits on your shelf, or desk, or nightstand?  Would you consider getting involved in a ministry that is outside your typical commitment – like the upcoming Fun Fair in August?  Be looking for unique opportunities to give away and serve others – like our teams are doing this summer on their various mission trips.

Whatever we do this summer to take a break, let’s celebrate the change of pace, but at the same time remain fully engaged as a follower of Jesus, a member of His Church, and an essential part of His Body.  We are never given permission to take a break in the development of our life in Him.

David Borror

Ministry Administration

An Every Day Psalm

May 28th, 2013 | Posted by bvosler in Dave - (Comments Off on An Every Day Psalm)

I remember memorizing Psalm 23 as a young child – probably the first full chapter of the Bible I was able to recite word-for-word.  Sunday School teachers through those formative growing up years helped me to understand the importance of the Shepherd in my life.  It made even more sense to me when I understood that the author of this Psalm was a shepherd himself – first of real sheep and then of God’s people.  David understood the immense value of acknowledging the LORD as his shepherd.

Unfortunately, this has become a Psalm to be read only in times of loss, grief, or desperation.  Granted, the truths of Psalm 23 are an amazing source of comfort, provision, restoration, and a promise of the LORD’s presence and care.   It is important that we not miss that, or take that lightly.  After all, where would we be without His Shepherding care for our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs?

We consistently praise and worship Him, for all that we need is found in our all-sufficient Shepherd, who is present with us through all our dark valleys of fear, unknowns and potential dangers.

But we don’t want to miss the everyday truth and reality of this Psalm when life is experienced in all its fullness – each time and every season our cup runs over.   Just imagine this picture; we sit as honored guests at His banquet feast, fully realizing that there are enemies that would rob us of the true contentment, peace, and joy of these occasions.  We are assured while dining at that table of the ever-present Shepherd, that His love will always be steadfast and loyal. Add to this, the great hope and anticipation of abiding with the Shepherd forever.

Every day, whether spent in the valley of fear or at the table of plenty, we have the opportunity to experience His presence.   Our Shepherd leads, restores, and provides the needed resources to comfort us.  Our Host affirms and celebrates our presence at His table of bounty and blessing – assuring us of His loyal love for every day of our lives.

Certainly, there is fear in the unknown, and the potential of danger.  And, there is satisfaction in affirmation, and the potential of self-sufficiency.  Both days, every day – the LORD is my Shepherd.

Dave Borror

Ministry Administration

Avoiding Tragedy

April 1st, 2013 | Posted by bvosler in Dave - (Comments Off on Avoiding Tragedy)

It is entirely possible for me to go weeks without recognizing that I am not thoroughly enjoying the prosperity of God in my life.  I was reminded last week, through the study of God’s Word, that it is a terrible misfortune (evil) when I neglect the invitation to be satisfied (enjoy) with His amazingly good gifts in my life.  You may wantcheck it out for yourself in Ecclesiastes 6:1-6.

Apparently Solomon lived under the weight of his prosperity, and was so consumed by it that he couldn’t allow his soul to be so satisfied in God.  It’s too bad, when all along he could have actually enjoyed God’s provisions.  Certainly it was a misfortune for him, but a yet great reminder for me.  With his extremes of riches, he leaves behind a legacy of futility and emptiness.  Only as hefaithfully revered and honored God could the prosperity of his life provide him with a fullness of meaning.

So here is my reminder for today.  If I have some money, a few things to call my own, and a little respect from others and the opportunity to make a difference; then I am rich in the provisions of God.  If I have children (& grandchildren); then I am blessed more than I deserve.  If my heart is beating and my lungs are functioning, then I have been given yet another today to live for Him.

And here is a perspective I would like to embrace for a lifetime.  Wealthy people are not the ones with all the gifts in this life – money, possessions, honor, children, and long life – but the truly prosperous are those who, no matter what they have, they enjoy all of it because they live for His glory and find their complete satisfaction in Christ.

My goal is to be satisfied in my soul (enjoy) with the prosperity given to me by the Giver of every gift in life.  Otherwise, I might end up like Solomon.  Imagine the tragedy of being filthy rich butfilled with meaninglessness after simply chasing the wind.

David Borror

Ministry Administration

Please… Get Out Of My Face

October 29th, 2012 | Posted by bvosler in Dave - (1 Comments)

Anyone else getting a bit weary of the public accusations and character assassinations going on these days?  It is not just among politicians, even though they could certainly be more helpful in setting an example for a more productive attitude in dealing with conflict. Healthy disagreement and communicating differences of opinion so quickly become heated, and opposing viewpoints often lead to division between even the nicest of people.

It’s even worse when you have strong Biblical values, definitive convictions on moral issues, and proclaim the Gospel as the truth.  We might as well prepare for a struggle.  Although not the exact struggles the early Believers faced as the Gospel message multiplied and was changing the world, but it does seem easier to relate to the ridicule, accusations, alienation, and genuine anticipation of heaven that many of those early Believers experienced.

The driving passion of Paul in his anti-Christian culture can be ours as well.  It was simply this – live to please Jesus, no matter what.  Because, in the long run of life, nothing else really matters.  If the singular goal of our life is to please the Lord, then we’ll take ourselves less seriously, and align our lives to Him more intentionally.  We will do our best to persuade men of their need for a Savior.  We will be compelled to obey because of his unconditional, sacrificial love for us.  We will live with a clear conscience before God.  We will see others for who they really are – loved by God, and this will affect our attitudes and actions toward them.  We will never quite get over the reality that because of Christ we are the righteousness of God.

I have been reading, studying, teaching II Corinthians lately with the men of Tuesday morning.  Paul’s reality was one of being abused and maligned and slandered all the time for his faith in Jesus.  He confidently defended himself and his ministry and never wavered from the truth of the gospel.  Nothing mattered more to him than pleasing Jesus with his life.  His suffering became for him a kind of affirmation that he was on the right track of his calling in life.  He welcomed the opportunity to identify in some way with the suffering of Jesus.

Others will disagree with us –and even get in our face.  Some will consider us ill informed.  They will say we are out of touch, and may even try to pick a verbal fight with us.   The more we speak up, the more they are likely to be opposed.   Stand firm, even when things get heated.  Be gracious, even when not reciprocated.  Please Jesus no matter what – it really is all that matters.  Just ask Paul.

You will find the fullness of his perspective in II Corinthians chapter 5.

 

David Borror

Ministry Administration

Fullness of Faith

August 15th, 2012 | Posted by bvosler in Dave - (Comments Off on Fullness of Faith)

Most of the Believers I have known throughout my life have confidently expressed their belief that God
has the power to do anything – even raise the dead. The power of God over death was definitively on
display at the resurrection of Lazarus (John 11) and convincingly so with the resurrection of Jesus.

And then, most also affirmed that they have faith in God’s promises to be secure in the fact that there
is eternal life after death, and that it has been promised that Believers will spend eternal life in Heaven
with God. By faith they acknowledge that this is made possible because of the sacrificial work of Christ
on the cross.

Is God all powerful – and can even raise the dead? Yes. There is convincing proof so we believe.

Has God promised eternal life for all who believe? Yes. We take Him by faith at His Word.

But faith in its fullness is also embracing the amazing power of God and affirming our belief in Him
during those times when His powerful presence and His work do not meet up with our expectations.
Fullness of faith believes even when His ways are perplexing, and after we have desperately asked Him
to “change things”. Fullness of faith trusts Him – no matter what. After all, we believe that Jesus is
alive; we affirm the promise of eternal life; so why do we falter or even hesitate when life does not go as
planned?

There are several in our church community these days who are living through some of the most difficult
experiences that life could ever offer; significant loss, life-threatening cancer, soured relationships,
family feuds, and seemingly impossible circumstances. We pray for them consistently.

Here is what is blows me away. Most of these faith-filled children of God are living out their faith in
all its fullness. They are trusting God – no matter what. Their level of trust has only deepened. The
Enemy that tries to infuse doubt, deception, and desperation is experiencing defeat. Faith is being
expressed in all its fullness.

I am reminded that Mary, Martha, and Jesus were all in tears over Lazarus death (John 11). Certainly
death and separation bring strong emotion – totally understandable and right. But this was more than
grief over physical loss. It was spiritual grief related to lack of full faith.

Mary and Martha thought Jesus should do it their way. They openly acknowledged that He had the
power. The resurrection, they believed, would take place – eventually. But what deeply troubled Jesus
was their obvious struggle with their disbelief that His ways and timing were as He planned, so that the
glory of God would be on display and that many would come to that place of fullness in belief.

To those who consistently stand strong in their faith in all its fullness, we say thank you for setting the
example for many others of us who want also to demonstrate that kind of enduring faithfulness. God is
being glorified as we see in you – the fullness of your faith.

-David Borror

Getting to the Point

June 5th, 2012 | Posted by bvosler in Dave - (1 Comments)

Reading through the gospels, sometimes the actions of Jesus make me uncomfortable. Especially those
times when Jesus’ obvious passion for truth is translated into a bold willingness to call out hypocrites,
fools, and spiritually blind – knowing full well it will serve only to make things more difficult for Him.
What Jesus said was certainly true, but not said with the purpose of hurting others but rather to
confront actions, attitudes, or beliefs unbefitting of a follower of Christ.

There are times we all need to be confronted with hypocrisy, arrogance, hostility, and negligence.
Sometimes we need to be clear on what Jesus really thinks about our duplicities. Hypocrites are
pretenders, they’re actors, they dress up the outside to make an impression, and nothing brings more
pleasure to a phony follower than a rousing applause from “the crowd”.

Matthew 23 offers a chilling rebuke against those of us who are still learning our lessons on the
distinctions between a good-looking religious person and a genuine follower of Jesus. His words are
confrontational and direct – you can read them for yourself in this rather unpopular chapter.

Then, I would encourage you to consider seriously, as I have been doing, the seriousness of the call to
impact others with truth of the gospel, to resist playing religious games, to keep promises, to major on
things that really do matter, to pay close attention to the inside – the heart, and to humbly hear the
strong rebuke of a prideful tongue.

Uncomfortable? Maybe. But, sometimes it is best to just get right to the point.

-Dave Borror

What an Amazing God!

April 27th, 2012 | Posted by bvosler in Dave - (19,650 Comments)

The men of Tuesday morning have been studying the life of Daniel.  From his days as a teenager to his fruitful life as a senior citizen – his life is well deserved study on the amazing faithfulness of God.  When he needed wisdom and power, he called out to the God of Heaven for mercy.  When he provided an interpretation for a dream of the king, he made it clear, that this was the wisdom of his God, not his amazing faith or above-average abilities.  When tossed into the den of lions, at the ripe old age of 80, he never wavered in his dependence upon the King of Heaven.  During his 30 years of life outside of the public eye and identifiable leadership, he stood out as a man with a sterling reputation, consistency, and no-compromise.  Add to that, he maintained a three times a day habit of prayer – giving thanks to God, and seeking His help.  He understood that it was only his amazing God that could sustain and use him.

Daniel himself was not a superstar prophet – just an uncommon guy who actually believed God, fearlessly followed, and exercised a God-centered dependence.

Noted throughout his story are expressions of praise by those he spiritually impacted.  What is noticeably absent is other’s amazement with Daniel.  What is obvious, is that they were awestruck with the God of Daniel.  I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom, people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.  For He is the living God; He endures forever, His kingdom will not be destroyed, His dominion will never end.  Daniel 6:26

Jesus put it this way: Let your light shine before men, that they will see your good deeds, and praise your Father in heaven.  – Matthew 5:16

This is just as it should be.  God at work through us is not about us, but only our amazing God.  We are just the instruments He uses to bring honor and glory to Himself.  He alone is worthy of praise.  It is truly amazing that He can use us – and that He does.    We remain in awe of Him.

-Dave Borror


On Purpose & With Passion

February 2nd, 2012 | Posted by admin in Dave - (21,828 Comments)

It was recently recommended that I read a pamphlet written by Jim Collins, the author of Good to Great, applicable principles directed toward those who lead in the “social sector”.   I was struck in particular by one of the key people-resource values.  Focus on getting the right people . . . who are productively neurotic, those who are self motivated and self disciplined, who wake up everyday compulsively driven to the best they can because it is simply a part of their DNA.  Lack of resources is not an excuse for lack of rigor. I guess we all wish we had things a little bit better.

This principle from his laboratory of the business world prompted me to acknowledge once again that the choicest servants of God that I know of are those who do life with passion and purpose from the inside out – motivated and disciplined because it is a part of who they are as servants of the King.

What is particularly notable is that I have the privilege of observing and experiencing this with others who live with this kind of compulsion every day.  Rarely does a day go by that I am not in awe of the men and women, young people to senior citizens, who show up as volunteers or paid staff, on both Sundays and/or weekdays, and do with energy and passion what it is that God has called and gifted them to do in His kingdom ministry.  And they do it, fully resourced or not.  It is obvious to me that the motivation and discipline they have comes from a passion to work for, and to put on display, the glory of God.  I can’t help but believe that same passion to do their best for Christ sake, is the same heartbeat they have in the workplace and in the home.

So I’m thinking –  what would happen among those that we are called to impact for Christ, if each day out of the intensity of our love for Christ, we acknowledged His passion for people, and get engaged with a compulsive  and energetic desire to glorify Him in whatever we do – in word or deed  (cf.  II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 6:7; I Corinthians 10:31 Romans 12:1, 2).

It seems that as a new creation in Christ with a transformed DNA, having this kind of purpose and passion would be normative for Believers.

-Dave Borror, Ministry Administration