All posts by Glen Gaugh

Promoting 1st Century Faith in our 21st Century World.

Hey, Why Tear Down the Church?

In what ways do you build up or tear down the church?

This dad would be a casualty of life and the sin that so easily besets mankind, if it were not for the power of God through his church. And I’m raising my sons to love the things of God, in the house of God, among the people of God.

So as I look at what is being said and the accusations that are being leveled in the past few days, I wonder- Why are you tearing down the church in the wake of the chaos in the world around us?

If you’re a Christian that made the statement, “I’d better hear this,” and, “I’d better hear that at church on Sunday,” following the rioting in Charlottesville, or any of the tragedies of recent years, then you’re tearing down the ship on which all of us can hope to be saved in this stormy sea of life.

I can’t speak to the moral fortitude of your pastor, but I can tell you that the church was not created to be the ally of black, white, or other, in the fights that we contrive for ourselves. The Church is the Light of the World, and if everyone would run to the God of the Church, we would have much less of a sin problem, and fewer horrific tragedies today.

If you go to church, look around, and wonder, “Does anyone even care?”, or you wonder, “Where is the authority in what is being preached and declared from the pulpit?”, then I submit you’re in a church that Paul described as “having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.” Don’t trash the church. Change churches, or develop the power of Christ within you to be the change you want to see in the church.

One day, your children will be in need of a church. What will they think about the body of Christ when that time comes? What has your testimony of the church been? And do you think they will care when you look at their lives and see they need Christ’s church the most? If you believe you can raise Christians apart from affirming and being a part of the body of Christ, then you are not teaching a biblical Christianity.

The world trashes Christianity and the church enough. Shouldn’t you and I stand up and defend her?

Detained? Or Delivered?

“Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord; and his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chiefest of the herdmen that belonged to Saul.”
‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭21:7‬ ‭KJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

“Then answered Doeg the Edomite, which was set over the servants of Saul, and said, I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub.

And the king said to Doeg, Turn thou, and fall upon the priests. And Doeg the Edomite turned, and he fell upon the priests, and slew on that day fourscore and five persons that did wear a linen ephod. And Nob, the city of the priests, smote he with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and sucklings, and oxen, and asses, and sheep, with the edge of the sword.”
‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭22:9, 18-19‬ ‭KJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

David came to Nob seeking what little he could find to get by, but he left with more than he bargained for. (1 Sam. 21:1-9)

Got bread? Not just any bread, holy bread. Shewbread.
Got a sword or a spear, just any old weapon I can take? Not just any weapon, only the best sword you can find anywhere.

David knew where to find what he needed. It was in the house of God.

Doeg was detained before the Lord in the tabernacle. Commentaries give several possible reasons he was detained: he was unclean for some reason; he was suspected of leprosy; he was unable to travel due to the Sabbath; he was fulfilling a vow; he was in violation of some law; or he was a proselyte.

We don’t know which reason precisely, but there are some clues we can use to create the scenario. Consider that the story may have gone like this.

Doeg was rising as David was falling in favor with Saul (comp. 21:7 with 22:9).
Doeg was close to Saul, probably for a long time, even prior to his kingship. But with the anointing to be king, some things had changed. It seems reasonable that Doeg was fulfilling a request from Saul to convert (he was not a native Jew, he was of Edom, or Syria).

Doeg was not just zealous for Saul, but also jealous of David.
He perhaps would have killed David, but he was fearful (Doeg means “fearing” of “fearful”). His plan apparently was to simply tattle on David to Saul once he was free to leave the tabernacle and be back at Saul’s side. Doeg apparently did not have an original thought in his head; he had to filter everything through Saul, otherwise he would have acted when he saw David. Aside from the fact that David was a mighty warrior and Doeg was a herdsman, Doeg wouldn’t have done anything without Saul’s approval. David says it later, in 1 Sam. 22:22, that he knew when he saw Doeg that he knew the guy was gonna go tattle on him to Saul. He was attached to Saul that closely.

Saul was his meal ticket. David was a fugitive. Doeg was working his way up the ranks, taking advantage of the situation. He owed all he had to Saul, even to the point of being detained in an act of proselytization to maintain appearances and keep his momentum going to the top.

Doeg was only interested in pleasing a man. He had no interest in pleasing God. That’s why he was detained; he had no desire or delight in being in God’s house.

Once he finally broke free from the bonds of God’s house, he treated the righteous as profane and embraced the wicked as righteous. He killed and destroyed God’s anointed and the things set apart for God, at the word of a fallen man.

You follow man, and he will lead to to places you don’t want to go. No man can give you the great things that God will freely give you. You must not follow a man, you must follow after God and the things of God, in the house of God!

Doeg was favored, and David was a fugitive. But David was not detained, David was free. David came willingly to the house of God in a desperate hour. He could no longer stay in the palace for Saul’s wrath, but he could run to God for what he needed.

 

In the house of God, there are two kinds of people: the HAVES and the HAVE NOTS. And this is not measured the way it is measured in the world. Before God, there is no man that can keep you from becoming a HAVE. Christ gave all so that you could be a HAVE in the house of God.

Doeg was surrounded by the things of God in the house of God, but he was a HAVE NOT. He had no use, no desire, and he sought not the gifts of God all around him.

But David became a HAVE in the house of God. The Bible says:
“Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
‭‭James‬ ‭4:2-3‬ ‭KJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

  1. Get out of the world and into the House
  2. Get the world out of yourself, stop longing to go back out there, and get the Holy Ghost inside.
    “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”
    ‭‭James‬ ‭4:4‬ ‭KJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
    You can’t be a hostage to God and a friend to the world and expect to receive anything.

David on the other hand, Asked and Received

Gee, I wish I could find 5 loaves of common bread around here, but all I can find is 12 loaves of holy bread, the best we have!

I’m looking around for any old spear or sword, but all I have here is the greatest sword that’s ever been held by a warrior.

When we come to the house of God in desperation and say, “God, I need something, anything!” He looks around and says, “I wish I could find something, anything, for you, but all I have is the best of everything.”

The whole armor of God. the bread of life. the gifts of the spirit. The fruit of the spirit. The waters of baptism. The oil of anointing. An old-fashioned altar. The blood of Jesus. The way, the truth, the life.

Where else can you go? What else do you need? God’s house is well-stocked with only the best- none of the rest!

The church of today across the landscape of the US is in the “something, anything” business. Those churches are looking at the questions, “What can we offer that will attract people? How can we do church that looks different than other churches?” They’re saying, “Come on in, no expectations here. Tell us what would make you comfortable. Tell us what would keep you entertained. Tell us how we can serve you.”

Programs. Facilities. Convenient service times with your preferences of preaching and worship styles. Lax dress code.

A form of godliness that denies power is all they offer. Why go into a place that just puts a pinch of the word out there, when you can enter the house of God and get the whole loaf? All 12 loaves?

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭2:15‬ ‭KJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

If you’re stuck in the house of God, detained, when you look around all you can wish for is something “out there.” If I can just get OUT THERE I’ll find what I want, I’ll get what I really need.

 

The ties that bind…

Guilt
The expectations and opinions of others
Station/Status quo/Social hierarchy

From Ed Stetzer:
97%- life changes (wanted a break, moved to college, work schedule)

58%- problems with their church or pastor (judgmental/hypocritical saints, little-no connection with church people, unfriendly/unwelcoming people)

52%- stopped or never believed what the church taught on religious, ethical, or political beliefs (disagreement on issues, only going to please someone else, or no longer wanted to affiliate with church/organized religion).

According to Ken Hamm, students and young adults do not feel that they get their questions answered on hard issues in the Bible.

Another source faults lack of intergenerational fellowship (the youth group is a bubble), and states that each young person needs 5 adults who actively influence their spiritual development.

To sum it up- people simply do not develop a vibrant, personal faith in God that carries throughout their lives. Bibles are not opened. Prayer is not a priority. The Holy Ghost and the power thereof is neglected.

I know what it’s like to grow up sleeping under a pew, going to Sunday school every week, sitting under the preaching of the Word of God, while all the while riding a drum stool to hell. I couldn’t wait to get out from under the detainment of God’s house. Everything was going to be the way I wanted it OUT THERE. But I never found anything that didn’t sooner or later bring me shame and regret.

Don’t be a Doeg, whose loyalty to God is as shallow as TN top soil. Don’t be a Doeg, whose devotion to the things of God only extends as far as what a man or a woman thinks of you.

Don’t be a Doeg, imprisoned by obligation. Unlike Paul centuries later, who called himself a “prisoner of Christ.” It’s not about obligation or what you can get out of the church, it is about being sold out to Jesus Christ and bound to Him

Be a David, who said
“Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭51:11‬ ‭KJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Who said of Doeg:
“Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.

And of himself:
But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭52:7-8‬ ‭KJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Who also said:
I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭86:12-13‬ ‭KJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Don’t be Doeg the Detained; be David the Delivered!

If I’m speaking to Doeg now, it’s time to let go of the pain of the past. It’s your responsibility to go from Detained to Delivered.

“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭2:19‬ ‭KJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

There is one inevitable outcome for Doeg. Doeg will go and be gone without a holy intervention. If you’re Doeg today, you feel detained in this house, trapped against your will, and you’re hoping things will change, things will not change unless you surrender to God today. And if you don’t surrender, then the odds are in favor of you going out of this place and committing atrocities against yourself and others, things you do not want to do.

If you see Doeg around here today, that’s good because there is a chance to save him or her before it’s too late.

We fail to tell our children what is right, leaving it up to them to decide for themselves. Doeg starts out as a person in need who was left hanging.
We fail to recognize and reward holy characteristics. Doeg could go either way; Doeg could be David. But We’re more interested in compliance than character.
We fail Doeg when Doeg could be delivered.

You can reach Doeg, and you can prevent someone from becoming Doeg. You can put both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road as a parent or a saint and reach someone who we know already has the deck stacked against them. There is no place out there that has the best interest of your son or daughter at heart, only Jesus and the things of God are best for your child.

After Charlottesville

I’m typing this on the fly as I get ready for church this morning. Not aiming for perfection, just to get out an important message.

On the ride to church today, I’ll tell my sons that they are strong men of God who are called to do good to everyone. These boys who know no hate for anyone based on appearances, and have only been taught to hate the sin that is common to all men and women, now have to be pointed to this horrific example as a way to show the evil that is in the heart of people who do not truly know God, and who can be so easily convinced of their own righteousness, in the absense of the Holy Spirit.

At the same time, they need to realize this message in the context of saved vs. lost, not white vs. black or any other skin color. There is plenty of blame to go around for what led to the violence in Charlottesville. None of it belongs to them. The potential is in each and every one of us if not purged by God. It’s a lesson about what not to become. They aren’t guilty because of their skin color, the color of the people involved in Charlottesville over the weekend, or the actions of anyone in history.

And if anyone tells them otherwise, they shouldn’t believe it. They will be victors in Christ, not victims of a societal crackdown because of the actions of a few evil people.

Run Burdened- An Important DadStory

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Ever felt like quitting?

The Tough Mudder Nashville 5K has come and gone, and in the aftermath, I’m reminded of a lesson I learned early on in training for this event…

Run burdened.

Because you rarely run a straight course with no obstacles in the way, the best way to prepare is to run burdened. Run with some added weight, run with some extra exercises, run after strength training.

Run when you don’t want to run, and always at least a little bit farther than you wanted to.

Run when you’re alone. Not just when you don’t have a training partner. When you feel all alone, keep running. Run when you’ve lost your best friend in the world. When you’re grieving, run on.

Run when you’re sick. Not just when you’re sinuses are acting up or you have a stomach thing. When you’re disgusted with it all, keep running. When you don’t know what to do about it, run on.

Run when you’ve made a mistake. Not just the kind that makes you physically sore. When you’ve hurt the one you love, keep running. When you don’t know if you’ll ever be able to make amends, run on.

Run when you just don’t feel like doing it. Not just when you don’t’ feel like physically running. When life is tough and you feel stuck, keep running.

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:11‬

Life is less of a straight line, and more of a spiral. It can trend upward or downward, but there will be good times and bad all along the way. If where you are now seems familiar, it’s because you’ve been here before. And you’ll be here again. It’s best to prepare yourself; trouble is not forever, and success will be short-lived.

But if you decide to stop running when you meet some resistance, then you can be sure your troubles will last longer than they have to last. If you decide to stop running when your power alone is not enough, you’ll never cross the finish line. When I run a race, I have a cheering section that gets me through. In the race of life, I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

The next race I’ll run is a relay marathon called Marathon For Memories, benefitting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I’ll have a whole team competing with me, including my wife Julie and my two boys. It’s coming up on September 16th in Trenton, TN. Stayed locked here at the blog to find out more.

Want to have a story worth telling? Read more here at the blog and let me know how I can help you make yours a great one. Got a DadStory to share? Send yours to glengaugh@gmail.com.

 

A Change-For-the-Better DadStory

Have you ever doubted your capacity to change for the better?

We are not now what we will become.

I’m sure someone has said it this way before, more or less. The truth is that whatever you are at this point in time, is not what you will be in the future.

The changes we experience may be faster and more drastic between youth and adulthood, but if you aren’t happy with who you are now, that’s ok. You have the capacity to change for the better.

I wasn’t satisfied; in fact, I was downright discouraged when I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. It impacted my comfort and lifestyle more than anything I had ever experienced. The worst case scenario presented to me was to have to live with a colostomy bag for the rest of my life. God let me go through just enough of the pain and the pressure to change my lifestyle to challenge my faith and see what I was willing to take. Then, when biweekly injections failed to work, He healed me. It’s about as drastic of an example I can think of personally; I was doomed to be one way, but by His grace I changed. I was healed.

When I train to run a race, and the difficulty is at its toughest, and I feel like no progress is being made, I have to remember a time when I had to stop running altogether because I couldn’t go 15 minutes without finding a bathroom. During that really hard time, I still ran as much as possible in spite of it all, planning for being at the point of having to stop wherever I happened to be, and even keeping toilet paper with me in case of emergency as I ran in the woods and fields around my house. I even ran two or three races during that time period, fasting so my intestines would be empty and I’d be less likely to have to stop or have an “accident.”

I suppose I’m reminded to count my blessings after sitting in the middle of the filed road where I train the other day, declaring to God how much I hate the pain of training. I was spent after a short time. It wasn’t a good day at all for me. I pitched a hissy fit as my mother would call it. Then I got in position without another single word and finished that round of exercises. I quit earlier than I intended to that day. But it became to me, as it was 2 years ago dealing with my illness, a matter of starting again. Starting again is all that matters. In the middle of what you’re going through, whether minutes, days, weeks, or months go by, it’s important to start again.

Because you are not now what you will be in the future. And what you become depends on what you do now.

Change always takes longer and proves to be more difficult than you ever thought it would be. No matter how many times in the past you’ve made improvements, or how many wrongs you’ve corrected, you’ll still be surprised the next time you try to be more of who you want to become.

The Tough Mudder 5k in Nashville at Nissan Stadium is tomorrow, and because of these lessons I’ve been talking about, I know it is a beginning, not and end, to the changes I’m making. Watch out for updates from the course and more lessons I’ve learned while training for the experience.

Want to have a story worth telling? Read more here and let me know how I can help. Got a DadStory to share? Send yours to glengaugh@gmail.com.

A Tough Mudder DadStory

What challenges your notion of self-sufficiency?

I’m not a stranger to obstacle course races, but I think a Tough Mudder is going to be a new experience.

My brother and I are set for the Mudder 5k In Nashville on August 12th. Running has been a constant workout activity for me for a long time, but body weight exercises, core conditioning, jumping and sprints have been only occasional activities. In the few obstacle courses I have completed, my physical training has been lacking.

I am not an unfit person; in fact, I do frequent manual labor of medium to high difficulty. But focusing on completing a task is not the same as fitness being the task, and natural ability on its own will not make you a winner, or even a finisher necessarily.

That’s where the real difficulty with training comes in. I’m not alone in feeling like I am insufficient on my own, or in having a real hard time mentally when facing the fact that I’m wrong. Such a realization brought me to running back around 2010. I was 30, had two sons, and after working a desk job for several years, I was unfit. Going back to my glory days wasn’t an option, but I figured I could be alive, healthy, and giving my sons a run for their money long into their teenage years. So I prepared for my first 5k.

Every new challenge requires a different level of preparation. And the start of training reveals just how insufficient you are, which is why all too few people with potential actually take up new challenges. It’s hard, and it makes you feel small.

Nearly a month into dedicated training for the Tough Mudder, I still feel small. But I’m making strides. Just as when I first trained for a 5k, a 10-miler, and a half marathon. Just as when I decided to go back to finish my college education. Just as when I accepted a call to ministry and opted to run for public office. I read this morning that our country was founded on reflection and choice; so are our lives.

Reflect on how difficult the obstacle was, realize you’re now stronger than you were before, and that you will excel even more the next time for having endured the difficulty.

Choose to move forward, whether your most recent attempt was a failure or a success.

I believe your ability to do these two things will not only decide whether you grow and thrive, but it will also determine your legacy to those closest and most important to you.

One week to the Tough Mudder 5k in Nashville at Nissan Stadium. I’ll be posting my thoughts on challenges met and lessons learned through the process of training. Want to have a story worth telling? Read more here and let me know how I can help. Got a DadStory to share? Send yours to glengaugh@gmail.com.

A First-Day-of-School Dadstory…

How do you manage being your child’s primary educator in your given situation?

The first day of school has come and gone.

It was a partial day; as if everyone needs the chance to ease back into the grind of a new school year. I know we did.

Julie and I have had a lot of discussions about the future and the education options available for our sons. I was a public school student throughout my entire K-12 career. Julie attended a Christian private school for a while, and felt that it was a bad experience for her. We have always been inclined to utilize the public schools, and doubted ourselves very little until last year when the elementary school of choice for our boys closed.

We’re in a system that has been in flux for about 2 years now. I’ll stay out of the weeds on that topic in this post, though I have been very vocal on matters of our local public schools. To put it briefly, we’re concerned, and even if we continue on this track for the coming school year, we belief we’ll have to do something about it in the very near future.

We have been talking a lot about home schooling, and we have gotten an overwhelming amount of encouragement from home school parents to go ahead and make the leap. It appeals to me because I have always felt we as parents should be the primary educators of our children. And we are; we’ve never felt like we “farmed out” our sons’ education, and each of us have our own distinct and notable contributions to the boys’ formal education. Julie has the patience, and I provide the push, which has kept the boys excelling wonderfully up to this point.

The home school parents we have met are extremely zealous about educating their children, which is great. The off-putting part is the attitude that pops up when we say, “We’re not totally sure yet…” Home school parents can’t understand the reluctancy we still have.

Educating your children is a very personal choice. And one thing has helped us feel better about remaining with public school at this point- the People Factor. The worst of situations can be made better with the right people involved. The boys were assigned to two great teachers. When we walked out of open house, Julie said she was relieved because of the teachers they were assigned. The boys were excited. All of that is important. Most importantly, Christ is in control, and we are paying attention.

Believe me, we are watching like hawks.

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6:4‬ ‭KJV‬‬‬‬‬‬