Lessons From the East – A Book Review

Date June 30, 2016

Lessons from the east - cover225x225Disturbing. Dynamic. Directional. These thoughts ran through my mind as I read – strike that – devoured this book. I am not one to gush over a book, but Lessons From the East is a must read this summer!

With Post-it® notes sticking out of so many pages, highlights and comments graffitiing my tattered copy of Bob Roberts, Jr.’s book on Finding the Future of Western Christianity in the Global Church, I want to heartily recommend it to passionate men and women of God at any level of faith and ministry.

If you are as disturbed as I am that we have more resources than any generation of the church in the past two millennia, and yet, we are slipping quietly into oblivion as we increasingly make little or no impact on our culture, then THIS is a must-read and must-apply book!

Bob taps into all the key elements of a dynamic, influential church in a local community and a global world – truly what glocal is all about … what Jesus envisions your church to be! He turns our hearts to …

  • Partnership in the local church – working with God to accomplish the real-time imperatives and directives of the Kingdom of God through His people
  • Discipleship of the local church – refocusing God’s people on the 1st Century mission and vision that beats in the heart of the Great Commission of King Jesus
  • Gift Mix resourcing the local church – evaluating the kind of ministry God is calling specific local churches to and breaking free of the “cookie cutter” assembly line methodology of religious programming that we are drowning in today all across our country
  • Abandoning one’s life to the ministry of the glocal church – shedding self-indulgence and a “me-oriented” religion for a King-oriented faith that sees the neighbor across the street and across the ocean as their responsibility

Buy this book! Absorb this book. While I don’t agree with everything in this book – and you won’t either I guarantee – we need to listen to the whispers of the Spirit as we read, get alone with the Father and take our directions again, afresh, from the King of the kingdom, the Lord Jesus Himself. This book will surely be one of the vehicles God uses to refocus your soul on the heart of God for the world we live in … it has been for me!

Hope For Today – Your Words Are True!

Date June 12, 2016

Word of God - every word proves true

What can we depend on today? People lie to us every day – some haphazardly, others with malicious intent. Even promises made by our politicians evaporate faster than water on a Phoenix sidewalk!

I’m Dr. Matthew Lee Smith and I want to share some Hope For Today to remind us that God’s Words Are True!

Awash in the spray of the Lord’s pronouncement of the enduring legacy David’s progeny would have, the king of Israel responded, “Therefore your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you. And now, O Lord God, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant.” (2 Samuel 7:27–28)

David had an encounter with the Living Word and, in that moment, the future changed forever for Him! He heard the words from the lips of the Lord and knew that God doesn’t lie! God fulfills what He promises!

Fast-forward 3,000 years. We have a Bible (many Bibles to be honest). We can hear the voice of God every day just by picking it up, opening it and reading it out loud. And, as we read, the indwelling Holy Spirit of God can and will focus our hearts and minds on certain passages. There, in the quiet of the moment, God will speak to us as well.

He has made so many promises to us and wants us to trust His words so our future will be changed forever as a result of our faith in His character! Pause. If you need help in how to read God’s word, we’ll be glad to send you a free Bible reading schedule and instruction guide.

 

Hope For Today is a part of the ministry of Eagles In Leadership. If you would like to know more about the hope God gives and His abundant life through Jesus Christ, I would invite you to check out our website: Eagles In Leadership . org; that’s Eagles In Leadership .org.

Hope For Today – Remove All Fear From Me!

Date June 5, 2016

Fear Not - Isa 41.10

FEAR – it paralyzes us faster than Novocain in the dentist’s chair! The problem seems to be – at least for me – that I unthaw very slowly!

I’m Dr. Matthew Lee Smith and I want to share some Hope For Today to remind us that the Lord CAN remove all fear from us!

As public enemy #1 to the King of Syria, Israeli prophet Elisha woke up one morning and found, much to his assistant’s dismay and dread, a hostile army surrounded them! However, Elisha could see by faith what his servant could not by fear. Don’t be afraid,” Elisha said, “because there are more of us than there are of them.” Then Elisha prayed, “Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he saw that the mountain was full of horses and fiery chariots surrounding Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:16–17, CEB)

Faith has a way of opening our eyes to the supernatural realties of God’s presence and protection faster than anything else. For Elisha’s servant, fear was based on what he could see. For Elisha, confidence was based on what he could see.

Surrounding the child of God are armies of the Living God waiting to act on a moment’s notice for the man or woman of faith.

No matter what you are battling today, no matter the fear that is freezing your soul, take a moment and seek the Living God – Creator of the Universe – your Father who loves you. Ask for His help. Plead for His intervention. Thaw the paralysis with the truth of God’s compassion and His protection. The hills are filled with His armies!

 

Hope For Today is a part of the ministry of Eagles In Leadership. If you would like to know more about the hope God gives and His abundant life through Jesus Christ, I would invite you to check out our website: Eagles In Leadership . org; that’s Eagles In Leadership.org.

Transformed #293: God Emboldens Us When We Pray Together!

Date May 8, 2016

Boldness

Fear. It paralyzes the child of God. It leads to rebellion, murmuring, discouragement, dread … and, worst of all, unbelief.

Of course, fear’s harvest caused the first Exodus generation of God’s people to wander in the wilderness for 40 years until every one from that group died so God could use fresh faces with fresh faith!

In this powerful message taken from the experience of the 1st Century Church, Pastor Matt calls us to commit ourselves to publicly pray together. Turning our Bibles to Acts 4, let’s listen in as Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Lead Pastor of Woodland Drive Baptist Church in Visalia, CA, shows us the three steps we can take so that God Will Embolden Us As We Pray Together!

 

About Today’s Lesson

You have been listening to Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, lead pastor at Woodland Drive Baptist Church in Visalia, CA.

As God’s people, we are seeking to become a multi-generational, multi-ethnic church that reflects the demographic of our neighborhood, our community, our county, and our state while holding firmly to the teachings of the Bible and adhering to the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message.

We are seeking to grow – not only numerically but also spiritually.

We are seeking to reach people with the Word of God.

We are seeking to become the church that Christ has called us to be and which will bring Glory to the name of our Lord and Savior.

We encourage you to consider checking out our ministry at our website – that’s www.woodlanddrivebaptist.org. Of course, we would love to have you worship with us any weekend. Times and address are on our website.

Today’s episode was recorded live and edited by Melodee Smith in Visalia, California.

And now, until next time, we are praying you would be filled with the love of God so that you can demonstrate His love to the lost and dying in your city! God bless!

 

Would You Like to Help Spread the Word?

Perhaps you would you consider sharing this message with a friend? God longs to release the captives of our culture into the freedom of faith. Thank you!

 

What are you reading this Spring? 

If you would like to see the power of God work in real life difficulties, we suggest you read Hope Enabler, written by Dr. Smith’s wife, Melodee, this summer.

Hope Enabler is the real life story of one Christian parent’s struggle with a runaway child and the hope that God enabled her to have during the darkest moments of that struggle. Through God’s word and her own personal testimony Melodee Smith shows how her relationship with God was strengthened despite the perils she faced.

Melodee Joy Smith is a pastor’s wife ministering in Southern California. Alongside her husband, Dr. Matthew Lee Smith she’s counseled families, spoke at conferences and trained Christian leaders. She hopes this book can be a comfort to other Christians who are struggling with seemingly impossible situations. 

You can order your copy today: Simply click this link!

 

Today’s episode was recorded live in Visalia, California and edited by Melodee Smith in La Puente, California.

And now, until next time, we are praying you would be filled with the love of God so that you can demonstrate His love to the lost and dying in your city! God bless!

 

Transformed #292: God Guides When We Pray Together!

Date May 1, 2016

Gods-guidance

God longs for every one of us to gather together, and bring our broken hearts to Him in prayer. These encouraging words are part of today’s reminder that, “God Guides When We Pray Together!”

Practical, Biblical insight marks this call to repentance and return, hope and help no matter when you and your church find themselves today. As Pastor Matt speaks, we are prodded to refocus our lives on being less independent and more interdependent – especially in prayer.

Opening Acts 13, Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Lead Pastor of Woodland Drive Baptist Church in Visalia, CA, reminds us that if we want to discover God’s plan for our lives, we will need to follow God’s method for guidance! Let’s join the message as it begins …

 

About Today’s Lesson

You have been listening to Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, lead pastor at Woodland Drive Baptist Church in Visalia, CA.

As God’s people, we are seeking to become a multi-generational, multi-ethnic church that reflects the demographic of our neighborhood, our community, our county, and our state while holding firmly to the teachings of the Bible and adhering to the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message.

We are seeking to grow – not only numerically but also spiritually.

We are seeking to reach people with the Word of God.

We are seeking to become the church that Christ has called us to be and which will bring Glory to the name of our Lord and Savior.

We encourage you to consider checking out our ministry at our website – that’s www.woodlanddrivebaptist.org. Of course, we would love to have you worship with us any weekend. Times and address are on our website.

Today’s episode was recorded live and edited by Melodee Smith in Visalia, California.

And now, until next time, we are praying you would be filled with the love of God so that you can demonstrate His love to the lost and dying in your city! God bless!

 

Would You Like to Help Spread the Word?

Perhaps you would you consider sharing this message with a friend? God longs to release the captives of our culture into the freedom of faith. Thank you!

 

What are you reading this Spring? 

If you would like to see the power of God work in real life difficulties, we suggest you read Hope Enabler, written by Dr. Smith’s wife, Melodee, this summer.

Hope Enabler is the real life story of one Christian parent’s struggle with a runaway child and the hope that God enabled her to have during the darkest moments of that struggle. Through God’s word and her own personal testimony Melodee Smith shows how her relationship with God was strengthened despite the perils she faced.

Melodee Joy Smith is a pastor’s wife ministering in Southern California. Alongside her husband, Dr. Matthew Lee Smith she’s counseled families, spoke at conferences and trained Christian leaders. She hopes this book can be a comfort to other Christians who are struggling with seemingly impossible situations. 

You can order your copy today: Simply click this link!

 

Today’s episode was recorded live in Visalia, California and edited by Melodee Smith in La Puente, California.

And now, until next time, we are praying you would be filled with the love of God so that you can demonstrate His love to the lost and dying in your city! God bless!

 

The Hard Hearted Realize Their Imminent Destruction Too Late!

Date April 25, 2016

Dead End

Some thoughts on Exodus 14:24-31 (ESV)

The hard-heartedness of Pharaoh and the Egyptians realized too late that the Lord fought against them to their total destruction.

As the God who is able (Romans 4:21) acts, horror finally sinks into reason. The Lord fights for them against the Egyptians. This is the turning point in this epic battle that has been waging across the weeks in Egypt. Too late the reality of the gravity of their situation swamps them as the chariots fall apart and the walls of water fall upon them. Such is the end of that generation’s greatest enemy and the real beginning of the journey to the Promised Land.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for theory. It is the stuff of experience. It is the grit of discipleship. It is the grease of godliness. Is it your lifestyle?

Hard Heartedness Is Contagious!

Date April 18, 2016

Contagion - Biohazard

Some thoughts on Exodus 14:15-23 (ESV)

The hard-heartedness of Pharaoh now spreads into the elite troops as they pursue the Israelis into the sea floor, despite the supernatural evidence that Yahweh, the Almighty God was fighting for Israel.

Sometimes passion overtakes common sense. This is a classic illustration. God is working for Israel in ways not a single man in the chariot corps had ever seen … a path through the sea?! Yet, despite the irrational situation, the anger and rage overwrites the intelligence of these men and they chase after the fleeing slaves with a vengeance fed by the disasters of the previous plagues. Again, it’s a trap the Lord sets for their destruction. Insolence will result in death … as it always does if not repented of. And it will be a life-long lesson to the nation and its future leaders: the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.

Have you thought about your stubbornness lately? Pride is contagious. It affects those closest to us in negative ways. The greatest viral threat is anger, rage and bitterness. These emotions destroy the ability to reason and make good decisions.

Untreated with large doses of humility, hard-heartedness plunges its victims into death, every time.

 

Do you remember an experience where someone’s pride destroyed them?

Transformed #290: Great Faith in a Great God Receives Great Victory!

Date April 17, 2016

Great Faith

Welcome to the Transformed Podcast. “Great Faith in Our Great God Receives Great Victory!” Launching from the daily life of the father of our faith, Abraham of old, Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Lead Pastor of Woodland Drive Baptist Church in Visalia, CA reveals 4 core evidences of a living faith in our lives!

Now, as we open our Bibles to Genesis 13, let’s join Pastor Matt in prayer, seeking the God who listens to us and answers our sincere prayers of faith!

 

About Today’s Lesson

You have been listening to Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, lead pastor at Woodland Drive Baptist Church in Visalia, CA.

As God’s people, we are seeking to become a multi-generational, multi-ethnic church that reflects the demographic of our neighborhood, our community, our county, and our state while holding firmly to the teachings of the Bible and adhering to the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message.

We are seeking to grow – not only numerically but also spiritually.

We are seeking to reach people with the Word of God.

We are seeking to become the church that Christ has called us to be and which will bring Glory to the name of our Lord and Savior.

We encourage you to consider checking out our ministry at our website – that’s www.woodlanddrivebaptist.org. Of course, we would love to have you worship with us any weekend. Times and address are on our website.

Today’s episode was recorded live and edited by Melodee Smith in Visalia, California.

And now, until next time, we are praying you would be filled with the love of God so that you can demonstrate His love to the lost and dying in your city! God bless!

 

Would You Like to Help Spread the Word?

Perhaps you would you consider sharing this message with a friend? God longs to release the captives of our culture into the freedom of faith. Thank you!

 

What are you reading this Spring? 

If you would like to see the power of God work in real life difficulties, we suggest you read Hope Enabler, written by Dr. Smith’s wife, Melodee, this summer.

Hope Enabler is the real life story of one Christian parent’s struggle with a runaway child and the hope that God enabled her to have during the darkest moments of that struggle. Through God’s word and her own personal testimony Melodee Smith shows how her relationship with God was strengthened despite the perils she faced.

Melodee Joy Smith is a pastor’s wife ministering in Southern California. Alongside her husband, Dr. Matthew Lee Smith she’s counseled families, spoke at conferences and trained Christian leaders. She hopes this book can be a comfort to other Christians who are struggling with seemingly impossible situations. 

You can order your copy today: Simply click this link!

 

Today’s episode was recorded live in Visalia, California and edited by Melodee Smith in La Puente, California.

And now, until next time, we are praying you would be filled with the love of God so that you can demonstrate His love to the lost and dying in your city! God bless!

 

The Hard Hearted Break Their Agreements!

Date April 11, 2016

broken handshake

Some thoughts from Exodus 14:4, 8-9 (ESV)

The hard-heartedness of Pharaoh became manifest again as he broke his agreement with Israel after they left Ramses, by hastily pursuing them to restore domination over Israel.

God seeks to remove Israel’s enemies for good in that generation. Only the total destruction of the pride-driven mad man on the throne will do. His death and the destruction of his elite mobile army will send a message throughout the nation and the known world: “Don’t mess with My children!” And since He was and is Almighty God, this solution for Israel’s enemies must be supernatural. When they are destroyed, once for all, I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.

We often sing, “let Your glory fall,” but we seldom think about the consequences of such prayers. The Lord provides for us and protects us from danger and these bring Him glory.

Eliminating our enemies, especially powerful ones, brings Him even greater glory.

 

How does this impact your understanding of God’s glory?

Transformed #289: Stepping Out By Faith!

Date April 10, 2016

Stepping Out In Faith - 620x348

Welcome to the Transformed Podcast. In his first official message, Dr. Matthew Lee Smith returns to the Biblical Patriarch, Abraham, the father of our faith. As we open our Bibles to Genesis 12, Pastor Matt calls the men and women of Woodland Drive Baptist Church in Visalia, CA to Step Out By Faith!

Join us now as we step into the world of wisdom, direction and action and be prepared to be challenged to greater acts of faith!

 

About Today’s Lesson

You have been listening to Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, lead pastor at Woodland Drive Baptist Church in Visalia, CA.

As God’s people, we are seeking to become a multi-generational, multi-ethnic church that reflects the demographic of our neighborhood, our community, our county, and our state while holding firmly to the teachings of the Bible and adhering to the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message.

We are seeking to grow – not only numerically but also spiritually.

We are seeking to reach people with the Word of God.

We are seeking to become the church that Christ has called us to be and which will bring Glory to the name of our Lord and Savior.

We encourage you to consider checking out our ministry at our website – that’s www.woodlanddrivebaptist.org. Of course, we would love to have you worship with us any weekend. Times and address are on our website.

Today’s episode was recorded live and edited by Melodee Smith in Visalia, California.

And now, until next time, we are praying you would be filled with the love of God so that you can demonstrate His love to the lost and dying in your city! God bless!

 

 

Would You Like to Help Spread the Word?

Perhaps you would you consider sharing this message with a friend? God longs to release the captives of our culture into the freedom of faith. Thank you!

 

What are you reading this Spring? 

If you would like to see the power of God work in real life difficulties, we suggest you read Hope Enabler, written by Dr. Smith’s wife, Melodee, this summer.

Hope Enabler is the real life story of one Christian parent’s struggle with a runaway child and the hope that God enabled her to have during the darkest moments of that struggle. Through God’s word and her own personal testimony Melodee Smith shows how her relationship with God was strengthened despite the perils she faced.

Melodee Joy Smith is a pastor’s wife ministering in Southern California. Alongside her husband, Dr. Matthew Lee Smith she’s counseled families, spoke at conferences and trained Christian leaders. She hopes this book can be a comfort to other Christians who are struggling with seemingly impossible situations. 

You can order your copy today: Simply click this link!

 

Today’s episode was recorded live in Visalia, California and edited by Melodee Smith in La Puente, California.

And now, until next time, we are praying you would be filled with the love of God so that you can demonstrate His love to the lost and dying in your city! God bless!

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