From the desk of Dr. Ron Harvey

Dear Friends,

These are challenging days in which long-held values are questioned and sacred beliefs discarded like never before. The times in which we live call for great wisdom as to what is morally right. What is the mind of Christ on certain ethical issues and contemporary concerns? You will find in this section websites connecting you with insightful perspectives and colorful commentary on troubling issues of our day. You will discover here helpful articles, based in the truth of scripture, which provide you the tools you need to understand and take a stand on issues related to religious liberty and moral concerns. May God give us understanding of His will and obedience to His ways!

Devotedly your Pastor,

Ron

Don’t Lose Hope

I’ve got a question for you: How important is a person’s outlook on life?Personally, I have always thought it is hugely important. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” If we go through life with low expectations, then we will probably not be disappointed! We will be like Charlie Brown in the Peanuts cartoon strip at the beginning of a baseball season. He was approaching the new season with low expectations. Linus says, “Remember, Charlie Brown, you win some and you lose some.” Charlie responds, “That would be nice.” In reality, life is filled with wins and losses. We all have our victories and defeats. The key in the Christian walk though is to never lose hope in the One who is in charge and who determines your finish in life.  The Psalmist said, “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and God” (Psalm 42:5). Dear Christian, let me suggest three reasons to have a positive hope: ·       God is with us·       God is watching over us·       God is working in us If we remind ourselves of these truths in the challenging storms of life, it will help us to navigate through the rough waters of adversity and into the calm seas of God’s peace. It is necessary, as the psalmist wrote, to put your hope in God. A perspective of hope changes the way we approach our days. Remember this: The way you view life makes all the difference in what you do in life. So live with hope in God and confident expectations of God. I know you can and hope you will… Devotedly yours,Pastor Ron

Flat On Your Back

I have shared about faith in recent weeks and I will add some final thoughts on this subject today. But first think about what we have learned— Our capacity for exercising faith is completely dependent on our growth in grasping the goodness and greatness of our God. The more that I understand how awesome is my God the better able I am to trust Him. A great God produces a big faith! If you want to grow your faith, begin by learning more about God. But ultimately you learn faith by exercising faith. As I have said, you don’t learn to fish by reading books on fishing or learn to fly by studying airplanes. You learn these things by doing these things. You learn to trust God by trusting Him. However, there is a problem with this because most of us tend to not trust Him until we have to. It is human nature to not want to let go. As long as I have one more trick up my sleeve, one more dollar in the bank, I am going to rely on me. Until disaster strikes!Generally speaking, most of us won’t trust God until we have to. So— God sees to it that we have to. It’s true! He puts us into situations where the only way out is up. Sink or swim. The Puritans called it “being shut up to God.” I spoke with a dynamic Christian woman and IMB missionary about the secret to her Christian life. She told me that earlier in her life a series of bad decisions put her flat on her back. She told me the thing about being flat on your back is that you have no place to look but up. She said in that helpless position she looked up to God and…

Read More

A Musing on Faith

Let’s think about faith today. We know from scriptures that every good thing in life is from the Lord—including faith. He supplies us faith through His— ·       Word – “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). ·       Prayer – “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief” (Mark 9:24). ·       Spirit – “The fruit of the Spirit is…faithfulness (full of faith)” (Galatians 5:22). And, of course, it is ultimately supplied by His— ·       Grace – “For it is by grace…through faith…it is the gift of God” (Galatians 5:22). We know these things. But even though we know the source of faith, we often times forget the place of faith (where it is learned). It is not learned in a worship service or a Bible Study Connect Group, or even in quiet solitude. It is learned in the laboratory of life. It’s interesting in Hebrews 11 (the Faith Chapter) to see that the Old Testament believers strengthened their faith in real life situations. For example— ·       By faith Noah built an ark (Hebrews 11:7).·       By faith Abraham obeyed and went (Hebrews 11:8).·       By faith Abraham offered a sacrifice (Hebrews 11:12).·       By faith Moses’ parents hid him (Hebrews 11:23).·       By faith Moses left Egypt (Hebrews 11:27).·       By faith the people (of Israel) passed through the Red Sea (Hebrews 11:29). All of these examples of life situations lead me to this conclusion—You don’t learn faith by reading books on faith or hearing sermons on faith or by attending Bible Studies on faith—though these may serve a purpose and be helpful. You learn faith by exercising faith. You don’t learn to fish by reading books on fishing or learn to fly a plane by studying airplanes. Ultimately, you learn these things by doing these things. And, certainly, you learn to trust God by trusting God. Understanding this will help you to understand more about your circumstances…

Read More

The Master’s Tribute

Less than two months ago, Scottie Scheffler, a University of Texas graduate, was a 25-year-old in his third season on the PGA Circuit, ranked 15th in the world, but still seeking his first victory on the game’s top tour. As of March 27, after winning three of five events, Scheffler shot up to No. 1 in the world. But this past Sunday, April 10, Scheffler won the prestigious Master’s Golf Tournament at Augustus National, and is now a Master’s champion as well. Scheffler admitted at the press conference following the victory that despite his lead going into the final day, he “cried like a baby”that morning because “I just felt overwhelmed.” When he shared the apprehension with his wife, Meredith said to him, “Who are you to say that you’re not ready? Who are you to say that you know what’s best for your life?” The golfer concluded that “even if I shot 82 today…somehow I was going to use it for [God’s] glory.”  The Master’s champion was not timid in expressing his strong faith. When asked how he deals with the daily demands and pressures of the tour, he said, “It all goes back to my faith. The reason why I play golf is that I’m trying to glorify God for all that he’s done in my life. So for me, my identity isn’t a golf score. Like Meredith told me this morning, if you win this golf tournament today, if you lose this golf tournament by 10 shots, if you never win another golf tournament again, she goes, I’m still going to love you, you’re still going to be the same person.” I don’t remember enjoying a Master’s Golf Tournament more than the one this past week—and I especially loved the finish. I will be pulling for Scottie Scheffler for a long time to come. I like to…

Read More

Lost and Found

I ran across an article recently written by a woman from St. Augustine whose husband, an airline pilot, was constantly asking where certain items were located in their house. This had become annoying to the wife and so, on one occasion, when her husband asked where the salt was—she answered sarcastically, “How on earth can you find Detroit at night in a blizzard, but you can’t find the salt in your own kitchen?” The husband responded, “Well darling, they don’t move Detroit!” It can be frustrating when things get lost, but it is heart-breaking when people are lost. Jesus cared about the lost and spoke to this concern. In Luke 15 Jesus told stories about the lost silver, the lost sheep, and the lost son. The first two stories teach us to go out of our way to find that which is lost. The third story reminds us to welcome those who are lost and receive joyfully all who come to Christ! I wonder if you know anyone who is lost… Is it possible you for to reach out to someone—a friend or acquaintance or possibly a family member—and share the Good News of Jesus? I would remind you that with Easter Sunday approaching on April 17, it might be a good time to invite them to come to church with you and maybe enjoy lunch afterwards. I will be sharing a message on our Resurrected Lord on that day—it would be a good day to reach out to someone you care about who needs to hear the Gospel. I hope you will pray about this—and then act on it! Perhaps you have someone in your life who will sometime soon be able to say, “I once was lost, but now am found!” I pray it is so! Devotedly yours,Pastor Ron

Looking for Christ’s Return

I want to share with you a funny story from back home… A Louisiana game warden had been tracking Boudreaux, the infamous Cajun poacher. Late one night he stumbled upon the criminal’s cabin. Climbing upon the roof, the game warden waited for the dawn, hoping to jump the poacher as he emerged. The game warden after a restless night of trying to keep quiet and be still, heard Boudreaux making breakfast the next morning. The smell of bacon frying and coffee brewing became a temptation to his stomach. Then, to his surprise, Boudreaux came to the door and yelled, “Hey game warden, you might as well come on down and have some breakfast with me!” Over breakfast, the game warden asked how the wily Cajun had known he was waiting on the roof. Boudreaux grinned. “I didn’t, but I do that every morning just in case you are!” That story makes me smile, but it serves as a practical reminder as well. We all should be anticipating Christ’s return. Jesus said,“Behold I am coming soon!” (Revelation 22:7). Live today like Jesus is coming back tonight! Devotedly yours,Pastor Ron

A Sermon on the Mound

A few nights ago I was watching spring baseball on the MLB network and it gave me a really good feeling…I suppose it brought back childhood memories of playing baseball and thoughts of how much I loved it when the spring rolled around and baseball began. I can recall vividly in my mind the distinct smell of spring in the air and the sight of beautiful green grass carpeting a baseball field. I remember the feeling of slipping my left hand in a glove, gripping the seams of the baseball in my right hand and then the sensation of whipping the arm around, flicking the wrist downward and hurling the ball to a teammate across the diamond. Oh and how beautiful is the distinct sound of a wooden bat making solid contact with a baseball? I don’t know that I enjoyed anything more than baseball when I was young. It was like heaven! I know I loved it and like to think that I was pretty good at it. But I am suspicious that my recollection of my own ability probably exceeds the reality. Honestly, I may be better in my mind than I was on the field. I like the story of the Little League kid who, despite his father’s high hopes, did not have a baseball career in his future. The kid gave it his best shot all season but he really wasn’t very good. Finally, the last game came around and his father was out of town. As soon as the father returned that evening, he asked his son how the game went. He was excited to hear his son say, “Dad, I was responsible for the winning run!” His dad said, “Son, that’s great! Tell me about it!” The boy said, “It was the bottom of…

Read More

More Thoughts on the Ukraine

Last week I called upon my Church Family to pray for the people of the Ukraine and for all the families pulled apart by this war—they have already suffered too much—and to pray for the pastors and religious leaders who are providing ministry within the zone of conflict at great personal risk. I challenge you to pray daily in your Quiet Time and weekly in your FBC Pompano Connect Group. You are welcome to come, as well, to our Prayer Room at the church—as you feel moved to pray. But prayer is not all that we do— There are some things you would want to know about Southern Baptist efforts to provide ministry in this disastrous war-torn situation. Send Relief is the name of our Southern Baptist Compassion Ministry. This arm of our SBC Mission’s Team (NAMB & IMB) reports it is actively working with local Baptist Partners and churches in Ukraine, Poland and ten other border nations in this growing crisis. Send Relief estimates they are currently serving 131,000 displaced people. Send Relief is providing emergency food supplies, shelter, transportation, hygiene kits and more to displaced families right now and for months to come. If you would like to give to help those who are hurting in this Ukraine crisis, you may give through our own SBC Compassion Ministry: Give by check to— Send ReliefP.O. Box 117246Atlanta, GA 30368Memo: Ukraine Crisis 2022 (If you would like to give Online go to sendrelief.org and follow the prompts) May our dear Lord bring relief and resolution to this crisis… Pastor Ron

My Thoughts on War in the Ukraine

As you are painfully aware, Russia began an invasion of Ukraine in recent weeks in what has been called the largest conventional military attack in Europe since World War II. So far 13 thousand people have been killed, 2.3 million people of the Ukraine have been displaced and 100 billion in property damage has been reported. This is beyond upsetting to see what the people of the Ukraine are going through and mind-boggling to figure out why this attack occurred in the first place. How are we to respond to such a display of violence? I think about the psalmist who asked, “Who are those evil people who have put arrows in their bows and are standing in the shadows aiming at good people?” (Psalm 11:2) The psalmist is saying: who could do something like this? It’s difficult to answer what kind of person could do this. But I know this—such an act of violence is rooted in a heart of evil and hatred, and it warrants the greatest judgment of God. That is what the psalmist says here—and he calls for God’s people to seek the face of God in prayer, “Upright men will see His face” and to promote justice in the world, “(The LORD) loves justice” (Psalm 11:7). He loves justice just as we should. We ought to be angry at those who kill and destroy—just as God is “The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence His soul hates (Psalm 11:5). This is to say: We, too, ought to be angry at those who kill and destroy (v.5b). We should be moved by that anger to do something about it. The anger should find expression not in personal vengeance but in societal justice. We have a right and responsibility to promote and expect justice. Pray for the people…

Read More