Tuesday, January 31, 2006 

A Makeup Entry!

I failed to write my blog entry yesterday. I plan on writing an entry every day Mon-Fri if it all possible. I was gone for the morning and the evening and I got home late. It was a good day. In the morning I was in Lake Charles with several preachers from TX and LA for a time of prayer and encouragement. It was really a great time for all those involved. I am continually convinced that preachers go crazy when surrounded by other preachers. We goof off more, we let loose so to speak. Maybe it is because it is one of the few times that some feel free to do so. For me I have no problem being goofy all of the time but it was fun yesterday. Also yesterday Ruth and I went out with a couple from our church for dinner and a movie. Good food, great times. Fun all around. The movie though prompted my mind to think about all kinds of things. We saw the movie Glory Road. It is about the Texas Western team that won the NCAA championship against all odds. Texas Western (The University of Texas El Paso as we now know it) was the first school to start all black players in the NCAA tournament. This happened in 1966 which blows my mind. I guess it is a reminder to me that very strong racism is such recent history. Not that I had never learned that but I just forget that so often. In my generation it truly was never much of an issue. I grew up in Houston which is very much a muti-cultural place to live. I always was around kids of all races and I never thought anything of it. I am very grateful for my upbringing as I was never taught to "see color." I am aware of racism that still goes on today. Yet I think of how far we have come as a country as a whole is such a short time. We still have a long way to go and yet I feel that the future looks bright. Will racism ever cease to exist ? I say no way. People of all colors everywhere will always carry some sort of racism whether it be simple stereotypes or hatred that is some how passed on from generation to generation. This is not an excuse and yet I believe that it is reality. My hope is that the body of Christ will never excuse racism as it has done in the past. That we will always focus on the common bond of Jesus Christ and never allow ourselves to be caught up more in the culture that we live in then the God that we serve.

Friday, January 27, 2006 

The Purpose of the Church

"This is a big old ship, Bill. She creaks, she rocks, she rolls, and at times she makes you want to throw up. But she gets where she is going. Always has, always will, until the end of time. With or without you."

This is the opening quote in Phillip Yancey's book entitled "Church Why Bother?" It captures such a great truth for us today. No matter how many problems, how ugly, how plagued by the struggles of the flesh, the church/ the body of Christ has the perfect captain. I imagine on the Navy's finest captains steering the ugliest most ratty looking fishing boat and I laugh because the must be how frustrated God is with us sometimes. Sometimes the church messes up with people. Sometimes we fight about the most insignificant things. Sometimes we exclude people because they don't "fit-in." While I am not ok with any of these behaviors the fact remains that no matter how hard we might try the church will never be perfect as long as we remain on this Earth. Thank God we server a perfect Lord. Thank God that He is willing to forgive us despite our failure to quit serving ourselves. We must never give up on God and now more then ever for me that means that we must never give up on the church. After all the church is the bride of Christ. The church is the family of God and that means that as long as we don't' jump ship one glorious day we will be able to fully understand what is mean to be forgiven.

I often think about my own life and wonder how do I ever get to this point where I am a minister. The world says that Christianity is just an emotional crutch for those unable to deal with the reality of life without God, and those that are strong enough to do without religion should do without religion. I smile at the statement as much as it troubles me because the truth is that yet God is a crutch, well He is much more then a crutch, He is a life support system for those of us who chose to call Him Lord. He is a bridge from hopelessness to hope. From death to life. From life without a purpose to life with a clear singular purpose. I realize this because I am fully away that dependency is something that the church so be proud of. We need to depend on each other. We need each other in order to fight sin. More then that we need the Lord to take away that sin. I am quite comfortable with people that view me as weak because I serve the Lord and His church. There are some that will go throughout this life fully and completely dependent on no one else but themselves. Yet I hate to think about that day when they will realize I can never escape this ocean of sin without being on the boat. I dream of a day when people in the church will stop trying to pretend that everything is alright. That we are doing just fine. Let us celebrate our dependence on Jesus Christ. Let us be fully aware of our need to be a part of His body. We need Jesus Christ more then ever and I am proud to be on this boat no matter how much it might rock, creak and roll.

Thursday, January 26, 2006 

One Life to Live

I found out something today that caught me by surprise. I talked for a few minutes with one of my friends back from my hometown and found out some bad news about an old friend. I found out that my friend from my junior high and high school days had committed suicide about 7 months ago. I guess I need to clarify this post by saying that I have not talked to Derrick in almost 10 years. We met on the prestigious football field of League City intermediate. Ok, maybe the fields were not that prestigious but we both we soo excited about playing football. We both love loved all aspects of the game except for the shared hatred of wind sprints. We were not the best of friends but we had know each other somewhat by in the same area and going to the same schools for most of our lives. We seemed to be good friends during the football season and then we seemed to go our separate ways after each season was over at least until spring training. We both just shared a love for contact sports and being physical. This friendship continued till high school when sometime during my sophomore year Derrick dropped out of school. Apparently he drifted into a world of drugs and partying. I don't know much else. It is funny how learning of the death of a friend that you have not seen can hurt your heart but it can. The thing that I think about now is how much I wish that I had been able to share the gospel with Derrick. You see I was not a Christian at the time and while I believed in God I knew nothing about salvation. It makes me think about a lot of my other friends. Have they found the forgiveness of Jesus Christ. Or they on the edge desperately trying to find answers. I bet a lot of them would get a good laugh out the fact that I am a preacher now. I wonder though how many would listen as I talked about how God has transformed me in so many ways. How he was taken away my sins. How He has given me peace, love, and hope. We all only have one life to live and I am reminded about that today. May I spend more of my energy telling people about Jesus. May I pour out more of my life that people might catch a glimpse of Christ's love reflected in my life.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 

What do they really think...

I found a video that I had sent to me some time ago. I can't remember who sent it to me but I watched the full video for the first time today. It basically shows a guy interviewing people about what they think of Jesus Christ and what they think of Christians in the downtown area of some large city. Many don't have nice things to say about Christians althought for the most part they seem to respect Jesus. As I watched the video something really convicted my heart. A lot of people believe a lot of things about God and the church/ Christians because of bad experiences they have had or stories they have heard of others bad experiences. This video was a good reminder to me about several things. The first is that as a Christian I cannot afford to be spiritually lazy. What do I mean by that ? I mean I cannot afford to let my prayer life dwindle. I cannot afford to fail to read the Bible. I especially cannot afford to miss the opportunity to show Jesus Christ to someone with my actions. Too many people are trying to make their way through this life without Jesus in their lives. Too many have a bad taste in their mouth because of bad things that other Christians have done to them. I know that some of you are saying that is never an excuse they should look at the Lord and not humans for an example. I remind you of a scripture in 1 Peter 2:11-12 "Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us."

We are called to walk as Jesus did. To show people his reflection by our lives. By the way that we love the love by really choosing to live for Him. Let people look at us and make no mistake about who we belong to! We belong to Jesus Christ and his blood is too precious for us to forget that!

Here is the video link; (Please note this is a large file, 107 mb so you will probably need a high speed connection to download this.) Right Click this and save link as to download this movie!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 

Another source of Strength

I am one of those independent people. I like to take care of things of my own. I like to do things a certain way. I don't like to do things half way. I am either going to do the very best I can do or nothing at all. For the most part that is not a huge problem. People like someone that is willing to work hard. Yet the longer that I am in full time ministry the more I realize the fault in this type of mindset. Independence is fine as long as you leave God out of the picture. That is what our culture teaches us. I am not 100 % sure but I think for the most part it is an American thing. Just do it, your way right away, and all kind of messages are thrown at us by our culture. I think at least in some ways this mindset makes our country a great place but not when it comes to God. Like I said before this becomes crystal clear in ministry. You see you can preach the best lessons, teach the best Bible classes, plan the most enriching retreats, and organize the most entertaining fellowship events and if God does not bless your ministry then really nothing special will happen. I hear alot about ministers feeling "burnt-out" and while I can understand that feeling from time to time I can't help but wonder is it because we try and rely to much on ourselves. If we are truly dependent on God will he not lift us up. We he not guide and direct us ? I have really learned the great value in a committed prayer life. Why is it as Christians that we can fill our lives with Godly activities and yet not take the time to spend praying and talking with the one we call our Lord. When I find myself feeling pushed to the max, or overwhelmed with my life I usually find that I am trying to be too independent and not fully relying on God for my strength. Gods strength will always be more then enough. It just takes a little more dependence to figure that out. I close these thoughts with glimpse into a conversation of sorts between Paul and the Lord. Paul wants God to take away a problem for Him and the Lord reminds him of something. 2 Cor 12:9- he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

May we learn to allow the Lord to be our strength. May we proudly be dependent on Him!

Monday, January 23, 2006 

Thoughts on Life

This is my first offical post on my brand new blog. Today as I thought about why I was starting this blog all I could come up with is everybody fasination with a young preacher. I simply want to share my life with anyone that cares to read about it. So today I share with you my main motivation for becoming and being a preacher. So many people use their talents everyday to bring wealth to their family and themselves. Don't get me wrong, their is really nothing wrong with that. It is just that to me in the end the thing that matters most for my life is Jesus Christ. I want to do something that allows me to spend time with God. That allows me to spend time with people. That allows me to focus on the one thing that I will try my very best to hold as a priority in my life. That it what ministry is for me. It is a privilage. Something that I do not take for granted. My task is to be someone that is close to the Lord. Someone that knows the word of God inside and out. Someone that has a desire to have real realtionships with people so when those tough times come they know that they can come to me because I really care. Everyday in ministry provides a new challenge, perhaps a new opportunity, sometimes it is something you look forward to and sometimes it is something that you wish never happened. So to kick off this blog, I say that to be a young minister preaching the gospel for me is a dream come true. It is not something that is easy and yet it is something that I love so much. When I preach I look out at the audience and think to myself, "These people have come to hear the Word of God preached today, and they expect me to do it." That is a huge responsibility for me! I do not take it lightly. This life is a short one. It contains great joy and deep sorrows. It can be gone in the blink of an eye. I chose to live this life doing the thing that I love. This beautiful challenge called ministry. My prayer is that I do it well. My prayer is that I serve till it hurts. My prayer is that my life will speak of God's love to the hearts of people everywhere. I love this gift of life. More then that I love the God that allows me to have this beautiful gift. I love you Lord!

About me

  • I'm Michael Potthoff
  • From Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States
  • My name is Michael Potthoff and I am 27 years old. I was raised in League City, Texas (close to Houston) I have a beautiful, godly wife name Ruth who makes me a better man! I have been in ministry close to 5 years now and Jesus Christ is my passion. Preaching His good news is something that I truly love! I am blessed to be able to do something that I truly love.
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