Posted tagged ‘Joe Chase’


September 1, 2011

Can You Hear Me?

If you won’t communicate either by expression or listening you can’t have a healthy relationship. Spouses who won’t listen or talk to each other are destroying any opportunity to have a blessed family. Leaders who do not express dreams, hopes, expectations, encouragement and instruction to the church will never lead the church to the glorious maturity God wants her to have. Churches that stop listening to elders and deacons and fellow members limp along until they finally die.

Most troubles start when feelings are hurt causing people halt their interaction with one another. It is then that people either assume what the other person is thinking or what they meant. This is a dangerous practice. Only when we truly listen and then respond calmly and controlled can a amicable solution come.

Granny always reminded us that God gave us one mouth and two ears so we should do more listening than talking. However, in some cases getting someone to talk about what is hurting or is bothering them is almost impossible. My wife often reminds me to “Use words Joe, I can understand them.” Often I just expect her to know what I am thinking, I expect her to realize why I am hurt, or sad or sullen. That supposition is unfair and causes even more problems.
Talking about hopes and disappointments will give your relationships more building blocks for strength. Just knowing what and how another person thinks makes for deeper comradeship.

Many people suffering marriage, family or church struggles can trace them back to the halting of open communication. Paul helps us to see our need to work toward peaceful relations with everyone.

“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Romans 12:18

“So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” Romans 14:19

“complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” Philippians 2:2

None of these directives from the apostle can happen until we are willing to communicate with one another. Euodia and Syntyche were hurting each other and the family of God. Paul pleaded with them to work out their differences for the benefit of all.

The work of preaching seems to some to be one sided because it is all talking. However, the best preaching comes from elders listening to the cares of the flock and then having the preacher bring God’s word on the subject. Leaders must listen with a heart to really understand the needs of a church. Often what people complain about is not the real sources of the problem. This is true with all people, they have a limit to the stress they can take and it might just be the straw that broke the camel’s back that is lamented. But, if you dig deeper one learns that other trials and hurts are just below the surface. Urging people to discuss their pain might reveal opportunities to minister to them.

The fine art of communication is so multifaceted that many of us never learn to understand it all. However the two most basic are talking and listening. Use these two regularly and your will bless your own life and those of others.
Having said all of this I am also mindful of the times in life when we need to do no talking. Sometimes speech is like gasoline on the fire. It is better to remain silent than badger someone who is so hurt or angry that they cannot bear hearing another word. During those times it is best to give time for cooling of temper and healing of brokenness. This is in itself communication of humility and love. I don’t have to have the last word in the argument. Leaving a conversation open for later resolution is far better than closing communication for ever.

Joe Chase


Ways to Help You Help The Hurting

May 24, 2011

Our world is filled with people who carry burdens we never even know about. Nearly everyone you meet is bearing some sorrow, hardship or pain that may not show outwardly but nonetheless hurts indescribably. God wants us all to care about our fellow man whether they be friend or enemy. In an effort to help us be more aware here is a quick list of ways to bring cheer and support to others.

  • Be mindful of the lonely, extend a smile and a cheer bringing word.
  • There will be many who will slip our attention if we don’t watch carefully.
  • When people talk, listen to what they are saying. Often this is the kindest thing we can do for someone who is hurting.
  • As the old saying goes “walk mile in their shoes.” try to imagine what you would feel if you were lonely, poor, hungry, dirty, homeless, friendless.
  • Look carefully and compassionately into people’s eyes as they talk to you. Often tears are just below the surface of a brave facade. Don’t let an opportunity pass to give help just because someone is masking their hurts.
  • Learn to spend time with people who need you. Our retirement centers, hospitals, nursing homes, homeless shelters, food banks, and many other places are filled with people who need human contact and compassion even more than food, clothing and shelter.
  • Give without expecting a return of gratitude. More often than not people are embarrassed by kindness freely given. They don’t really know how to respond. You are planting a Christ-like seed of love that will in time grow gratitude.
  • Look past the sins of the past and present to see the potential of a sinner saved by God’s grace. Don’t let your hatred of sin cause you to hate sinners. People lost in sin are in bondage, under the influence of the prince of the power of the air, the god of this world. You can only expect that they would live below the calling of Christ.
  • Realize you are not a police man over the gift once given. It is guaranteed that some people who receive blessings from you will misuse them. However, that is for God to judge. You’ve done the good by blessing.
  • Be especially careful of people’s privacy. If you are fortunate enough to share in carrying a burden count it a privilege that someone let you into their lives. Let them choose with whom they want to know their struggles and problems.

It is in giving to others that we serve the Lord. Opportunities usually come in ugly packages called problems. Those opportunities when taken will provide untold benefit to the giver, the receiver and the Lord’s Kingdom now and for evermore.

Dear Lord, Open my eyes and heart to every opportunity you send my way. Never let my selfishness hinder the goodness you intend to be done through me. Through Jesus I ask this prayer.

Joe Chase

North Loop Church of Christ

Gladewater, Texas

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A Tribute to Mothers

May 6, 2011

On Mothers Day, pay your most humble tribute to your godly mother!

Our moms are everything for us when we are small…our lives revolve around her. For everything that we need we call mom, for protection us from every perceived danger. We look to her to hold us, kiss away our wounds, to hug us and love us. She is the focal point of our lives, the greatest human being in the world. So today is a day to pay honor to those good mothers who filled the God ordained role.

Thank your Mother! If we kept record of every good done for us by a godly mother we would soon run out of place to write them down. Today is a day to be specific about things you are grateful for about your mom.
Apologize to your mother. Sadly, we often failed at being good children. There are things for which we should be repentant. Today is a great day to seek forgiveness for wrong deeds, poor attitudes and hurts we brought to our mom.

Celebrate this day with your mom if you still have her. There is coming a day when we will all say that tragic farewell to our mother. Until that time comes cherish each moment you have with her. You will not regret it ever if you do good for your mom!

Your Role in Leadership Training The Awesome Power of Encouragement

February 25, 2011

I know first hand how difficult learning to lead singing, public prayer or devotional talk is. The fears of standing in front of everyone carrying the awesome responsibility of leading them to God’s throne room is almost paralyzing. There is a weight of seriousness that failure is not only embarrassing but in some way disappointing to family, friends and most importantly God. Training in any of these areas is often trial by fire.

Being a part of the assembly while a fledgling leader trains, carries just as much responsibility. We must remember that we are building a leader. We are part of the formation of desire, skill and ability that the novice leader will carry with him for the rest of his life. We have to be sensitive to the feelings of those learning. We need to go out of our way to encourage them to continue to grow. Give attention to the fact that they are learning and mistakes are part of that. Judgment and harsh criticism can end a leaders desire or even their ability to try again.

You may not know it but your presence in the assembly is a great source of encouragement. Your enthusiastic participation and a cheerful disposition goes a long way to building the leader’s confidence. A new leader is so focused on the possibility of failure that every facial expression and action of those in the crowd can be interpreted to say “They think I am doing a poor job.” We must watch our expressions and actions carefully during the time that a new leader is practicing. A frown, demonstration of frustration, or look of boredom can cripple or destroy any future desire to lead in a young leader.

Learning to lead is difficult. It takes much time and effort to develop abilities, skills and personality traits needed to lead God’s people. You can do a lot to provide that most important ingredient of encouragement every time a young leader tries. Offer kind words, hugs, a pat on the back and most of all more opportunities to train. Offer your support financially for leaders to attend singing schools, preaching seminars and other training opportunities. Pray for them and tell them you are doing so. Send encouraging notes and cards every chance you get. Attend with vigor every time a young leader is leading. Participate wholeheartedly and sincerely in such a way that the leaders recognizes your support.

Thinking On Wholesome Things

January 11, 2011

I am challenging our church to focus on wholesome things as Paul taught (Philippians 4:8,9).  It is way too easy to let our minds drift to unwholesome thoughts because the world is a beacon pulling to those things.  A disciplined mind is difficult to maintain so we must work at it constantly.  Paul reminded the Corinthian saints…

“…take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV).

Bringing our thoughts under control is much easier when we read or watch whatever is wholesome and spiritually uplifting. Daily Bible reading and listening to spiritual songs will certainly give you fuel to begin thinking about.   Building a good library of edifying reading material, wholesome music, videos and movies will also help you to bring your thoughts captive.  The more wholesome material you hold in your brain the fewer worldly and unholy thoughts you will harbor.

We can’t forget to talk to people who will help us think good edifying thoughts.  Those conversations that bring us closer to God can replayduring our meditation times.  I enjoy listening to the elderly as they talk about their childhood, their church life, home life and such things that take me back to a slower, simpler and perhaps less wicked time.

Dear Lord, help me to have a clean heart by developing a pure mind filled with righteous thoughts.

New Year New Blessings

January 4, 2011

2011 will bring blessings to all who put the Lord first in their lives (Matthew 6:33).  To enjoy those blessings to the fullest we need to open our eyes and hearts to them.  Too often we rush through life and forget to live life.  Living too quickly to enjoy the fruits of our labors, the joys of family, friends and the Lord will cause anyone to become weary, ungrateful and depressed.

Take stock of what God is doing in your life. Enjoy each and every gift granted to us.  Give thanks and share those blessing with others.

Lord,  Please help me to see every gift and blessing.  Help me to let the joy of your salvation motivate me and others to share my gifts and blessing.  In Jesus we ask.

A Salute to Marriage

December 28, 2010

If you haven’t noticed, marriage and family have taken quite a beating over the past few decades.  Fewer people are marrying and staying married.  We’ve tried desperately to change the definition of marriage and family to be more than a man a woman and offspring.  Yet, all research points to the benefits of marriage and staying married.

Married people live longer, happier and more productive lives.  Children born into healthy marriages are richly blessed by the stability of married father and mother.  It grieves the God of heaven when people forsake His plan for marriage and family.  What God designed for people’s health and happiness works for good when we follow His plan.

It does not matter if it is the components of marriage that are changed or the order and timing of marriage, when they are different from what God intends they lose their full blessing power.  Same sex marriages and living together arrangements don’t afford the same joys now or in heaven that God approved marriages do.

I base these statements on Biblical truths…”The soul that sins shall die.” (Ez 18:20).  The fruit of sin is death and eternal separation from the God who has given all to save us (Rom 3:23; 2 Ths 1:7-9). Also based upon the experiences of a child from a broken home. The scars of divorce linger for life.  The pain is suffered not only by the children but the parents, grandparents for several generations.  Many who think divorce ends a problem needs to know that it begins many more problems than it solves.

This week some friends of mine celebrate 61 years of marriage.  I thank you for showing us all that marriage is valuable and can be a fulfilling way of life.  Marry in the Lord it will give you blessings now and evermore.