Church OBX Blog

This is the blog for Church of the Outer Banks. It contains articles, devotions, and perspectives on what’s going on in our church and community. Check it out and add your comments.

Location: Nags Head, NC

Friday, April 13, 2007

Convergent Faith

The problem with modern day Christianity is a lack of balance. Many of us don’t realize that we are missing or neglecting important aspects of the Christian faith. This is mainly because we don’t understand the historical roots of our faith. What we need is a convergent faith. Convergent means, “coming or blending together.” A Convergent faith seeks to blend or merge essential streams of historical Christianity in order to find a balanced faith. Matthew 13:52 says, “every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” Some traditions are old and some are new, however each tradition has something significant to offer the larger body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12).

This study will explore six spiritual traditions or streams of the Christian faith, examine the contribution of each, and seek a balanced faith by blending the best from each tradition.

1. Early Church Tradition:
This stream seeks to draw from the faith and practice of the early Church as found in the New Testament and the writings of the Apostolic Fathers. This stream also affirms the great creeds of Christianity including the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed.

2. Contemplative Tradition:
This tradition draws on the spiritual dimension of the faith that addresses a deeper intimacy with God through prayer, meditation, and reading of Scripture.

3. Reformation Tradition:
This tradition affirms the theological reforms of the 15th and 16th century Protestant Reformation: The authority of scripture, salvation in Christ alone, by Grace alone, through faith alone, and to God Alone Be Glory.

4. Spirit-filled Tradition:
This stream recognizes the ongoing need for the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church today. This includes, but is not limited to the fruit and gifts of the Spirit.

5. Missional Tradition:
This tradition focuses on fulfilling God’s mission in the world and understands that we are sent by God to proclaim the good news of salvation to all. Just as God sent Jesus, now Jesus sends the church (Jn..20:21).

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Story of St. Patrick

Saint Patrick was one of the most influential Christians in the history of the Christian church. However, his life is surrounded by mystery, superstition, and myth. He is best known as the man who drove the snakes out of Ireland and used the shamrock to explain the trinity. He was a humble missionary who was personally responsible for baptizing over 100,000 people, driving paganism from the shores of Ireland, and starting a movement in Ireland that helped preserve Christianity during the Middle Ages. It is important for us to revisit the life and ministry of Saint Patrick in order to see the great influence that he made upon Christianity and the world.
Patricius, better known as Patrick, was born in 389 a.d. in a Christian home in Britain during a time when England was undefended by the Roman Empire. Irish raiders captured people in Britain and brought them back to Ireland as slaves. At the age of sixteen, Irish barbarians demolished Patrick’s village and captured him. They brought him to the East coast of Ireland and sold him into slavery. During this time Patrick would spend many hours in prayer.
Six years later he received a message from the Lord saying, “Soon you will return to your homeland.” Again he heard a voice saying, “Come and see your ship is waiting for you.” He escaped from his master and fled 200 miles and boarded a ship of traders who set sail for France. After a period of time Patrick wandered back into Britain and was again with his family. It was at this time that he received his call to evangelize Ireland. He explained his call in the following way:“I had a vision in my dreams of a man who seemed to come from Ireland. His name was Victoricius, and he carried countless letters, one of which he handed over to me. I read aloud where it began: ‘The voice of the Irish…We appeal to you holy servant boy, to come home and walk among us.’ I was deeply moved in heart and I could read no further, so I awoke.”
This vision had a profound effect on Patrick. It was very similar to the Apostle Paul’s Macedonian call. He had just returned to his homeland and been reunited with his family. However, his devotion to the Lord was greater than ever and he immediately made plans to return to Ireland, the land of his previous captivity.
Apostle to the Irish
Tradition has it that Patrick was appointed bishop and apostle to the Irish in 432. Patrick traveled the Irish country preaching the gospel. Paganism was the dominant religion when Patrick arrived. He faced most of his opposition from the druids who were highly educated and also practiced magic. They constantly tried to kill Patrick. He writes, “daily I expect murder, fraud, or captivity, but I fear none of these things because of the promise of heaven.”
Many of the myths that surround Patrick come from his spiritual clashes with the pagans who opposed him. According to a legend, King Loiguire, set an ambush to kill Patrick, but when he came near, all the king could see was a deer. Patrick challenged the power of the druid’s black magic because he believed that God’s power was greater. He believed that signs and wonders verified God’s supreme superiority over the spells of the pagans. He was a bold preacher who was not afraid of magic, demons or the devil. The story that he drove the snakes out of Ireland is symbolic of the fact that he helped transform pagan Ireland into a Christian country.
Patrick’s writings tell a great deal about the man, his ministry, and his love for Ireland. He mentions several times that his education was disrupted when he was taken captive at the age of sixteen. His writings tell us that he was very self-conscious about his lack of education. He said, “I am unable to explain my mind to learned people.” Although he didn’t receive the same education as other bishops, he did receive his call from the Lord. Perhaps it was his lack of education that made him so successful in Ireland. He was able to relate to common people in a real and relative way. He had a great love for people and the Lord, which was manifested in every area of his life and ministry.
Part of Patrick’s ministry was focused on Ireland’s tribal kings. Patrick knew that if a king converted, his people would follow. When kings would become converted they would often give their sons to Patrick to educate and train in the ways of the Lord. Thus, he persuaded many of them to enter into the ministry. He established many churches throughout Ireland. Like the Apostle Paul, Patrick would train new converts to become pastors to the local churches.
As bishop of Ireland, he was instrumental in the conversion of thousands, ordaining hundreds of clergy, and establishing many churches and monasteries. As a result of his ministry, Christianity spread like wild fire through Ireland and into other parts of the British Isles. The churches and monasteries that he was responsible for establishing became some of the most influential missionary centers in all of Europe. Missionaries went out from Ireland to spread the gospel throughout the world. St. Columba (597) established the famous monastery on the Isle of Iona. It was the Irish monasteries that helped preserve the Christian faith during the dark ages.
Lessons for Today
Patrick is an example of how an individual can overcome tremendous obstacles with the Lord’s help. Patrick went back to the very land where he had been a slave to evangelize. It is like the story of Joseph who ended up saving his brothers who had sold him into slavery. What a powerful example of how God can use our past to minister to others. Many times the Lord will give you a burden to help bring salvation and healing to people from your past.
Patrick was also a humble man. Even though he didn’t have a good education he didn’t let that stop him from letting God use him. We see that he was able to do great things for God despite his lack of worldly education. His calling came from God and that’s all that really mattered. When the Lord is in your life He will make a way for you. Patrick was used mightily by God to deliver the people of Ireland from paganism, slavery, and sin. He helped bring revival to a nation and to a continent. He stands as one of the great men of the Christian faith.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Spiritual Warfare

“If you would endeavor, like men of courage, to stand in the battle, surely we would feel the favorable assistance of God from Heaven. For who He giveth us occasion to fight, to the end we may get the victory, is ready succor those that fight manfully, and do trust in His grace.”
-Thomas A Kempis

One of the most important aspects of prayer is spiritual warfare. The Bible tells us that we are in the midst of a spiritual battle, and our advisory the devil is like a roaring lion seeking to destroy our lives. Paul says, “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12). Satan and his forces of darkness are trying to destroy your life and it is imperative that we learn to pray against these forces of darkness in order to gain victory in our lives. There are several things that the Bible tells us about spiritual warfare.

What the Bible Says About Spiritual Warfare

· We are in a real spiritual battle (2 Corinthians. 10:4; 1 Timothy 1:18)
· We are to resist the devil and he will flee from us (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9)
· We are to take authority over powers of darkness (Matthew 16:19)
· We are to cast out demons (Mark 16:17)
· We are to use spiritual weapons to overcome darkness (2 Corinthians 10:4; Ephesians 6:10-20)

The Bible tells us about great individuals who were victorious in spiritual warfare, all of which are lessons for us today. The battle is either won or lost on the mountaintop in prayer. Throughout the Bible, the mountain is a symbol of prayer and a place to meet with God. Jesus regularly went to the mountains to pray, Elijah called down fire on the mountain, and Moses met with God on the mountaintop.
In Exodus chapter 17, Israel fought against the Amalekites in Rephidim. Moses went on top of the mountain to intercede for the people who were fighting the battle below. Whenever his hands were lifted up, Israel would prevail, but when his hands grew tired and fell down the Amalekites would prevail. It is the same way in our lives, whenever we lift our hands in prayer we will prevail, but when we stop praying we lose the victory. We need to follow Moses example of praying for victory over the forces of darkness on the mountaintop. Don’t grow weary in prayer, but allow the Lord to help you pray for victory in every area of your life.
In 2 Chronicles 20, King Jehoshaphat shows us how to prepare for spiritual warfare. When the great forces of Moab and Amon came to battle against Israel, Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast in the land. 2 Chronicles 20:4 says, “Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord.” The first thing you need to do when you are in spiritual warfare is to ask help from the Lord. The Lord reminded them, “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:15). God wants to fight our battles for us. All we have to do is go to Him in prayer and ask for His help.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Lord's Prayer

The secret to Jesus’ powerful prayer life is found in the most important prayer of the Bible, commonly known as “the Lord’s Prayer.” It is one of the most popular passages of scripture; being read at funerals, weddings, and church services throughout the Christian world. But few people really grasp the meaning of this little prayer. It is Jesus’ definitive teaching on prayer. It is an outline by which we can shape our own personal prayer life and begin to learn how to pray according to His will.

“Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom, and the
power and the glory forever, Amen.”
Matthew 6:9-13

There are several important things to look at when examining the Lord’s Prayer and applying it to our own prayer life. We will break down the Lord’s prayer in the following points.

1. Position.
God is our Father in heaven and we are His children. He loves us and wants to take care of us. He is our divine parent. James tells us, “Every good and perfect gift comes from above, …from the Father of Light.” James 1:17. Paul tells us that He is our Abba, father, which is Arabic and literally means “daddy.” Prayer begins by understanding that God is our loving Father and we are His children.

2. Praise.
The second part of the prayer is praise to God’s name. Hallowed, means to make holy. We are to make His name holy through praise and worship. In other words, prayer is an act of divine worship. It begins by acknowledging and praising God for His mighty acts and greatness.

3. Purpose.
The purpose of our prayer should be to pray for His kingdom to come and His will to be done. Jesus himself told the Father, “not my will but your will be done.” Prayer is not just coming to God with our own personal agenda, rather it is seeking His agenda for our life. His ways are greater than our ways and His plan is always better than our plans. Sometimes we have to learn this the hard way.

4. Provision.
We should not be afraid to ask the Lord to meet our needs. “Give us our daily bread” means that we ask God to provide our basic needs. We need to understand that it is God’s desire to take care of His children. Philippians 4:19 says, “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches and glory.” Whatever your needs are, don’t be afraid to ask God to help you with them today.

5. Pardon.
No one is perfect, except for Jesus. We all need forgiveness. In prayer, we must confess our faults and sins before God. The Bible says that, “he is just and righteous to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This is God’s way for allowing us to continually come before Him. We can come to God broken and stained and leave cleansed and whole. Likewise, we should forgive others as God has forgiven us.

6. Protection.
He leads us away from temptation and protects us from evil. We need to be reminded that there are spiritual forces of darkness in this world and we need God’s help to protect us. The first thing you should do every morning is to ask for God’s protection throughout the day.

7. Power.
The prayer closes in a similar way that it started, by acknowledging God’s greatness. He is sovereign and in control. The kingdom, power, and glory belong to God! When we worship and praise God it gets His attention. He loves it when His children worship Him and acknowledge His greatness.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Passion for Prayer

“The most helpful way to understand prayer is to realize it is basically a relationship. Through prayer we abide in God. Prayer draws us into intimacy with the Father. It is a personal relationship.” C. Peter Wagner

We need a passion for prayer. More than ever before, Christians need to learn how to pray. The disciples asked Jesus, “Lord teach us to pray.” That must also be our prayer. The best way to learn how to pray is simply to pray. No matter how long we have been a believer, we can all benefit from a fresh study on the power and relevance of having a daily prayer life.
Prayer is getting to know God, not God getting to know us. Prayer has always been God’s way of communicating with His people. In every age men and women have talked with God in prayer. It is the primary way that we build a relationship with Him. It is the greatest of all the spiritual disciplines because is brings us into direct communion with the Lord. If prayer is so important then we must ask ourselves this question, “why don’t we pray more?” The answer is that most people have never been taught how to pray.
Prayer is first and foremost a personal relationship. Some people think of prayer like a business transaction or as something they have to do. We should think of prayer as a conversation between the closest of friends. What are some words that you think of when you think of friendship? You will probably think of words like loving, caring, warm, sincere, personal, and intimate. These are words that should be used to describe our prayer time with the Lord. Prayer should not be dry or stuffy; rather it should be warm and intimate.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Stoked and the Joy of the Lord

No matter how long you’ve been surfing whenever you catch a wave you can’t help but be stoked. I was as stoked the first time I road a wave as I was when I road down my first line. Words can’t describe what it actually means or feels like to be stoked on riding a wave.

In a similar way spiritually, words can’t really express what it feels like to experience the joy and delight of the Lord. However, this is a spiritual reality that you can and should experience for yourself personally. I can remember how incredible I felt when God first came into my life! It was the shizzle dizzle! This is not a distant reality, I am as full of God’s joy now as I was then. God wants for you to experience his joy and peace in your life today.

John Piper said it best, “God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in him.” God is glorified when we take joy and delight in him. The bible tells us to, “Delight your self in the Lord and he shall give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4). The key to finding and abiding in God’s joy. The joy of the Lord can only be found in God Himself. For it is in His presence that we receive the fullness of joy. (Psalm 16:11).

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

2nd Annual Mosaic Art Show

Creative energy was in the air as nearly one hundred and fifty people came in through the doors of the Outer Banks YMCA on January 20th to see artwork and hear live music at the second annual Mosaic Art Show. Church of the Outer Banks, Outer Banks YMCA, Dare County Arts Council and International Art Missions sponsored the event. The show featured more than 20 local artists including pieces from Ben Morris, Brent McCoy, Kim Diggs, Dave Hill, Pete Rudolf, as well as students at First Flight Middle and High School, just to name a few.

Mosaic began from the creative vision of Winfield Bevins, pastor of Church of the Outer Banks which meets at the Outer Banks YMCA in Nags Head. Pastor Bevins started Mosaic in January ‘06 as a way to show unity and diversity in the arts community and to prove that people of all ages have a place. Bevins says art is best when it is shared in community. Art should bring people in the community together rather than keep them a part.

The evening featured live music from local singer songwriter Jessica McLean and her band. McLean just came out with a new CD entitled “Designed to Dream.” Her live acoustic style added a unique touch to the show. D.J. Bruce J. offered his own special contribution by mixing fresh tunes. D.J. Bruce J. is a local favorite and regularly mixes music at the OBX Brew Station and Kelly’s. The Good Life Gourmet donated fresh, wonderful coffee and Bob’s Grill supplied delicious brownies. Both were enjoyed by all and were greatly appreciated!

Brent McCoy, director of International Art Missions, helped coordinate the night’s activities. International Art Missions is a group of artists who use arts education to bring hope and healing to children, communities, and countries around the world. They are a group of professional artists from different backgrounds who want to use their gifts and talents to help children realize their creative potential. Dawn Grey of Red Dawn Designs worked with the children as they painted surfboards on the walls of the YMCA. The children also enjoyed making beaded bracelets and necklaces and receiving candy!

The night was fun for everyone who attended. Artists of all ages were able to display and share their work with the community. The Mosaic Art Show is destined to become an Outer Banks tradition! This is the beginning of an ongoing partnership between these community organizations to bring the arts to Dare County. If you would like to see pictures or learn more information on upcoming art events stop by the YMCA or visit or