All posts by roylayman

Pastor of Grace Bible Fellowship, Gunter Texas Teach the Word. Love people. Pray for the Spirit to move. I am not ashamed of the gospel... Romans 1:16 I'm just a common man who is true to his beliefs. -John Wooden Twitter: @RoyLayman

Good News!

Good news for folks who are frustrated, exhausted, fed-up, confused, hurt, heart-broken, that don’t even wanna pretend to have all the answers, but DESPERATELY need someone to look to for wisdom, change, grace, forgiveness, purpose, strength, comfort, rest, SALVATION and a sustainable path forward toward a truer and better reality that is to come. If that describes you, Jesus Christ has an invitation:

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

#LookUp

To Quiet Servants…

Shout out to quiet servants, putting in work, staying faithful, day in and day out, amid the craziness and chaos. Thank you to faithful people who don’t have to post about it, because you are about it. Thanks to mommas and dads who are spread thin, but doing the best you can to give your kids a life and raise them right. Thank you to just good hard working people who give 100% to your job. I’d like to say “we see you” but we honestly don’t. Sadly a lot of what you do goes unseen by most. But God sees you! He notices! You’re not forgotten! I hope and pray you lay down tonight with your body tired and your heart full, knowing you stayed faithful another day. Tomorrow’s another day filled with opportunities for quiet faithfulness. Be encouraged!

New Resource and preaching plan

New resource from one of my favorite authors for a series coming up this Fall. This summer we’re gonna finish the beatitudes + a Father’s Day message, then a ‘Salt and Light’ message from Matt 5:13-16, then a short topical series on disciple making to finish out the summer—Connect, Grow, Serve, THENNNN we’re gonna circle back to Matthew and finish the WHOLE Sermon on the Mount, verse by verse—Matthew 5:17-7:28. C’mon somebody! Pray and see what God does! 💪🏼 🙏🏼 ✝️

Haha I know it’s nerdy but this kinda stuff pumps me up.

Perfect Peace

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. – Isaiah 26:3

Peace is a product of what we spend our time thinking about. We can think of a thousand reasons why it’s all going to go wrong and everyone is against us. Or we can think of the sovereignty of God and how if God is for us nothing can be against us. In Christ we aren’t forgotten, disregarded, or abandoned. We’re called, loved, and kept. What a gift it is that TRUE thoughts about a REAL God bring REAL PEACE.

Father in Heaven, you’re worthy of all of our thoughts. Please keep us in your perfect peace, Lord. Let our minds be stayed on you. Help us to trust. We love you, Lord. In Jesus name, amen.

Racial Unity Resource from Dr Tony Evans

Hey friends. I wanted to share a resource with you available on Right Now Media from Dr Tony Evans on the topic of racial unity. Dr Evans has been a strong influence in my life for a long time through his preaching, teaching, and writing. God has used him to make me strive to be a better citizen, husband, dad, pastor, and most importantly, he’s challenged me to be a more faithful follower of Jesus Christ. I feel this resource and others from him will serve you well. (For those who are not RNM users, I’ll post a YouTube link to Dr Evans teaching below.)

Blessings, roy

https://www.rightnowmedia.org/content/series/196905

https://youtu.be/H-8RFZbkKsU

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR PARENTS OF HIGH SCHOOL GRADS

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR PARENTS OF HIGH SCHOOL GRADS: 5 great, and somewhat unexpected things about parenting college kids.

My oldest just graduated from U of A and my 2nd oldest is in her 2nd year of college. I know everyone’s experience is different. And this group of seniors and parents have had a ton of added challenges, but I wanted to share some of my story and some encouragement to parents of kids entering a new season.

Psalm 127 says children are like arrows in the hand of a warrior. It kinda hit me like a ton of bricks when I realized arrows are meant to be aimed and released 😅😬

My oldest graduating from high school was harder for me than I thought. I played it pretty cool till we dropped him off in Arkansas, then on the way home my wife had to drive because I cried. Not just a little. I cried like 3 year old with a skinned knee. Then, for a good week or so, I’d cry on and off every time I had to do something without him that I’d normally done with him! 😅 Sad right?

Two years later my oldest daughter graduated. This should be easier because I knew what’s coming, right? Wrong. The knowing it was coming was like that horrible upward click-click-click-click at the beginning of a roller coaster you don’t really wanna be on. But nevertheless we moved her to Missouri. I cried again. 😆Then, when we took the leaf out of our dinner table because there was now just 4 of us, I cried again. 😆

But here’s the thing, while seeing them leave is really hard, I’m actually LOVING their college years!!! Here’s a few of the GREAT things about parenting college kids that I didn’t expect:

  1. Less tension. I wouldn’t have described my relationship with my HS age kids as tense, but I would say that after they graduated things were “less tense.” I think they’re more themselves after experiencing some independence. It’s not that they don’t care about what I think of them, it’s just they don’t care as much 😂. And that’s a good thing! They’re able to be more honest about where they are and what’s going on with them, I think partly because their mature enough to realize it.
  2. Better parenting. Parenting didn’t end like I feared it would. I had this crazy idea in my head that a HS diploma in their hand and a new address would muzzle me as a dad. I thought whatever I’d taught them or shared with them before graduation was IT. No more. That hasn’t been true. If anything I think I do that kinda stuff more. Seems like college kids are more open to hearing and learning, not just from parents, but definitely including parents. And that’s not a shot at HS students. Just a different season of life.
  3. More appreciation. Maybe it’s because we’re not with them everyday—I’m sure that’s part of it. But it just seems like they value us, our input, and our relationships more. They seem more appreciative and better able to express that appreciation. Wether we say it or not, we want that appreciation as parents. Their college years may seem like an unlikely time to get it, but it’s actually right on time.
  4. Learning from my kids is easier. For a couple decades now I’ve tried to approach life believing that you can learn from everyone, my own kids are no exception. They’ve always taught me things. But it seems like the lessons have been turned up since they’ve been college-age. Back when they were in HS, we were around mostly the same people. But now, they’re learning from different people and so I’m learning from them. My college kids have younger siblings, so I’ve called them asking for advice on how to deal with their little sisters multiple times. They care. They share wisdom-many times from Scripture.
  5. We have more in common. Not sure how to describe this one, but I just feel like we’re dealing with similar life struggles now. Recently I spent some time talking with my son and his roommates about God, The Bible, and life. I didn’t really feel like the guru I did when he had his middle school buddies over for Bible Study and 2K. It was more like a conversation and sharing of ideas. Same has happened with my oldest daughter at times. Idk, maybe it’s not that we have more in common, just that we’re more aware of what we have in common. Whatever it is, it’s great.

Parents of HS grads, I’d like to encourage you that there are GREAT days ahead. New seasons are hard, especially with our kids. But I’m loving these college years as a dad, and I think you will too.

I told my oldest daughter that moving from one season of life to another is like a lobster losing its shell. There’s vulnerability involved, but it’s necessary for growth. I think I’ve needed to hear that more than my kids.

I hope this has encouraged y’all. I love you and I’m praying for you.

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! – Psalm 127:3-5

Path Toward In Person Meetings

**IF YOU MISSED SUNDAY MORNING’S UPDATE**

After reviewing the current recommendations from the state of Texas regarding church gatherings and COVID-19, our tentative plan is to wait until we hear from the Governor again on May 18th before we resume in person services. A more detailed explanation, along with some pastoral encouragement can be found in this video.

Love you all, Roy and the leadership of Grace Bible.

https://vimeo.com/414378208

The Prodigal Son, Rembrandt

The Prodigal Son by Rembrandt, 1669, based on Jesus’ parable found in Luke 15.

I recently told some friends, the image of the father embracing the son really helps me understand redemption and restoration, mourning for sin and the comfort of God.

This painting is amazing. So detailed. Check out the son’s tattered clothes, one bare foot, his hair is mostly gone, he’s on his knees with his head just buried against his fathers chest.

The father is aged, but stately, well adorned in layers, complete with a red robe. He looks down with compassion. His arms embrace the son with love, acceptance, and protection. His left hand looks muscular while his right is slender—maybe depicting his perfect blend of strength and tenderness.

The self-righteous older brother is on our right. He actually looks like a slightly younger version of the father. Same beard, clothes and all. One thing he doesn’t have that the father has—grace and compassion. His look is one of scorn. You can look like the father and still not have his heart.

Who’s that just to the left of the older brother? The artist formally known as Prince? Just kidding. Clearly he’d be wearing purple. Ha. No, that character is probably one of the father’s well cared for hired servants. He looks on this scene of grace like he gets it. As a well fed and honored servant, he knows about getting the good that you don’t deserve.

Who’s back there in the shadows? Most believe that’s the mother. While it’s not part of the biblical narrative, that makes sense right? She’s delighted too. Momma’s love grace.

Rembrandt painted this when he was 63. He died not long after. Many believe that Rembrandt painted this from a deep understanding of being in need of grace. Rembrandt squandered his wealth faster than he made it. History tells us he died poor and was buried in a pouper’s grave. Like all of us, he’d made his share of mistakes.

The picture of the prodigal son coming home doesn’t mean much until you’ve seen yourself in it. But then it means the world.

Of course, I can’t leave out the fact that Jesus Christ, who told the story of the Prodigal son, actually made this glorious picture a reality. He died and paid the penalty for our sins so we we could come home to the father and be received and embraced and comforted, just as we are. What a God!?!?

“Come to me all of you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest…for your souls.” -Jesus, Matthew 11:28-29

Psalm 119

Did you know the book of the Bible with the most verses is Psalms? And the longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119. The subject of Psalm 119? The Bible. It’s a looooong chapter in the word of God…reflecting on, the word of God. Sound lame? If so, you haven’t truly discovered the power and wonder of the Bible! I just grabbed 10 verses that encouraged my love for the Bible from Psalm 119, and copied and pasted below. I could’ve posted a lot more but didn’t know how many you’d read 😜. If you like what you see, bust out your Bible and read it!

As you read the psalmist talking about the greatness of the word of God, ask yourself: how has this been true for me and my time/experience in the word? And if it hasn’t been your experience, why not? Now would be a great time to begin enjoying all that God has for us in His word!

•In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. – Psalm 119:14

•Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. – Psalm 119:18

•My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times. – Psalm 119:20

•I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart! – Psalm 119:32

•Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. – Psalm 119:35

•Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways. – Psalm 119:37

•I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes. – Psalm 119:48

•When I think of your rules from of old, I take comfort, O LORD. – Psalm 119:52

•You are good and do good; teach me your statutes. – Psalm 119:68

•How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! – Psalm 119:103