Tuesday, June 29, 2010
My baby brother's church doesn't have a baptistry. (haha. I know what you're thinking "they must not be Baptists." Well... you're right. Still don't know why they don't have a baptistry though.)
So once a year they fill in a big pond on their property. They can't keep water in it other times because the geese and airplanes don't play well together.
Here's is an entire afternoon of baptizing in one miniute. It's pretty cool to watch. You can see the people in the pond holding up the names of the ones being baptized. Then it looks like maybe they conclude the afternoon with a picnic.
Monday, June 28, 2010
I missed the final sermon (I guess I should go on line and listen to it... Sermon Series on line
Part of what we, as your Pastoral Staff, have talked about is the church "Gathering, Growing and Going."
Gathering is how we will describe our Sunday mornings. It's us, as a church, getting together for worship and Bible study.
Growing is how we will describe Wednesday nights with choir rehearsals, Bible studies, prayer meetings and more.
Going is how we will describe the many ways we are going to connect with our community and be "the church" out doing something for the Kingdom!
What does that have to do with ESL? And what IS ESL?
ESL is teaching English as a Second Language. It is a great way to reach out to our community. We have many people from many countries in Clarksville. Many of them want to know English. We can not only share with them the basics of conversation in English, but we can share the Gospel with them at the same time.
The Tennessee Baptist Convention is offering a three day workshop on ESL.
We don't know much about being servants nowadays. (Haha. I think that may be the first time I've ever actually typed the word "nowadays." I had to go to Merriam Webster nowadays to make sure it was one word and not hyphenated or whatever.)
Anyways, nowadays we don't have servants and we don't really understand the concept that a servant was totally subject to his master's authority. He had to be abedient. He had to humble himself before his master.
These are very un-American concepts. We are all created equal and endowed with unalienable rights. Why would I, as a red-blooded American, ever humble myself to another or be servant to someone.
Because... the Apostle Paul instructs us to have the same attitude that our Lord Jesus Christ had.
Philippians 2:5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6. who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7. but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
Jesus, Himself, instructed us to be like Him. That brings us to today's memory verse.
Matthew 10:25 "It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master."
There is much to be said about this and more verses that I could share, but let me encourage you to ask God to show you how you can be a servant to others today (and this week, and forever).
I'll be praying that you all become more like our great teacher and master.
Monday, June 21, 2010
I've always had so much fun letting everyone know that June 21 is the First Day of Summer and the longest day of the year and my birthday! Woohoo!
So since it's my birthday I'm going to put my life verse favorite verse up here. I think I already have, but it is such a wonderful verse and is how I try to live my life each day. Hmmm, just typing that sounds like something I've typed before.
Anyway, here it is.
20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
So you've probably already memorized it (if you've been going along with me) so you can use this week to review all of our verses. (I wish I would review more consistently.)
Thursday, June 17, 2010
The wonder of the Southern Baptist Convention, hmmm, wonder may not be the right word... well, anyway, the thing that is really awesome is how thousands of autonimous churches freely work together and give to the Cooperative Program to support mission efforts around the world. Thousands of missionaries from other denominations have to spend a lot of time raising support, asking for money, hoping a church or individual somewhere will help them get equipment they need, or dollars for a salary (you still have to eat and live when you are a missionary, you know), or supplies or other needs. Southern Baptist Missionaries in North America (NAMB) or around the world through our International Mission Board (IMB) can go right to work on the field knowing that churches from 30 to 30,000 members are working together, praying together and giving together to give them what they need to do their work.
The Southern Baptist Convention is like a giant church business meeting. We vote on things, elect officers, hear reports, sometimes fuss about things, but in the end, we are brothers and sisters in Christ working together to further the Kingdom.
Since I have been in Orlando and not with my computer I am behind on some blogging. Here we go catching up a little.
Here's a short one since you just have a few days.
Ephesians 2:14 For He Himself is our peace.
In context, this verse is talking about how Christ brought peace between the Jewish and Gentile believers. But I think in the broader view of life in general, the Southern Baptist Convention, in our local churches in everything - for us to have peace we must have Jesus Himself as our peace.
If that verse was to easy and you want more to memorize or at least put in your heart for later reference, look at Philippians 4:6-7. I memorized these verses as a teenager and have practiced them in my life thousans of times through the years.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Continuing on with catching up - Sunday's Music
I don't really remember. I do know it is Father's Day so we are singing some songs that refer to God as our Father.
One I remember for Sunday is...
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God, my Father, there is no shadow of turning with Thee. Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not, as Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
We also have a men's quartet singing The Lord's Prayer. Our Father, which art in heaven.
Join us Sunday at 8:30 or 9:45 and worship the Father with us.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
How Great Is Our God
How Great Thou Art
Sorry, no choir again this week. I'll be at the Southern Baptist Convention.
Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)
Here I Am to Worship
Special Music - Angie Thomas
Yes. I know I should write more, but we're in the middle of a crazy fun week of VBS!
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
What a fantastic promise. Here's part of the really cool thing about this promise. It's made to all of us!
Oh, and here is some good advice that adds to wisdom
19.This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger ;
20.for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.
21.Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.
22.But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
23.For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror ;
24.for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.
25.But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.
26.If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless.
27.Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this : to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
You know? You should probably just memorize this entire chapter. Get busy... That's a lot of verses to learn (and do!)
Thursday, June 3, 2010
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
I went to one of my favorite Bible Study web sites http://www.crosswalk.com/ and typed in "scripture." There were HUNDREDS of verses that have the word "scripture" in them. And a whole bunch of those were New Testament verses quoting Old Testament verses and showing how Jesus Christ fulfilled them.
These "Ancient Words" written hundreds and even thousands of years before Christ Jesus found their fulfillment in Him. As we look at the Old and New Testaments together we see how they work together to show us God's story in, around and through our Lord Jesus Christ. They are ancient words that ring true today, that still give life, that still are the "sword" for believers and give strength and guidance through trials and temptations.
We'll sing about these Ancient Words that are Wonderful Words of Life this Sunday morning. Let me encourage you to find a partner - your spouse, a friend, or check in with me on Mondays for "Memory Monday" - and put more of these words of life into your heart. You can't always have a Bible in your hand (although with the fancy new phones many have you can carry around a Bible with you. But having these words in your heart is where you will find the power in them.
June 6, 2010 AM
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
No Choir Anthem
Fellowship song – Friend of God
Wonderful Words of Life
Special Music – Mark Black
There were several YouTube videos of the song "Ancient Words" but I liked this one because it has Portuguese sub titles. Haha. I'm still listening to my Portuguese CDs so I can keep my Portuguese up. I don't know why. Maybe God is going to bring some Brazilians to Hilldale. Hmmmm. Or maybe He's wanting me to visit Brazil again...
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
When I was a youngster - early 20s (haha) I had a great group of friends that Cheryl and I spent a lot of time with. We were a singing ensemble at church called "New Creations." We rehearsed every week, sang at our church and other churches, went on mission trips together and we got together just for fun. Each June we had a "Hooray it's June!" party.
Many of us were school teachers, so part of that was a "school's out!" party. But June is also our wedding anniversary (my lovely wife, Cheryl, and I) and it's my birthday - June 21 the first day of summer.
Oh, and Father's Day too! One big party after another. I miss those friends. We moved away. Some of them have moved away. I've reconnected with a few via Facebook, but it's not the same as a cookout in the backyard. I look forward to that day in glory when we are all singing together again around the throne.
And in June the roses really get going - and the daylillies - and hydrangeas. I suppose they sort of start in May, but in June they are great!
So since it's June and since it's probably my favorite month I thought I would encourage you all to join me in memorizing (actually, I'll just be reviewing) my favorite verse.
I've heard preachers talk about a "verse for the year" or a "Life verse" that they try to live their life by. If I ever had a life verse, this would be it. This is how I try to live my life and is totally my outlook on life.
Ephesians 3:20-21 NASB
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
The KJV says "exceeding abundantly." I like that, so I usually mix up the KJV and the NASB.
Here's some of what I see in this verse and why it is such a greaet verse.
* God can do exceedingly abundantly MORE than I can ever ask Him or even think about. What a challenge - and what a joy - to live my life expecting God to do great things.
* the power that works within us is the Holy Spirit. How cool is that? God, Himself, is doing great things in us. It's His power, not my own.
* God does these great things in us and through us and more than we ask or can even think to bring Himself glory. I get a tiny bit irritated at some of the TV type preachers who say "God wants to give you a new car. A big shiny new car. And He wants you to be healthy and wealthy and kickin' Satan around." I realllly don't think that's it. God does exceedingly abundantly more than we ask or even think to bring glory to Himself and to Christ Jesus. He wants to further His Kingdom, not fatten my wallet.
* to all generations - It's my responsibility to make sure my children and grandchildren - and as far as being a pastor, to your children and grandchildren - to ALL generations - it's our responsibility to bring Him glory. to point out to the younger generations the great exceedingly abundant things God is doing. To guide them and encourage them to trust Him, to praise Him, to give Him glory in the church.
Well, I probably wouldn't get a great grade on this if I was turning it into a seminary class, but I'm typing fast and thinking fast and hoping that I'm making a little bit of sense. Let me encourage you to memorize this verse and see what God tells you through it. And let me encourage you to live this verse. It's a great way to look at life! I'm praying you'll have a happy, abundant, Christ glorifying June!
Ephesians 3:20.Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,
21.to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.