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God's Perfect Timing


The simplest and shortest version to what could be a long post is that I have felt God leading us to serve a church as a Senior Pastor instead of as an Associate Pastor (as our current position in Massachusetts). So starting in about November 2007 I have been in contact with hundreds of churches and posted my resume to Bible Colleges and I think I even pestered a few of you about churches that may have need of a pastor.

Well, the Lord has answered our (and your) prayers and for the last 8 days we have been fellowshipping, preaching for, and candidating at a church in Orangeburg, South Carolina. This afternoon the church held a business meeting and voted unanimously to extend to us a call to be their pastor and a few minutes later when I was revived we accepted (I’m kidding about passing out). It was a sweet time with the members crying and us crying (all tears of joy, I assure you!!). We all hugged each other’s necks just feeling a sweet spirit! We feel like we have known these people for years and it is all due to the Holy Spirit knitting our hearts together!

The church is small and has suffered a few trials first was the death of their former pastor of eight years who died from brain cancer and then they suffered from some power struggles after his death caused a void…but the Lord has blessed them with some faithful few stilling seeking and serving and so instead of facing difficulties…I see challenges that easily can be overcome. The church has only had about 15-20 faithful members but they are a strong tithing faithful with a heart to serve and witness. The church has been blessed with some gorgeous facilities and 10 acres of land in a great location. The town and surrounding area has about 60,000 and a very few churches that still preach the Word, Baptist or otherwise. There is not a Christian school in the area and so we are excited for the possibilities and future growth.

I thank you, my family and friends, for your prayers on our behalf and wanted to share the joyous news with you. It is with a humble and anxious heart that I can proclaim to be the Pastor of Gospel Light Baptist Church of Orangeburg, South Carolina! We will be heading back to Massachusetts tomorrow and will be transitioning our ministries up there and moving down to South Carolina by April 1st, Lord willing. Please pray for the financial situation of our house in Massachusetts; a safe & smooth move; a successful ministry hand-off at Grace Baptist Church of Pepperell, MA; and for the Lord to work out all of the other details in a short time period. As we change mailing addresses and phone numbers we will send out another email and (hint, hint) if you visit our family website and blogs you can keep updated there as well.

I truly pray that God will give you the opportunity to witness to at least one lost soul this week and I pray that you will have the wisdom to recognize that opportunity and the courage to testify! God bless you!

Pray for...

...Safety, Wisdom and Power in the Pulpit. I guess if I had put that in the title I probably could have covered everything I needed to say in this post and could have kept it short and sweet!

We will be candidating at our first church this coming Saturday through Thursday (Feb 16-21) so please...please...pray for us! We will be driving down (about 15 hrs) to South Carolina to canidate at Gospel Light Baptist Church of Orangeburg, SC. This is one of two Independent Fundamental Baptist churches in the Orangeburg area that seek to reach nearly 60,000 souls for Christ. The church is small but eager so pray that the Lord will knit our hearts together and that our 'vision' will match up or if not that the doors will be obviously closed. I don't want to be so eager to serve that I jump out of God's will, for I know that there is a church somewhere that is uniquely prepared for us and that the Lord has uniquely prepared us for them.

Again, we covet your prayers for safety and wisdom. But I also desire prayer for calm nerves and power to preach the truth. I know the Lord gives the messages, the words, and the power so I ask that you'll pray that I wisely recognize these things from the Lord.

May God richly bless you all this week, my family and friends!

Are You Ready?!?

Wow when I first saw this it made quite in impression and so I would like to share it with you. While not KJB the impact is undeniable!

Are you a watchman of the 'Ezekiel 33' variety?!?

Barber Shop Theology

A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation. They talked about so many things and various subjects. When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said:

‘I don’t believe that God exists.’

‘Why do you say that?’ asked the customer.

‘Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn’t exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can’t imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things.’

The customer thought for a moment, but didn’t respond because he didn’t want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkempt. The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber:

‘You know what? Barbers do not exist.’

‘How can you say that?’ asked the surprised barber.

‘I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!’

‘No!’ the customer exclaimed. ‘Barbers don’t exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside.’

‘Ah, but barbers DO exist! That’s what happens when people do not come to me.’

‘Exactly!’ affirmed the customer. ‘That’s the point! God, too, DOES exist! That’s what happens when people do not go to Him and don’t look to Him for help. That’s why there’s so much pain and suffering in the world.’

Hmmmm...makes ya think don't it?!?!

Instant Preaching


The Apostle Paul tells Timothy (one of the young pastors whom he mentored) to "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine." (II Tim 4:2) So how does this relate to the church in this century? Are we to bring in a more comfortable, casual church environment? Are we to bring in a worldly worship style (music, dress, etc.) to appeal and draw in the modern crowd? What are we to do? How are we to apply this exhortation from Paul to our ministry?

Before we get started though we need to look at the verbage and definitions in this verse. The idea of "instant" refers to sermons that are appropriate and timely. "In season" this implies preaching sermons that are relevant to the contemporary time, current events, worries, and concerns. "Out of season" this implies preaching sermons that are grounded in the truth and not of current fad or embedded with worldly influences. "Reprove, rebuke, exhort" carries the idea of how we are to preach to the people not sugarcoated or watered down but the truth. "With all longsuffering" this is to be our attitude when we approach the pulpit and preach the Word. Consistent with our message and patient with our people whether they repsond or not. "Doctrine" this commands us to use the Truth to preach not our convictions, preferences, or opinions. Ok with this being said now I'll share three points that I gleaned from this verse for the preacher.

First, I think we need to be in the Word..period! The Scriptures give us all the arsenal we need to preach and teach practical and timely messages. I think when a Preacher stands in the pulpit to share God's Word that he should preach the Word...not preach 'about it' or 'out of it' but actually read the verses so the people can hear them and see for themselves. When we preach/teach we should teach the background of the author and the book, then the context of the timing and the audience, then understand the whole chapter and surrounding verses, and finally define the words and word pictures in the actual verses themselves. All of this should be part of a normal lesson or sermon. This helps the people to understand the intent of the author and make a connection to the book, the author, the target audience and will build interest through out the Bible.

Second, I think we put too much emphasis on the idea that 'expository' preaching is the proper or best style of preaching and anything less is shameful or heresy. We need to preach as Jesus did with verses from the Bible...preaching topical sermons...using real life experience...all to make these verses practical. Sadly, not enough emphasis is placed on taking the contemporary audience across the 'principle' bridge to connect the Bible of old to the concerns and challenges of here and now. I think that we need to preach more of the Word and relate the Word, but to take 5 years to go through Romans verse by verse can be frustrating, intimidating, tiring, and irrelevant to the people.

Third, we need to be pastors that are humble teachers and preachers of the Word of God. We don't need to preach in a manner that falsely builds us into something we are not to be. We need to lift up Christ not build ourselves up. We are to be humble not highlighting ourselves but giving God the focus and the glory. We are to be true to our calling to serve the Lord and not to be self-serving!

A wise mentor told me to use II Timothy 3:16 as guidance when I approach the Bible and preaching. This verse tells us so much in such a simple way - "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine (doctrine = what's right), for reproof (reproof = what's not right), for correction (correction = how to get right), for instruction (instruction = how to stay right) in righteousness:" So if I/we use this verse as a measuring stick for all sermons and as a guide for our attitude then we will be the pastor God wants us to be and the pastor our people need us to be. We will find it easy to preach sermons that are both in season and out of season.

God bless you as your serve in His harvest! Stay in the Word!
Oh! Sic'em, Preacher!