Thursday, August 28, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
This morning my family and I traveled an hour and a half to worship with Pastor Addis Moore & the Mt. Zion Baptist Church (mtzionkalamazoo.org) during their 7:45am service. Pastor Moore preached a message from a current series entitled "Going for the Gold" using as a foundational text, the gospel of Luke chapter 9 verse 23. During the message, He challenged the congregation to commit themselves totally to following Jesus, taking into consideration the cost. The lost soul and following Jesus was liken to the gold that Olympians aggressively pursue no matter the sacrifice or inconvenience. Pastor Moore is doing a great work and I solicit your prayers on his behalf.
Later, we worshipped with Dr. J. Louis Felton & the Galilee Baptist Church (gbckazoo.org) during their 10:30am service. It's been a while since I've heard Dr. Felton preach and he did not disappoint. I must admit showing up unannounced was rather risky knowing that he is one of America's most sought after evangelists, and the possibility that he might not be in town, but, the suspense subsided when I saw him enter the sanctuary. He is truly a prolific preacher and visionary pastor.
Dr. Felton preached a sermon entitled "Children of a lesser god" in which he used an assortment of scripture references including John 8:44-47; Exodus 20:1-6 and the theme verse for the year, 2 Corinthians 4:3-6. In the message he says:
" The struggle of our Judeo-Christian set of values is largely played out against the context of the struggle between the concepts of God. We are surrounded by secular influences every day that we live. The vestiges of false gods are around us in every place in life. Therefore in order to understand our pilgrimage of faith, we must understand what it is that God has delivered us from in order for us to realize what God is delivering us through and to."
Furthermore, the message challenged us to rid ourselves of the gods we tend to cling to so that we can serve God faithfully, and without reservation. Continue to pray for Dr. Felton & the Galilee Church, as they strive for excellence in ministry.
Praise God for the privilege of feasting on His word without the burden of preaching, teaching, ministering or any other labor of love associated with pastoral leadership. Besides, I enjoyed spending time in the pew with my family and lending my ear to them as they shared their worship reflections.
Upon leaving church, we shared dinner together and enjoyed a safe ride back to South Bend. Truly, I am grateful for God's faithfulness, loving-kindness and the prayers of my family of bloggers, as I further savor my vacation and family time. Blessings!!
Monday, August 18, 2008
I preached a message entitled "The Secret to My Satisfaction" from Philippians 4:13. The outline is as follows:
Following the service, we broke bread together as friendships were developed and old acquaintances renewed.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
The Groom-to-be, overcoming his fear, decided to ask his father for advice. Father, he said, I am deeply concerned about the success of my marriage. His father replied, don’t you love this girl? Oh yes, very much, he said, but you see, I have very smelly feet, and I'm afraid that my fiance will be put off by them.
No problem, said dad, all you have to do is wash your feet as often as possible, and always wear socks, even to bed. Well, to him this seemed a workable solution. The bride-to-be, overcoming her fear, decided to take her problem up with her mom. Mom, she said, When I wake up in the morning my breath is truly awful.
Honey, her mother consoled, everyone has bad breath in the morning. No, you don't understand, my morning breath is so bad, I'm afraid that my fiance will not want to sleep in the same room with me. Her mother said simply, Try this. In the morning, get straight out of bed, and head for the kitchen and make breakfast.
While the family is busy eating, move on to the bathroom and brush your teeth. The key is, not to say a word until you've brushed your teeth. I shouldn't say good morning or anything? The daughter asked. Not a word, her mother affirmed. Well, it's certainly worth a try, she thought.
The loving couple was finally married. Not forgetting the advice each had received, he with his perpetual socks and she with her morning silence, they managed quite well. That is, until about six months later. Shortly before dawn one morning, the husband awakes startled to find that one of his socks had come off.
Fearful of the consequences, he frantically searches the bed. This, of course, wakes his bride and without thinking, she asks, What on earth are you doing? Oh, my, he replies, you've swallowed my sock!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
I was on the phone earlier talking with a representative from Wordsearch (wordsearchbible), a Bible Software Company with headquarters in Austin, TX. He was giving me pertinent information relative to a new set of digital commentaries by Rod Mattoon.
While reading Mr. Mattoon's treatment of the above verse, I was arrested by his reference to a single page in John Wesley's journal. It reads:
Sunday P.M., May 5—Preached at St. John's; deacons said, "Get out and stay out."
Sunday A.M., May 12—Preached at St. Jude's; can't go back there either.
Sunday P.M., May 12—Preached at St. George's; kicked out again.
Sunday A.M., May 19— Preached at St. Somebody Else's; deacons called special meeting and said I couldn't return.
Sunday P.M., May 19—Preached on the street; kicked off the street.
Sunday A.M., May 26—Preached out in a meadow; chased out of meadow when a bull was turned loose during the service.
Sunday A.M., June 2—Preached out at the edge of town; kicked off the highway.
Sunday P.M., June 2—Afternoon service, preached in the pasture; 10,000 people came.
- Mattoon's Treasures from Treasured Psalms, Volume 1
Mr. Mattoon further stated that "there is consistency in the life of the godly man. He is not up and down all the time. Life does not wither away the person of godly character because he draws his strength from the Lord." John Wesley drew his strength from God in difficult trials.
I don't know about you, but it blessed me so, I had to share it with you. The resiliency and rewards of God's people rest in the hands of Almighty God and our faithfulness to His word.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
The thrust of the message was designed to discourage the sin of partiality that seems to make its way into the congregation of the righteous.
Drawing conclusions about people solely on the basis of superficial standards is strictly prohibited by God and can prove disastrous to the unity of any congregation. We should never determine a person's value or usefulness based on age, appearance or affluence, but rather by their walk before God and man.
I began the message making reference to an excerpt from an old issue of the popular devotional, Our Daily Bread, dated March 6, 1994. It reads:
In His autobiography, Mahatma Gandhi wrote that during His student days he read the Gospels seriously and considered becoming a Christian. He believed that in the teachings of Jesus he could find the solution to the caste system that was dividing the people of India. So one Sunday he decided to attend services at a nearby Church and talk to the minister about becoming a Christian. However, when he entered the sanctuary, the usher refused to give him a seat and suggested he go worship with his own people. Gandhi left the Church and never returned. He wrote, " If Christians have caste differences also, I might as well remain a Hindu."
I challenged the church to not allow the sin of respect of persons to defy our faith nor defame our fellowship so that it will not determine our future(judgment).
We ended our Sunday with an afternoon service featuring "The World Famous Barrett Sisters" along with a local singing group called "The Davis Trio." This concert is sponsored annually by our Student Aid Ministry of the church and proved to be a very rewarding encounter in praise to God.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Sunday, August 3, 2008
This afternoon I had every intention of attending the Opening Musical of the 151st Annual Session of The Indiana Missionary Baptist State Convention & Its Auxiliaries Inc., but my mind and body is tired.
We are convening this week, August 3-8, with The Second Missionary Baptist Church of Kokomo, In., where, Dr. Robert A. Lee is pastor and sitting president. I am scheduled to preach during the Tuesday evening session, so, pray that I'm refreshed.
The Lord blessed us this morning during both services even though I was not completely satisfied with my sermon presentation. Some of the members could tell that I was not my normal self even though they appreciated the messages.
We shared a message from James chapter 1 verses 21-25 entitled "Responding To The Truth of God's Word." I'm pleased to report that despite my issues, the Lord added 5 souls to the church and several others renewed their commitment to Jesus Christ. To God be the glory!