Monday, August 31, 2009

"But God Was with Him"

This is one of the many "But Gods" in the Book that spell quite a difference. Joseph's brothers sold him into Egypt, but God was with him. Joseph himself put it this way: "Ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good" (Genesis 50:20). What men thought was overruled by what God wrought. "Man proposes but God disposes."

"He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me" (Hebrews 13:5,6). No plottings of men, no combinations of circumstances can defeat the man who has God as his helper. Here is the secret of many a life, conspired against by ill health, poverty, evil men, foes in the household, the world, the flesh and the devil, but victorious, anyway—God was with him. The devil and men often overstep themselves, sell Joseph into Egypt, but God makes him Prime Minister! "If God be for us, who can be against us?"
And even in the last dark chapter we need not tremble at our Adversary, but triumph with our Ally—"I will fear no evil, for thou art with me."

But God was with him. What a difference that makes!

Day by Day: A Book of Bible Devotions - Vance Havner.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tent Service & Picnic

This past Sunday @ GSJ was awesome in every sense of the word. We had our Annual Tent Service & Picnic on our grounds across the street on the corner of Adams and Orange. Aside from the initial technological hiccups, it was a high time in the Lord. We were blessed to have over 400 people in attendance. The joyful noise of God’s people praising against the aroma of barbeque in the background, was a sight to behold and an enjoyable pleasure. After several songs of praise, I preached a message from Romans 12:1-2 answering the question “What Shall I Render unto the Lord for All His Benefits?” The outline I used was as follows:

I. Request - “ I beseech you therefore in view of God’s mercies”
II. Reason - “ present your bodies as a living sacrifice”
III. Requirement – “ be not conformed to this world…. Be transformed
IV. Result – “that you may prove what is that good…….

Thanks to Rev. Sylvester Williams and the people of WUBS 89.7 FM, we were able to broadcast a good portion of our service over the airwaves. After church we continued to fellowship together while consuming a delicious meal under that very tent. It was a great day. We honestly did not want to leave. Looking forward to next year.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I beg you, my brothers, as an act of intelligent worship, to give him your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to him and acceptable by him. Don't let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity. Romans 12:1-2 (Phillips NT)

The following is a piece I received from a faithful participant of our weekly noonday Bible Study. The Lord has so gifted her to give illustrative and inspiration poems and short stories that drive our weekly lessons home. Hope it causes you to take inventory of your life and make the necessary adjustments. Enjoy!!!

· Isn’t it strange how a 20 dollar bill seems like such a large amount when you donate it to church, but such a small amount when you go shopping?

· Isn’t it strange how two hours seem so long when you're at church, and how short they seem when you're watching a movie?

· Isn’t it strange that you can't find a word to say when you're praying, but you have no trouble thinking what to talk about with a friend?

· Isn’t it strange how difficult it is to read one chapter of the Bible, but how easy it is to read 100 pages of a popular novel or book?

· Isn’t it strange how everyone wants front-row tickets to concerts or games, but they do whatever is possible to sit in the last row in church?

· Isn’t it strange how we need to know about an event for church 2-3 weeks before the day so we can include it in our agenda, but we can adjust it for other events in the last minute?

· Isn’t it strange how difficult it is to learn a fact about God to share it with others, but how easy it is to learn, understand, extend, and repeat gossip?

· Isn’t it strange how we believe everything that magazines and newspapers say, but we question the words in the Bible?

· Isn’t it strange how everyone wants a place in Heaven, but they don't want to believe, do, or say anything to get there?

· Isn't it strange how you can send jokes in e-mails and they are forwarded right away, but before you send messages about God, you think about it twice before you share it with others?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Week In Review

This week has been busy but special. It all started Sunday with the baptism of our son, Jared, along with five other children and one adult. Jared had shared with his mother and I some time ago that he was ready to be baptized and that he understood what Jesus had done for him. Needless to say, we were excited and proceeded to ask him questions to be on the safe side. Sure enough, he understood fully what this decision entailed, to which we were past elated to notify the family in order for them to share in this monumental moment. Baptizing your child is an indescribable yet humbling experience. If you ever had the privilege then you can attest to my sentiment. Here are a few photos compliments of Brother Richard Armstrong.

That afternoon, after a spiritually charged day of worship, praise and congratulation, we retired home to share a delicious meal with the family before most of them returned to my native, Gary, IN. I recall my son asking me in a private one on one moment if I was proud of him. Choking back tears, I quickly reassured him that I was, and reminded him of my love for him, and that following Jesus was the best decision he will ever make in his life.

The following morning, I got in the car and drove to Indianapolis to attend the 152nd Annual Session of the Indiana Missionary Baptist State Convention & Its Auxiliaries Inc. This convention was co-hosted by our President, Dr. Wayne L. Moore and the Olivet Missionary Baptist Church ( and Pastor Gary Sellars and Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church ( I had already missed a couple of days (Saturday and Sunday) due to a wedding and our son’s baptism, so I wanted to make an appearance the last three days (Monday thru Wednesday) since I serve as 1st Vice President. It was a great session unlike any I’ve attended in recent years. I was pleased to see a strong showing of GSJ members. While there, we were graced with the presence of Dr. R. L. White Jr., Pastor of Mt. Ephraim Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia ( He was in town spending time with his brother who is a member of our convention.

Dr. White addressed our convention and was a blessing to us all. We were able to get a copy of his recent book “Negro-ology”- Understanding Polity in the African American Church. Even though he was not there to promote his book, he secured copies at the request of our president. If you get a chance, grab a copy and add it to your library. It is quite informative and revolutionary.

I was also scheduled to preach on Tuesday, the same day as my wedding anniversary and my wife and I were in different cities. While it was difficult for us to be apart due to my convention obligations, we more than made up for it when I returned home. I thank God everyday for a supportive wife who continues to make sacrifices for my ministry. We mutually agreed that we will watch our schedules a little more closely to ensure that this doesn’t happen in the future.

Well, I must leave you now. Thanks for allowing me to share a brief synopsis of my week. Thanks for your indulgence. God Bless!!!