Friday, January 18, 2008

Introducing "My Terryfic World"

Last October, I had the privilege of ministering several days at the Antioch Baptist Church in Omaha, where Dr. Reginald Terry is the pastor. During my stay, Pastor Terry told me about and let me read an article on preaching that he had recently written. As he discussed the options he had considered for publishing his article, I noticed that there was an option he had not considered or mentioned – starting his own weblog. So I recommended that he start a blog in which he could begin writing and publishing his work for a larger audience.

Pastor Terry responded to my recommendation by agreeing to think about it. Apparently, he thought about it. Favorably. The result is Pastor Terry’s new blog – My Terryfic World. I strongly doubt that my promptings are directly responsible for launching Pastor Terry into the blogsophere. But to whatever extend my subtle coaxing contributed to his decision to publish his work, I feel very gratified. Pastor Reginald Terry is a great preacher. He has a sharp mind. And he should be writing. I hope the thoughtful articles he posts in his new blog are just the beginning of a fruitful writing ministry for Reginald Terry. So I am glad to commend My Terryfic World to you. Read it and enjoy.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The African American Pulpit's "New Revivalists"

The African American Pulpit is one of (if not the) leading magazines or journals that spotlights African American pulpit work. Published quarterly, it includes edited sermon manuscripts, essays, interviews, sermon helps, and other articles that provide both a platform and resource for African American preachers.

The Winter 2007-08 edition has just been released, featuring preachers who are considered “New Revivalists.” In the past, TAAP has spotlighted prominent “revival preachers” from across the country. And, apparently, this edition seeks to note some of the up and coming voices from around the country.

The editors graciously invited me contribute a sermon for this edition. I was absolutely surprised by the invitation. And I am very grateful for the consideration. I do not personally know any of the editors of this journal. And I don’t personally know most of the other preachers whose contributed to this edition – most being more prominent voices. So I grateful, honored, and encouraged that my name was some how added to the number.

The past couple of years, I have done quite a bit of “revival” preaching across the country. But I do not really consider myself a “revival preacher.” I am the primary teaching pastor of a local church here in Los Angeles. And the heavy lifting of my preaching labors is dedicated to lead the congregation I serve to be a God-exalting, Christ-centered, and biblically functioning congregation that wins more Christians and develops better Christians in Los Angeles. The revival preaching I do is the overflow of work I have done is a very specific context. Praise God for those who have been blessed my preaching labors beyond the pulpit at my beloved MSMBC. And I am grateful for the many pastors who have trusted me to faithfully water the seeds they have already been planting. May god give the increase!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Total Life Stewardship

This coming Sunday I will begin a new sermon series that I am calling "Total-Life Stewardship: Being Faithful with a Borrowed Life."

The bottom-line of Christian stewardship is simply that God owns everything. We are just stewards (or managers) of the things we possess. And this stewardship involves more than just our time, talents, and treasures - even though it definitely includes these fundamental things. Christian stewardship involves every area of our lives. It is required of stewards that one be found faithful. And one day we will have to answer to the Lord for how we have lived our lives. So over the next seven weeks we will study together various aspects of Christian stewardship (or discipleship) in our Sunday morning worship services. Here is the schedule of the messages:

1/13- The Stewardship of Your Time

1/20 - The Stewardship of Your Finances

1/27 - The Stewardship of Your Relationships

2/3 - The Stewardship of Your Body

2/10 - The Stewardship of Your Speech

2/17 - The Stewardship of Your Gifts

2/24 - The Stewardship of Your Witness

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

MSMBC Vision Night 2008

Tonight we will have our annual “Vision Night” service at MSMBC. This is what we call our first midweek service each year. We worship God together in songs of praise. We spend an extended and focused time in prayer for our health, mission, and development of our church. And I usually give a “State of the Church Address.” These meetings have been a special time in the life over the years. And I expect tonight’s meeting to be no different. May God smile on our time together tonight.

Monday, January 07, 2008

The 1st Sunday on 2008

Yesterday was a long, busy, and exciting day.

I laid down Saturday night to sleep for a couple of hours, planning to get up and tighten up my message. I had been working all week on an exposition of Psalm 23. However, when I woke up early Sunday morning, the message that I intended to preach at our first Tuesday night service tomorrow was on my heart and mind. So that’s what I preached – a message on 2 Kings 6:1-7 that I called “Losing Your Cutting Edge.” I was quite shocked that I shifted directions so sharply in just a few hours. But I believe I did what the Lord wanted me to do.

I usually teach the youth and adults in a mass Bible study during the Sunday School hour in January. And I began that series of lessons yesterday, except – again – I did not teach on what I intended. I had planned to begin a series on what it means to be a participating member of the church. But I was moved to teach instead of examining your spiritual health and maturity. Again, I believe I did what the Lord wanted me to do. I intend to begin the series on the church this coming Sunday.

After our morning services, I came home to pack a bag and catch a flight to Oakland. Pastor Elliot Ivey invited me to preach the consecration service for the leaders and members of the New Beginnings Baptist Church. The worship service was so encouraging and refreshing to me. And it was a joy to minister to this attentive and receptive congregation. Pastor Ivey, who is younger than I am, is one of the very fine young preachers of our day. He is multi-gifted. And he is sound in this theology (Believe it or not, the two don’t often go together!). And he is seeking to develop a faithful and fruitful ministry. I was really glad to share in the worship and fellowship with my friends in the Bay area. And I am excited to see what God will do in and through New Beginnings Church in the days to come.

I returned home this morning. And I spent as much time as I could today on my couch recuperating from the weekend. Work begins again tomorrow - God willing. Thank you MSMBC for your prayers.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2008 Prayer Bowl @ Mt. Moriah

We have never had a "Watchnight Service" at MSMBC during my pastorate. However, we do participate in a special service at Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church on the first day of the year that is called "The Prayer Bowl." Every year, Pastor Melvin Wade invites various preachers from across the Los Angeles area to participate in this marathon service of prayer, praise, and the preaching of the word of God. The service is typically full throughout the whole day. And it is usually an encouraging and fruitful meeting. I have had the privilege of preaching in this meeting for at least thirteen years. And I am scheduled to be the final speaker this year. Here is the 2008 lineup of speakers:

9 AM - Pastor Earl a Pleasant (Greater New Bethel Baptist Church, Inglewood)

10 AM - Pastor L. Daniel Williams (New Covenant Baptist Church, Norwalk)

11 AM - Pastor Billy Ingram (Maranatha Community Church, Los Angeles)

12 PM - Pastor Lewis E. Logan, II (Bethel AME Church, Los Angeles)

1 PM - Pastor Andrew C. Turner, II (Covenant Worship Center, Inglewood)

2 PM - Pastor Edward V. Hill, II (Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Los Angeles)

3 PM - Pastor Michael Fisher (Little Zion Baptist Church, Compton)

4 PM - H.B. Charles, Jr. (Mt Sinai Baptist Church, Los Angeles)

Happy New Year and God Bless You

Happy New Year! May God's rich blessings of spiritual growth and fruitfulness be yours in 2008.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your on understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)