Sunday, January 31, 2010

Notes from Sunday - 01/31/10

Can you believe it? Yesterday, it was New Year’s Day. Today, January is over! Wow! Psalm 90:12.

I spent five hours in the emergency room with Crystal last night. But she is feeling better today. Praise God.

This morning, the kids and I made our way to church without Crystal. But my mind was on her all day. It was kind of hard to concentrate. But the Lord helped me get through the day, as he is faithful to do.

Thanks for your prayers for Crystal.

5th Sundays are Missions Emphasis at Shiloh. I have been introducing the church to various missions efforts on 5th Sundays. But today we encouraged the members to continue to give

It was good to have our guests in worship with us today.

Dr. Mac Brunson and the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville are hosting their annual Pastor’s Conference this week. Several conference attendees joined us in worship today. It was good to have them with us. I pray that all the servants of God at this conference will go home refreshed, renewed, and refocused for the work ahead.

Our men’s chorus led us in musical praise today. It is good thing to have men leading in the corporate worship of God. I was encouraged by their service today, as I always am.

It was my privilege to lead the morning hymn today. A congregation lifting their voices in praise to God is one of the best and most important things that happen in corporate worship.

I preached my final message in my series through Philippians. The text was Philippians 4:20-23. I entitled the message, “What it Means to be a Saint.”

I think my 8 AM presentation of the message was much better than 10 AM.

If my count is correct, I today’s message was my 30th sermon in Philippians.

This study of Philippians has been edifying for me over the past year. I have learned a lot from my studies. And it seems like I kept running into the right text at the right time, as I faced various challenges in 2009. Praise God for his word! I hope and pray that the members of SMBC have found these messages to be enlightening, challenging, and encouraging.

For the record, I still believe in consecutive exposition through books of the Bible. There are those who are claiming that congregations cannot endure long series through Bible books. The trend toward unwillingness to endure long Bible series is not the reality at 1118 W. Beaver Street.

Praise God for those who were saved and added to the church today.

Was reminded today that I am not in Los Angeles anymore. Again.

I cannot wait to get back to pulpit next Sunday. I plan to begin a new series of messages entitled, “Following Christ: What it Means to Follow Jesus.”

It is weird to have no football on this evening. No. The Pro Bowl does not count.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Old Testament Survey with Dr. Walter C. Kaiser

This week I have been in an intensive Old Testament Survey class at the Jacksonville extension of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. (For the record, thank God there is a Gordon-Conwell in Jacksonville!)

This OT Survey class was taught by Dr. Walter C. Kaiser Jr. Dr. Kaiser is the former president of Gordon-Conwell and a very respected scholar, teacher, and author.

This class has been a such a benefit to me this week in helping me to put my Bible together, as it were - the unity of the Bible.

Dr. Kaiser’s focus has been the promise-plan of God in the Old Testament and that this promise-plan of salvation is a unbroken cord that unites the Old Testament and New Testament.

There are four “mountain peak” Dr. Kaiser points to that affirm the promise-plan of God: Gen. 3:15, 12:1-3; 2 Samuel 7; and Jeremiah 31:31-34.

Over the course of the week, Dr. Kaiser gave enough preaching to get me through a year. Literally. I have already mapped out my preaching plan for 2010. But I have a new and greater motivation to do more preaching in the Old Testament in the years to come, God willing.

We were assigned three texts for the class:

1. The Messiah in the Old Testament by Walter C. Kaiser Jr. (Zondervan)

2. The Promise-Plan of God by Walter C. Kaiser Jr. (Zondervan)

3. Recovering the Unity of the Bible by Walter C. Kaiser Jr. (Zondervan)

This past Monday, Dr. Kaiser also did a seminar on Christian ethics-morality. The text for that seminar was “What Does the Lord Require?: A Guide for Preaching and Teaching Biblical Ethics” by Walter Kaiser.

You can learn more about Dr. Kaiser and his more than forty publication through his website:

Monday, January 04, 2010

Notes from the first Sunday in 2010

Happy New Year!

It was a beautiful day. But it was cold. No. It was cooooooold! The weather guy called it “deceptive sunshine.” He explained, “You will look outside and see the sunshine. But when you go outside, you will feel the cold.” He was right. I am glad the saints pressed on to worship anyway.

The Lord smiled on our first Lord’s Day worship services in 2010 at Shiloh yesterday.

I resumed teaching my New Members Class yesterday. It was good to be with our new members and to discuss with them the good news of Jesus Christ.

I thank the Lord for his protection of my flock over the holidays. It was good to see many who were traveling had made it home safely. And I pray God’s blessings on those who were visiting here and are on their way back home or to school.

I am grateful for all of the guests who were in worship with us this past Sunday.

I had the privilege of leading the congregation in our hymn for the morning. It is a joy to lead God’s people in musical praise.

For the first time, we celebrated the Lord’s Table in both of Sunday morning worship services. A big shout-out to our Deacons and Deaconess for their service to our congregation!

Likewise, we shifted our celebration of the Lord’s Supper to earlier in the service, rather than the end of it. I hope that this change will help us to put a greater emphasis on the significance of the Supper and not feel as pressured to rush through it at the end of the service.

The choir sang one of my favorite gospel hymns before the message: “Oh, To Be Kept By Jesus.” That’s my prayer.

I continued my series through Philippians. I preached, “Have Your Learned to be Content?” from Philippians 4:10-13.

It was one of the Sundays when I never felt that I really got in the rhythm in either one of the sermon presentations. Thank God for using me in spite of me.

Praise God for all those who were saved and added to the church yesterday.

It is my plan that January 10-17 will be Prayer Emphasis week at Shiloh. And it is my intention to begin this week of prayer emphasis with a message on Ephesians 1:15-19 – “Praying to Know God Better.”

The Dallas Cowboys stomped the Philadelphia Eagles 24-0 to win the Division Title.

The Jacksonville Jaguars lost to the Cleveland Browns and were eliminated from playoff contention. Maybe next year.

I cannot believe that Sunday was the last day of the NFL regular season. It went by so fast. At least we still have the playoffs. And we will have the privilege of watching the Cowboys in the Super Bowl!