Monday, July 26, 2010

Notes from Sunday - 07/26/10

It was a long but good day of worship yesterday. I really enjoyed worshiping with and ministering to the Shiloh family.

I started my day a little earlier than usual, so that I could check my bags in at the airport before our 8 AM service. I did not want any hassles for my 12:40 PM flight to Atlanta.

I am grateful for all who volunteer to serve at Shiloh. May the Lord be glorified as we speak his word and serve in his strength (1 Peter 4:10-11).

I really had a great time teaching my new members class yesterday. It did not hurt that I was explaining the gospel, either. What a Savior!

Good to have our guests in worship yesterday. Three families, celebrating their family reunions over the weekend, attended our service yesterday.

No Hailey incident yesterday. Security must have stepped their game up. Good job!

I preached from 1 Peter 2:1-3. I entitled the message, “It’s Time To Grow Up.” Peter exhorts the saints to change their clothes (v. 1) and change their appetites (vv. 2-3) to grow in spiritual maturity.

I love this text. I pray through this passage regularly before my private study of the word. I also pray this passage publicly in worship before I preach. It is a remarkable reminder that the power of the word will be nullified in our lives if our hearts are not cleansed of unconfessed sin and set on the pure spiritual milk of the word.

For some reason, I felt that I was not clear in our 8 AM service. I left out of the serving considering whether I should preach something else at 10. I am glad I did not.

Praise God for those who were added to the church in our worship services yesterday.

Next Lord’s Day, I plan to begin a new series on the book of Ruth. I intend to preach the four chapters of Ruth in four messages. This will be my first time ever preaching from Ruth. And I find it quite difficult to preach from narrative texts. Pray for me.

After putting on a dry shirt, Crystal and the kids drove me to the airport. I flew to Atlanta and went straight to church to preach again. I am here to preach for Dr. Timothy Fleming and the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church.

It is hot in Jacksonville. It is HOT in Atlanta.

Mt. Carmel celebrated their annual homecoming yesterday. It was an “old style” worship service. And food was prepared for the members of the community. I preached as briefly as I could. The congregation was very kind, considering the smell of B-B-Q was in the air.

Dr. Fleming sung his signature song, “Got The Devil Under My Feet,” in the service last night. It was great.

Crystal and the kids arrived last night. We hung out and then passed out.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Notes from Sunday - 07/18/10

It was a good day of worship and fellowship at Shiloh Church today.

We sang, “Here I am to Worship,” today. This song is really growing on me.

We had quite a few guests in worship today. Way cool.

I am thankful for all of our volunteers for their service. You make it happen!

Praise God for those who were baptized today. One of our pastors had the privilege of baptizing his two daughters today.

I really had a good time teaching our new members class today, so much so that I did not finish my lesson today.

I sat on the floor today. All was going well until a little girl named Hailey confronted me. Apparently, I look like her dad or something. She jumped on my lap and would not leave. Her mother finally had to come get her so that I could preach. Last I heard, security escorted the little girl from the auditorium.

I prefer to sit on the floor. Definitely.

Today I concluded my series on the Ten Commandments with a message on Exodus 20:17 entitled, “Overcoming Covetousness.”

I think I had a good understanding of the text. I wish, however, that my message had been better. I don’t think I was as clear I wanted to be. Praise God for blessing his Word in spite of the weakness of the messenger.

I really enjoyed preaching through the 10 Commandments. And I am really glad this series is over. It was hard work.

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

I have a free Sunday next Sunday before I get to my next series. I need to determine what I will preach next week. Fast.

We ate soul food for lunch after church. I give you one guess where were ate.

This evening, a beloved deacon of Shiloh, Charles Brown, went home to be with the Lord. Please remember his wife, family, and our congregation, in your prayers.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Notes from Sunday - 07/11/10

Praise God for a blessed day of worship at the Shiloh Church today!

I am grateful for all of our guests in worship today.

I have been away from home preaching all week. It was great to be home to worship with and minister to my own congregation this morning.

The musical praise was exceptional today. I am grateful for our music team. Thanks for your service today.

I rejoice with all who were baptized today to express their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is very encouraging to be a witness to this important step of faith today.

It was tough preaching today after being at a preaching conference all week long. I have been reminded this week of how far I have to go as a preacher. May the Lord help me to continue to grow as a Christian and pastor-teacher.

Today I continued my series on the Ten Commandments with a message on Exodus 20:16 entitled, “Tell The Truth.” I argued that God commands us to be people of truth who (1) tell the truth about God, (2) tell the truth about ourselves, and (3) tell the truth about God.

A little boy came up to me after church and told me what he learned from the message today, “Do not lie!” I think he was listening.

God willing, I will conclude this series with a message on Exodus 20:17 entitled, “Overcoming Covetousness.”

Praise God for all who were saved and added to the church in our services today.

A big “shout out” to our security team for the service today. Thanks guys!

I received the news this evening that Dr. WIllie Smith, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in San Diego, went home to be with the Lord Saturday. Please remember his family and congregation in your prayers.

I also received news that Walter Hawkins passed away today. Please remember his family and congregation in your prayers.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The 2010 E.K. Bailey International Expository Preaching Conference

I am attending the E.K. Bailey International Expository Preaching Conference in Dallas. Pastor Bryan Carter and the Concord Church host this conference. The theme this year is “Preaching Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:5).

The late Dr. E.K. Bailey, the founding pastor of the Concord Church, established this conference. In a recent article by Michael Duduit, Dr. Bailey was listed among the twenty-five most influential preachers of the past twenty-five years. I fully agree. My own commitment to expository preaching was sealed as a result of hearing Dr. Bailey preach. He is one of my homiletical heroes. And his conference has been used by God to introduce and equip many preachers to rightly handle the word of truth.

The conference is already off and running. Last night, Michael Duduit and Maurice Watson brought the opening messages. Wow! That’s all I can say. This morning, Dr. Ramesh Richards and Pastor Bryan Carter will speak in the general sessions. Many other great preaches will be speaking this week. And there are many classes that area available. At the same time, a women’s conference is taking place under the leadership of Dr. Shelia M. Bailey.

I am scheduled to teach a session this afternoon on developing expository sermons. I will bring the message in the general session this evening. Wednesday morning, I am scheduled to participate in an extended session on developing a preaching plan. Then I have two sessions to teach Thursday afternoon, on developing expository sermons and the theology of preaching.

Please pray for the meeting and for the hundreds of Christian ministers who are here to learn, worship, and fellowship. And pray for Pastor Bryan Carter and the Concord Church, as they give leadership to this meeting.

Next year’s conference is scheduled for July 11-14, 2011.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Notes for Sunday - Independence Day Weekend 2010

Happy Independence Day weekend!

It is a great blessing to live in the United States of America, with all of the liberties we enjoy. Thank God for those who have given their lives and continue to stand in harms way for our freedom.

Because it was the 4th of July, we adjusted our worship schedule. All Bible Study Fellowship groups were cancelled. And we only held one worship service – at 9 AM.

For the record, attendance was much better than I thought it was going to be.

I am praying for all the members of Shiloh who are traveling over the holiday. May the Lord put a hedge of protection around you and grant you to come and go in safety.

I am grateful for all the guests who were present in worship with us yesterday.

It was our privilege to celebrate the Lord’s Table yesterday. This is always a special time of worship and fellowship for us as a congregation.

Thank you to our deacons and deaconess for your service in and for our celebration of Communion.

I was greatly encouraged by the musical praise yesterday.

I continued my series on the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17) with a message on the eighth commandment that I entitled, “How Did You Get That?” (Exodus 20:15)

Sermon Point: Do not take or keep anything that does not belong to you.


I. Do not rob other people.

II. Do not rob yourself.

III. Do not rob God.

Next Sunday’s sermon: “Tell the Truth” (Exodus 20:16)

Praise God for those who were saved and added to the church in our worship service yesterday.

I am grateful to God for our Health Ministry and Security Team at Shiloh. When there is a medical emergency, these men and women are there to care for the sick and calm our members. Thank you for your service yesterday.

After church, I did absolutely nothing. It was wonderful!

What team do you think LeBron James will finally end up signing with? My guess is that he is going to remain with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Congratulations to Serena Williams Rafael Nadal on their 2010 Wimbledon championships.

Please pray for me this week as I participate in the E.K. Bailey International Conference on Expository Preaching in Dallas.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Save Us from False Ambition

God, I am just too busy. Too many people, too many questions, too much to do. We confess we stay busy because we fear acknowledging our emptiness. How amid this busyness do we rest? How do we worship you? Please create space, which may be other people, to make time, our time, serve you. Force us to rest through the activity of prayer so that all our loves and fears might be made perfect in you. Help s see how such busy service, if it is service, may be just the rest we need – just the worship we need. Finally, and most importantly, save us from false ambition. Amen. - Stanley Hauerwas, Prayers Plainly Spoken, p. 72