Monday, July 25, 2011

Notes from Sunday - 07/24/11

It was a long week. Followed by a long weekend.

I preach for our district association Friday afternoon, which met at our church for its Congress of Christian Education. And I preached Saturday afternoon for the national convention of the Church of the Living God that was meeting in Jacksonville this past week.

Have sermon, will travel.

It was a great day of worship at the Shiloh Church today.

Our ensemble, “Forgiven,” led the music in both of our services. They did a good job, as usual.

Grateful for the guests who were in our worship services today. Several pastors from different parts of the country joined us for worship. I was encouraged by their presence.

Still praying for our members who are traveling on vacation over the summer months.

Today I began a 3-part series entitled, “Real Hope for Difficult Times” (1 Peter 1:3-9).

William Barclay began his commentary on this passage by saying: “It will take us a long time to appropriate the riches of this passage, for there are few passage in the New Testament were more of the great fundamental Christian ideas come together.” I fully agree.

I gave three reasons why we should praise God for salvation:

1. We have experience a new birth (1:3).
2. We have received a guaranteed inheritance (1:4).
3. We have obtained an eternal security (1:5).

Next Sunday’s message: “A Theology for your Trial” (1 Peter 1:6-7).

I absolutely cannot wait to get back to my pulpit next Sunday.

Praise God for those who were saved and added to this church in our worship services.

Quiet afternoon. Too quiet.

My family is still in Los Angeles. They will be home this week. Suicide watch continues…

I am scheduled to speak for Pastor Timothy Fleming at the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Atlanta this Monday through Thursday night. Please remember this meeting in your prayers.

Are you ready for some football?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Speaking @ the E.K. Bailey Expository Preaching Conference 2011

The E.K. Bailey International Conference of Expository Preaching is taking place this week in Dallas (July 11-14). It is a great week of study, fellowship, and good preaching!

The conference is named after its founder, the late Dr. E.K. Bailey, founding pastor of the Concord Church in Dallas. Dr. Bailey was a noted African-American expositor. And God used his ministry and this conference to introduce many to the principles, tools, and disciplines needed to preach what the text means by what it says.

I was drawn to expository preaching by divine conspiracy. I was hearing preachers, reading books, and having conversations that were all calling me to it. But hearing Dr. Bailey sealed the deal. I walked out of the service after hearing him for the first time and said, “That’s what I want to do.” I was not talking about his style or delivery or anything like that. I was talking about how he simply explained the meaning of the text.

This preaching conference is now lead by my friend, Pastor Bryan Carter, who now leads the Concord Church. In his capable hands, this conference continues to be a premiere meeting on biblical preaching. At the same time, Dr. Sheila Bailey leads the Stand Women’s Conference, and continues to honor the legacy of her late husband with her love for ministering to the word of God to women.

The conference kicked off last night in a great way. Dr. Michael Duduit, editor of Preaching Magazine, lectured on the conference theme – Preaching Under Pressure. It was a very thoughtful, challenging, and encouraging message. Pastor Jeffery Johnson delivered the evening message.

I am scheduled to teach on expository preaching this afternoon, teach and preach Wednesday evening, and teach and participate on in a panel discussion Thursday, along with other commitments. It will be a long week. But I am looking forward to it. May the Lord give me strength.

Crystal is here! She flew in yesterday from Los Angeles, where she and the kids are spending several weeks with family and friends. I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am to see her. When she arrived, I shaved for the first time since she left!


My brother, Pastor Kevin Willis and his wife, Linda, are here.

Four of my pastoral staff members – B. Perry, D. Beckwith, A. Robinson, and A. Letson – are here.

My pastor from Los Angeles is here. My adopted dad from Oklahoma City is here.

Several of my closest friends from around the country are here.

There are quite of few preachers from both Los Angeles and Jacksonville here.

And this all up and what you get is very little sleep for H.B. Charles, Jr. this week. But I should be a great time of fellowship.

Please remember this meeting in your prayers.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Notes from Sunday - 07/10/11

What a great day of worship at Shiloh today!

We began the service this morning with several praise choruses that I really like to sing. One of them had I had been singing to myself all week. It was great to sing it together in worship with the saints.

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

As I sat in our second service today, I began to give thanks to God for all of the volunteers who serve in our congregation. The service of so many others make what I do possible. And I am grateful to God for all who serve.

I preached today from James 5:13-18. I entitled the message, “Handle with Prayer.”

I wrote seven pages of the manuscript. But I knew that I several pages to material in my head. So I just quit writing. I knew that I was going to go over time this morning. But there was nothing I could do about it.

There is so much in this text. But I hope that I did a fair job of keeping the main thing the main thing.

In both services, in skipped a portion of the text. And it was the same portion – the second dealing with mutual confession and prayer in verse 16a.

I spent a portion of the message dealing with “the elders of the church” (James 5:14). After the service, someone asked me about the relationship between elders and deacons. It never crossed my mind to address that. But here are my understanding of the relationship of elders and deacons in two sentences:

1. The elders serve by leading.
2. The deacons lead by serving.

I have one more passage to preach in James. I intend to conclude my study of James next Sunday with a message entitled “Rescue the Perishing” (James 5:19-20).

For the record, I love preaching to my congregation!

Praise God for those who were saved and added to the church in our services this morning.

We went home singing, “Trouble In My Way.” I don’t know what brought this old song to my mind. But I sure enjoyed singing it! Could you tell?

Our 2011 Vacation Bible School will begin tomorrow and last all (7/11-15). Please pray for our Children’s Pastor, Lucius Johnson, our staff and volunteers, and all the children who will participate in VBS this week. May they grow as Jesus grew (Luke 2:52).

Crystal and the kids are in Los Angeles with family and friends for several weeks. I have been here on suicide watch without them. Sure, I leave them to go preach all the time. But I am not used to them leaving me. Let the church say, “Spoiled!”

It’s time for the E.K. Bailey International Conference on Expository Preaching in Dallas!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Notes from Sunday - 07/03/11

I had a great time teaching on the good news of Jesus Christ in my new members class.

We had many guests in worship yesterday. Grateful for it.

We had several families, celebrating their family reunions, in worship with us yesterday. It was good to host these guests. Hope they were blessed by the service.

Dr. William Lawson, founding pastor of the Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church in Houston (where Dr. Marcus Cosby now serves as pastor) was in worship with us yesterday. His family was one of our special guests. It was an honor to have him worship with us.

Thinking about and praying for our members who are traveling and vacationing over the holidays. May the Lord bless them and bring them home safely.

We celebrated the Lord’s Supper in both of our services yesterday. What a wonderful time of worship, as we remembered the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Thanks to our Deacons and Deaconesses for your service yesterday. You make it happen!

I preached from James 5:12 – “Tell It Like It Is.”

I believe the Lord gave me a good understanding of this verse. But, boy, did I have to wrestle to shape it for preaching!

I stood up to preach at my 8 AM service with only 20 minutes to preach. I think I took about 30 minutes… with a 45-minute message.

Next week’s sermon: “The Power of Believing Prayer” (James 5:13-18).

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

My memory verses these week are Ephesians 6:12-13: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”

In just a month, more than 4,000 people have downloaded out Shiloh Church app. Way cool!

Have a happy and safe 4th of July! God bless.