Thursday, September 27, 2007

Rejoicing Yet Burdened

I rejoice in the Lord, for He has rescued me. I was saved (justified), I am saved (sanctification) and I will be saved (glorification). All of this salvation is from Him, and to Him goes all the praise and glory. I am a wretched sinner, deserving only judgement and hell forever. Yet, even while an enemy, He loved me and bore my punishment, paid my debt to a holy and righteous and just God, and reconciled me to Himself. In these things I rejoice. Now, by His infinite mercy and grace, I enjoy God and delight in Him. He is my Savior, my Lord and King, but He is also my Father, my Papa as Paul writes. I rejoice in HIM.
At the same time I am burdened. I have a burden for my brothers and sisters. I have a burden for my lost neighbors. Many of my brothers and sisters in Christ seemingly allow the enemy to steal their joy and their delight. I wonder where they are when the people of God gather to pray for one another? I wonder where they are when the messenger that God has sent to them brings a message, yet they will not come to hear. I am burdened because many have given up meeting together. When this happens blessings are missed, the enemy wins, we remain stagnant or atrophy in our Christian growth, lives become fruitless and weak. Churches become fruitless and weak. Oh how I long that my dear brothers and sisters in Christ will so love and treasure their Savior, their Father, Who has so blessed and loves them, that they will not be able to contain themselves and cannot wait to come and rejoice in the Lord and grow in the grace and knowledge of Him. Heaven will be thus.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Homecoming @ Leawood

Yesterday I had the privilege of preaching at Leawood Baptist Church for their annual Homecoming. Yesterday was extra special considering all that their pastor, my father, has been through lately. In fact, sadly, he could not attend yesterday's service. He is undergoing chemotherapy, has been sick, and the doctor ordered him not to go. He was able to call and speak to the congregation over the PA system.
I preached on "finishing the race" and completing the course that God has for each of us. I wanted to close the service by pointing out that God also has a plan and purpose, a course, laid out for Leawood. Yesterday was homecoming, looking back and thanking God, but also a time to look forward to what God has in store and renewing our commitment to Him to carry it out, according to His grace. Albeit, the fine man in charge of the service deemed it fitting to close out the service when he did and I was not able to convey that last part as I had wished.
The service was good; the singing and music was good; the food was plentiful and all delicious. Even with the absence of Dad, one could not help but rejoice in the Lord for His great faithfulness. That same God, we know, will remain faithful unto His servant through it all.
We rushed home back to Reidsville, in time for AWANA and evening worship. We had a wonderful time of fellowship after church last night with lots of homemade ice cream and outstanding desserts. Even better was the fellowship we share together because of Jesus' love for us. My prayer is that we will desire to spread that love, the love of Jesus, all around and that we will eagerly desire to share that sense of family and fellowship with all of our neighbors.

Quote of the day: "The only thing that will ultimately break the power of sin is passion for Jesus." -- Sam Storms
Pleasures Evermore: The Life-Changing Power of Enjoying God

Monday, September 10, 2007


It has been awhile since I have been able to post here, and there has been much that has transpired.
Of course you have seen the previous entries where we have discussed event's in Rachael's life -- her Dad's cancer and continuing fight, her grandmother's death. While my mother was in the hospital for a hernia operation, my Dad was complaining that he did not feel right, and he felt within himself that something was not right. He was tested as the days went by, and has been diagnosed with large cell lymphoma. He began chemotherapy on Wednesday. Now, he is very sick and weak as a result of the treatment. His oncologist says that there is a good prognosis for this cancer, but going through the chemo will weaken my father. He was deeply concerned going into this about Mother, as she too needs lots of help.
The title of this entry is "Humbled." Why? First I am humbled to think that God knew all of this before the foundation of the world, He knew what would be happening, and He already knows all of the outcomes. I am humbled that this great and awesome God has also chosen to call me "Child." Oh that the likes of a sinner like me can call upon Him as "Father." I don't deserve it; He is so merciful and gracious. I am humbled that in the midst of storms He remains true and faithful, and that He has promised that nothing can separate us from His infinite love.
I am humbled also at the outpouring of love and support from God's people. The words of comfort and encouragement, the promises of prayer, the deeds have been such a blessing and a support, immeasurable support. What an awesome thing to see and be a recipient of God's love through His people. My simple words of "thank you" seem so small in light of the greatness of folks' heart. But oh how I thank God for His people, and how humbled I am at the overflowing of love and concern. My prayer is that as I am privileged to minister that I will be as compassionate to others as folks have been to me and my family.