Sunday, January 25, 2009

Thankful for the Lord's Blessing

Well it's been a good day in the life of this preacher. Preaching in 3 services today, preaching the Gospel message of salvation with lost people present, seeing the Lord speak to the hearts of people, experiencing the wonderful fellowship and encouragement of God's people, seeing new visitors, dedicating two precious babies to God, having two people join our church today and another person make a rededication decision, getting to engage some young adults in a Bible Study class with some hard questions in a Biblical text, having the presence of God's Holy Spirit inhabit the praises of His people; I can say with the Psalmist David in Psalm 122:1 "I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go into the house of the Lord!"
As I drove home this afternoon I thanked the Lord for allowing me to pastor and shepherd a church again as a senior pastor. All the stuff I do throughout the week in preparation for Sunday is worth the labor and effort when the preaching moment appears. Being a vessel that God uses to proclaim His truth is an amazing experience and humbling that the God of the universe would use me at all. Particularly in our morning services, I have the same text of Scripture, the same set of notes to keep me on target but the message in the 8:30 service was different that what God said through me in the 11:00 a.m. service. Two different audiences, two different needs and so the Lord graciously answered my prayer for today's ministry.
As I go to bed tonight, exhuasted and tired, having given the Lord my best today and leaving all I had on the playing field, it is a great feeling knowing I did my best to glorify God today in what He's called me to do.
So what about you? Did you give God your best today in worship? Did you leave it all on the playing field in ministry to glorify the Lord Jesus? If not, why not? Did you even recognize Sunday as "The Lord's Day"? Okay what will you do tomorrow? 1st Corinthians 10:31 commands us "So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." Will you choose to be the best you can be at what ever it is that you do? God is pleased and desires your very best. Think about it and then choose to do your best to glorify God.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Celebrating the Ravens Win

Baltimore what? Oh that's right the Ravens. Their baseball team is the Orioles. What is it with the "bird" name teams? I guess the Baltimore pro sports teams are for the birds. All day long today in running my errands that I had to do, I saw cars proudly displaying their Ravens flags. Today the Ravens played the Tennessee Titans in the 2nd round of the AFC playoffs and this town is a buzz with excitement. My son Garrett got invited to a new friend's house for a Ravens playoff party. The thought of 11 year old Garrett enjoying a football game from start to finish is downright prepostrous since he can't sit still for anything. Yet he did and apparently had a ball.
For the first time since I don't know when, I actually sat down and watched a pro football game from start to finish. I have to learn about this team everyone is so fired up about here. In watching this game, I learned that the Ravens are a tough, gritty team that refuse to quit. At the end of the day, they won and defeated one of the best teams in football. So how bout them Ravens! Gives me something to start discussions with my new friends here in Maryland.
In watching this game, a spiritual truth comes to mind for believers who are disciples of Jesus Christ. The battle is hard, but Jesus promised us that if we endure to the end, we will be saved (Matt. 10:22). While the outcome of the Ravens/Titans game was in doubt until the final seconds; for Christians, victory is secure, not because of us, but because of what Christ did on the cross and by His resurrection. Jesus told his disciples in John 16:33 "...In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." So child of God, hang in there, persevere in your faith in Christ, endure, we win in the end. In the mean time, go Ravens:)

Friday, January 9, 2009

I guess it had to happen

Well I never thought I'd have a blog. I used to think it was a big waste of time. It seems in the world we live in, communication is vital. I've decided in light of my new position as the Senior Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Bel Air, Maryland; this might be an effective way to communicate and teach more people. As the Lord leads, I'll blog. If it's helpful to you, feel free to share it. I've been told I have "a way with words". I used to do a newsletter when I was a pastor in New England that was widely read but my distribution list is so old by now, it is useless.
Hopefully, this will be a way for me to share the Lord's working through my ministry here. And so the story begins....