As I write this, my heart is full of gratitude and thanksgiving to the Lord for you as we asked you to help us take advantage of an opportunity for outreach with the Bel Air Festival of the Arts. We as a staff had to make a tough decision as to where we were going to devote our energies by choosing not to do the farm fair and focusing on a major event that would bring nearly 20,000 people into our back yard. By being flexible and working together, opening our parking lot for people going to the festival, we were able to give out about 445 gift bags, each with a flier about Calvary and our ministries, a gift, a gospel tract and a gospel presentation on CD. No matter what responsibility you had that day or leading up to it, you had a major impact on our community and more importantly for the Kingdom of God. I am so proud of you, I nearly have buttons popping of my shirt. We’ve already gotten some great feedback from the community and even some of our neighbors who were impressed we’d open our facility this way. We’ll see how the Lord uses that outreach to draw people to Himself.
We’ve got another opportunity to take advantage of with Dr. Cky Carrigan who will be sharing with us Oct. 10-11. I know I’m asking a lot of you to give up a Saturday morning to come to this conference, but let me share with you why you need to come to this entire event. You see this morning, I was sitting in a doctor’s office waiting for a lab tech to prick me to draw blood for my annual checkup. I struck up a conversation with her about how long she’d been sticking people (26 years). She’s trying to slow down as she put it because life is too short. I shared with her about preaching Mrs. Ruby Rose’s funeral on Tuesday and what a blessing to share Jesus with the people who came. Instantly she responded about what a blessing her faith is, how it sustains her and so forth. She sounded like she believed just like me. I spoke of the Lord Jesus Christ and how my faith in Him is the most important thing for me also. I asked her where she goes to church and she said she’s a Jehovah’s Witness. Instantly, my brain was racing trying to remember my seminary training and trying to recall the deal with the JW’s. Sadly, I was caught off guard and wasn’t ready, didn’t have ammo in my rusty brain to dialogue with her about the reality that the JW’s don’t worship the same Jesus. While she was using the right terms and phrases, what she and I were talking about was not the same. The sobering reality is, unless this woman comes to love the Jesus of the Bible and not some man-made “Jesus”, even though she is sincere, she will go to Hell. I was so sad walking out of that office that I wasn’t prepared to share the genuine Jesus with her. I knew enough from my training to recognize a counterfeit but to listen to this woman, right terminology, sweet lady, Satan whispering in my ear that she’s okay, Holy Spirit convicting me she’s lost; I thought boy I can’t wait for Dr. Carrigan to teach us in October. No doubt you’ve had a similar experience somewhere along the way. See Paul warned the Corinthian Church about counterfeits in 2nd Cor. 11:14-15 “And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it so no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works.” My job as your shepherd is to protect you from counterfeits so you are not drawn away in your faith, and to equip you with tools to reach people like this lady. I know if I need this, you do also. My friend Dr. Carrigan is an expert in cults and world religions and he as an amazing ability to help us understand in simple terms how to spot a counterfeit and to equip us to share the Jesus of the Bible. Make your reservations today as this conference is upon us quickly.
On a personal note, when you get this issue of The Way, our family will be moving from our townhouse to a home in Bel Air. We are so excited at the Lord’s provision for this need for our family. Once we get settled, we look forward to hosting an open house for you our church family. We’re thrilled to have permanent housing and sink roots deeper into our field of service. I’d appreciate your continued prayers that we sell our home in Houston as it is still on the market there. I want to take advantage of every opportunity, from my little corner of the world to yours…
Senior Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church