Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Preaching the Gospel to myself and Harbor Church

In early December I started something new in my life. I am an interim pastor as well as a church planter. Presently, the launch group/core group/Advent Mission Church meets on Sunday nights at 5 PM in my home. Thus, my Sunday mornings have been used to speak in other churches and visit the Steele Creek Churches in the SW portion of Charlotte.

I was approached by my good friend Bill Heard, former pastor of Harbor Church, if I was willing to preach and help lead the church he founded 14 years ago -- not as a full-time pastor but as an interim.

What is an interim - I don't really know.  What I do is preach every Sunday and I chair the elders meetings every month. I don't know how to care part time, or lead part time. I do like the freedom to talk about what I see as an outsider -- but who wants to be an outsider. I have never really held back saying what I see anywhere I have ever been. So I don't know what an interim pastor is but I do know what I want it to be.

I want to affirm the ministry that has been done in the past. I lot of blood sweat and tears - long nights, many prayers, joys and heart aches.

I want to be used to help prepare this church for the future - not just another pastor to move into town but for what God wants to do in Mooresville.

I am asking God to teach me, mold me and prepare me too. I desire God to grow the church and to grow me in the process.

If you would like to listen to the sermons I preach you can link to the church using my blog list. They have a poor camera that shows me with little hair but you will recognize the voice. I am presently preaching through the letter of James.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Prayer for 2010

I read the following on the blog of a fellow PCA pastor, it ministered to my soul and I hope you find in helpful too!

Scotty Smith, Pastor for Preaching, Teaching and Worship at Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee, wrote this gospel-soaked prayer that he wrote early on January 1st after reflecting on Joshua 24:14-15:

Most gracious Father, I’m sitting here sipping fresh coffee watching flames dance in the fireplace, early into the first day of the New Year, and I’m a most humbled and grateful man.

How I praise you that I’ve begun this New Year with a little better understanding of the gospel than I had last year… and the previous years. I’m already praying that I can say the same thing this time next year. For in the gospel you’ve given me everything I need for living… and for dying.

I respond to Joshua’s bold charge to the Israelites, not with a list of New Year’s resolutions about me and what I’m gonna do this year for you. Rather, I begin this year resolving to abandon myself more fully to everything Jesus has already accomplished for me… to the specific things he intends to do in me… and to the ways he purposes to live his life and mission through me. He is the promise keeper, not me.

Dear Father, that’s why serving you is much more than merely “desirable.” It’s the greatest privilege possible… the most honored calling conceivable… the purest delight imaginable! For Jesus is my Joshua—the one by which you have already saved me… and are presently saving me… and, one Day, will completely save me. With no sense of embarrassment or cliché, I gladly say, JESUS SAVES!

Knowing you by grace and being known by you in Jesus, makes throwing away my idols less like a painful sacrifice, and more like a liberating dance. For all my “empty nothings” have ever given me is momentary pleasure, along with lasting disaster. Remind me of this all year long when I lose “gospel-sanity,” and am tempted to think otherwise…

So my humble prayer and earnest longing for this New Year is this… for me, my family, and the household of faith of which you have made me a part… that we will consider our lives worth nothing to us, if only we may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given us—the task of testifying (by word and deed) to the gospel of your grace. (Acts 20:24).

So very Amen, I pray, in Jesus name, with great anticipation and much thanksgiving.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Bible Scholar has predicted the rapture of the church for 2010

Do NOT BELIEVE IT! You can read more here.

Here is some of his reasoning:

The number 5, Camping concluded, equals "atonement." Ten is "completeness." Seventeen means "heaven." Camping patiently explained how he reached his conclusion for May 21, 2011.

"Christ hung on the cross April 1, 33 A.D.," he began. "Now go to April 1 of 2011 A.D., and that's 1,978 years."

Camping then multiplied 1,978 by 365.2422 days - the number of days in each solar year, not to be confused with a calendar year.

Next, Camping noted that April 1 to May 21 encompasses 51 days. Add 51 to the sum of previous multiplication total, and it equals 722,500.

Camping realized that (5 x 10 x 17) x (5 x 10 x 17) = 722,500.

Or put into words: (Atonement x Completeness x Heaven), squared.

"Five times 10 times 17 is telling you a story," Camping said. "It's the story from the time Christ made payment for your sins until you're completely saved.

"I tell ya, I just about fell off my chair when I realized that," Camping said.

It is better if you simply live in light of the truth that God keeps his promises and we have a mission until He return. Let's be diligent to do what He has called us to!

I remember his teaching way back in 1988 - he was wrong then too!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Question for you & me for 2010

Copied from Don Whitney

Ten Questions to Ask at the Start of a New Year or On Your Birthday

Once, when the people of God had become careless in their relationship with Him, the Lord rebuked them through the prophet Haggai. "Consider your ways!" (Haggai 1:5) he declared, urging them to reflect on some of the things happening to them, and to evaluate their slipshod spirituality in light of what God had told them.

Even those most faithful to God occasionally need to pause and think about the direction of their lives. It's so easy to bump along from one busy week to another without ever stopping to ponder where we're going and where we should be going.

The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to stop, look up, and get our bearings. To that end, here are some questions to ask prayerfully in the presence of God.

1. What's one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?

2. What's the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?

3. What's the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?

4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?

5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?

6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?

7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?

8. What's the most important way you will, by God's grace, try to make this year different from last year?

9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?

10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in ten years? In eternity?

In addition to these ten questions, here are twenty-one more to help you "Consider your ways." Think on the entire list at one sitting, or answer one question each day for a month.
11. What's the most important decision you need to make this year?

12. What area of your life most needs simplifying, and what's one way you could simplify in that area?

13. What's the most important need you feel burdened to meet this year?

14. What habit would you most like to establish this year?

15. Who is the person you most want to encourage this year?

16. What is your most important financial goal this year, and what is the most important step you can take toward achieving it?

17. What's the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your work life this year?

18. What's one new way you could be a blessing to your pastor (or to another who ministers to you) this year?

19. What's one thing you could do this year to enrich the spiritual legacy you will leave to your children and grandchildren?

20. What book, in addition to the Bible, do you most want to read this year?

21. What one thing do you most regret about last year, and what will you do about it this year?

22. What single blessing from God do you want to seek most earnestly this year?

23. In what area of your life do you most need growth, and what will you do about it this year?

24. What's the most important trip you want to take this year?

25. What skill do you most want to learn or improve this year?

26. To what need or ministry will you try to give an unprecedented amount this year?

27. What's the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your commute this year?

28. What one biblical doctrine do you most want to understand better this year, and what will you do about it?

29. If those who know you best gave you one piece of advice, what would they say? Would they be right? What will you do about it?

30. What's the most important new item you want to buy this year?

31. In what area of your life do you most need change, and what will you do about it this year?

The value of many of these questions is not in their profundity, but in the simple fact that they bring an issue or commitment into focus. For example, just by articulating which person you most want to encourage this year is more likely to help you remember to encourage that person than if you hadn't considered the question.

If you've found these questions helpful, you might want to put them someplace—in a day planner, PDA, calendar, bulletin board, etc.—where you can review them more frequently than once a year.

So let's evaluate our lives, make plans and goals, and live this new year with biblical diligence, remembering that, "The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage" (Proverbs 21:5). But in all things let's also remember our dependence on our King who said, "Apart from Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5).