Monday, January 26, 2009

Sunday Summary

What a day of worship today!!! I got a chance to sleep in this morning, at the advice of Deacon Trellis Porter. He conducted prayer service in my stead and I am grateful to God for his faithfulness and leadership that he demonstrates in BBC! I have a good group of men that I can depend on, and I am eternally grateful for them.

When I got to BBC, I was very rested and restless at the same time. I was excited about preaching! The worship service was a real blessing to the people of God! I approached the preaching moment with great anticipation, and after my hymn of preparation, "Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross" I was ready. I preached a message from Luke 13:10-13. I struggled with a title for this message all week long almost until the preaching moment. When I was in the pulpit, the title came to me, "Jesus can straighten it out" Here's the outline:

1. Her Condition
A. Cause
B. Crippling
C. Commitment

2. Her Call
A. Consideration
B. Command
C. Communication

3. Her Cure
A. Contact
B. Comfort
C. Celebration

God truly blessed the exposition of this text! We had a very high time in the Lord, as a result of the preaching of the Gospel!

I was also glad to see my family from Gary come to worship with us. They were in attendance because at 4pm, I was going to be installed as the President of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of St. Joseph County. Thia is a tremendous honor for me and I am thankful for the opportunity to serve with such great pastors and preachers as those of the South Bend area!

For an occasion such as this, I could not think of anyone greater to preach than my pastor, Dr. Isaac Culver, Jr. He preached his can off!!! We were charged and challenged to seize the opportunity that God has blessed us with! I thank God for my pastor!! I really look forward to serving with the other officers and members of the IMA!! I believe that God is going to do great things for us as we seek to make St. Joseph County a better place to live for all.

Pray for us as we go to work! In closing, I want to thank God for BBC as well as my family for sharing me with others so that we can be a blessing to someone. For the words of the song ring true, "If I can help someone along the way, If I can help someone with a word or a song, or if I can help some sinner who has gone wrong, THEN my living shall not be in vain".

God Bless!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wednesday in the Word

This has been a wonderful Wednesday in the Word! All of our classes resumed on today! I was extremely excited about teaching Bible Class and Sunday School teacher's meeting again. When it was time for our "Hour of Power" class, I was presently surprised with the attendance. Our class was very insightful and a blessing to be involved with.

When it was time for Sunday School teacher's meeting, I was bubbling over with joy over something that the Lord had revealed to me! The lesson for this Sunday is a very great lesson entitled, Preparing for Commitment, taken from Judges 13. This is the story of the events preceding the birth of Samson.

There were several things that popped out at me, but I will just share a few of them in this post. The first thing I saw was an excitement about the Word of God. The wife of Manoah received a Word from God that she was going to have a son. This was great news to her because she was barren! She was genuinely excited about this Word from God. I f we will be committed Christians, we must become excited about the Word of God. I wonder about the level of excitement about the Word of God that exists in some churches today. There is never a problem filling up a concert or an athletic event, but many times we are hard pressed to find people who are genuinely excited about the Word of God!

Now her excitement was demonstrated by what she did next. Her excitement led to evangelism. She immediately went and told her husband about all of the wonderful things that she had heard from the Man of God. If our excitement is authentic, it will lead us into doing something other than being excited. Often times there are emotional moments that end up with empty meaning because there has been no action. We can sing, shout, or fall out, but what do we do when that is done? She went and told her husband! We see evangelism all in this. When we are excited about God, we don't have a problem telling others about His goodness, His faithfulness, and His mighty acts toward us. We must be committed to telling others about the good news of Jesus Christ!

The last thing I would like to lift here is Manoah's eagerness to respond to the Word of God! As soon as he heard this, the text records that he went into prayer! This was not a prayer of doubt, but of faith. He went to God to ask Him what was he supposed to do as a result of hearing the Word of God. I asked the class how often do they go home after church and ask God about what they are supposed to do as a result of hearing His Word. I also asked about how many are praying for God to show them what to do when preaching is taking place. The lesson ends with a very simple biblical principle. Manoah's wife did what God said and as a result, she got what God said that she could have!

Bible Study was off the chain! I wish I could share the whole lesson with you. We continued in the book of Romans. Today we looked at Romans 3:1-8. Previously we dealt with how God deals with the heathen and the hypocrite. Today we dealt with How God deals with the Hebrew. The Jews believed that they had certain advantages and privileges because they were God's chosen people. Paul quickly refuted this by letting them know that neither their rites or religion could save them. So then the question was asked, "What advantage has the Jew, or what benefit is there from circumcision?" Paul responded by saying that the advantage they had was that they had the oracles of God committed to them. What an advantage!!! These things that they put their trust in could not save them but, they identified them as children of God. We need to be mindful of this same truth. Remember the context, "The just shall live by faith!"

I like how how lesson ended with verse 8. Paul was accused of teaching that you should do evil, so that good may come. I like how Paul handled this, he didn't! He gave the matter over to God to let Him handle it! How much further along and better would we be if we would do just that? Paul did not validate or qualify their statements, he just gave them to the Lord. We waste too much time chasing down gossip and rumors. You can never stop people from talking about you. However, you can make sure that what they are saying is not true.

Today was a great day and I thank God for it! Pray for me as I have another day full of meetings!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up

This was a wonderful weekend filled with worship of a worthy God!! Our Early Morning prayer service was very uplifting as the prayer warriors at BBC prayed concerning servant hood this past Lord's Day! I am always strengthened by the prayers of the saints!

On Sunday, we celebrated our Officer's Installation Service during the morning worship. Our special guest was Rev Dr. Marion J Johnson, Jr, pastor of the Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church of Gary, In. He preached a timely message from Exodus 17, entitled "The driving force behind ministry". Our officers were then installed and charged with the task of leadership and following leadership for the upcoming year. I am expecting great things from our leadership this year!

On Sunday afternoon, the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of St. Joseph County, held it's Annual MLK service. This worship experience was held at the Greater St. John MBC, where Rev. Andre A. McGhee is the pastor. Our very special guest was Pastor Addis Moore and the Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Kalamazoo, Michigan. I can only describe it this way, "We had us some church up in there, up in there!" His choir was phenomenal, but paled in comparison to the preached word from Dr. Moore. His text was 2 Chronicles 7:14, and his message was entitled, "The power is in the Church". This was a call for the church to be the church because we have been given a Divine obligation to bring change in the lives of those that we come in contact with. I was really challenged and inspired to do more as a result of the preached Word!!

One of the things that I absolutely love about South Bend is the amount of things that they do to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and his legacy. There are things going on from 7:30 in the morning until 9:00 at night, and they are all enjoyable. I participated in the Traditional March that goes from the County-City building to the Convention Center. This is a wonderful event and it always puts me in the mind frame of those who marched for our rights and civil liberties.

During the ceremony that preceded the march, I was asked to participate in the Night Worship Service as the speaker. I humbly and graciously accepted. I was grateful for the opportunity and I believe that God was pleased with the presentation. I am really grateful to God for all of the doors of ministry that only He can provide. I can truly say that not only am I walking in my Divine purpose, but I'm living out my dreams at the same time to serve humanity and make a difference with the life and time that God has given me! Hallelujah!!!

I am really excited about Bible Study on tomorrow. I didn't get to teach last week because we were snowed in. Hopefully the weather will not present these problems tomorrow. I am also excited about preaching on Sunday! Pray for us as we continue in the grace of our God!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wednesday WOW!!

I saw this clip on Pastor HB Charles Facebook page and thought it would make interesting conversation. Please tell me what you think!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up

This past weekend has been one of the most exciting weekends of my ministry! On Saturday about 60 saints from BBC and GCC joined together to minister to the needs of the community. There was a truck of food and personal care items that we passed out in Harbor Homes, which is a housing development near BBC. This may not sound like much until I tell you that there was 8 inches of snow on the ground! In spite of all of the snow, everyone was enthusiastic about meeting the immediate need of these residents. Every home that we went to, we were received warmly and had an opportunity to meet new families and pray for them. This was a great expression and I know that the residents of Harbor Homes were appreciative! Every time I think about it, I get excited all over again! Several of the members that participated are now eager to do more ministry outside of the walls of the church building!

With this kind of Saturday, I could not wait until Sunday to preach. I must admit that sermon preparation was difficult for me this week because of the text that I was going to preach. When I read the blogs of Pastor Ray Owens and Pastor Ronald Saunders, I noticed that both of them recently preached wonderful messages on the same passage. In my preparation, I did not want to run into either one of their outlines and I still wanted to be doctrinally sound and socially relevant.

When I arrived at BBC on Sunday morning for prayer, I was still bubbly from the day before. Our prayer service was spirited as we petitioned God about relationships, ours with Him and the ours with others. I'm a firm believer that if we can relate to God right, we should have no problem relating to one another. This prayer service has been a blessing to our church.

This past Sunday, we were blessed by songs from our Male Chorus. I approached the preaching moment with great anticipation. I am extremely grateful to God for counting me faithful enough to preach His word! I preached a message from Luke 13:6-9. This is the parable of the barren fig tree. At points in our existence, all of our lives have mirrored this fig tree. We have been positioned in a good place, given access to sufficient resources, and consistently fail to produce. I got happy when the Liaison said let it alone this year also. The word also suggests that this wasn't the first time that the Owner wanted the tree down, but thank God for the Liaison!! The message was entitled " Let it alone this year also". Here's the basic outline:

1. The action fitting judgment.

2. The announcement foretelling judgment.

3. The appeal forgoing judgment.

God really blessed the exposition as several members came to me after church desiring to be more involved. I look forward to what God is going to do through our church in 2009!

After morning worship, Pastor McGhee and I travelled back home to Gary to attend the 12 Night Revival. Pastor Keith Winfield and Pastor Raymond McDonald II both preached excellent messages. I really thank God for the fellowship that exists between the pastors in Gary. It is a breath of fresh air to see so many men of God come together and worship. On yesterday we went back down to hear the President of the conference, who happens to be my pastor, Rev Isaac Culver Jr., pastor of the Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church of Gary. He preached a timely message from Esther entitled "It's your time!" I may be a little biased, but my pastor set the place on fire last night!

I pray that God was pleased with our offerings of worship!

Pray for us as Bible Study resumes this Wednesday, so the Wednesday in the Word posts will resume as well. God Bless!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Sunday Summary

Happy New Year to my blog family! I pray God's choicest blessings upon you all this year. We had an delightful day of worship at BBC this past Lord's Day. The Hospitality Ministry is providing leadership in prayer for this month. The topic of prayer for this past Sunday was Restoration and Renewal. There has been a spirit of heaviness in our church do to the recent misfortune of one of the members, but the prayers were fervent and God answered!

We started off this year baptizing 2 adults. This set the tone for worship! I was expecting our morning worship to be a little bumpy because we did some rearranging to our order of worship. I think the changes will allow the service to flow better and make a better worship experience for all. I was ready and eager to preach in spite of the few bumps in the road. I preached a message from Ecclesiastes 7:13-14, entitled "How to be Better". Here's the basic outline.

1. Recognize Dominion

2. Responsible Duty

3. Regular Dependence

I experienced some vocal problems and my delivery was a little off, but God has a way of making up the difference. God blessed the exposition and when the call to Christian Discipleship was extended 3 new candidates for baptism came forward! God Be Praised!!

Pastor McGhee and I traveled back home to Gary to attend the 31st annual 12 Night Revival. The revival is the first 12 nights of the year at a different location with a different evangelist every night, except on Sundays where there are 2 evangelists. We were blessed to hear Pastor Thomas Fuller of the Holy Bethel Baptist Church of Gary and Pastor Levern Swain of the Koinonia Baptist Church of Gary. Both preachers preached excellent messages. I was extremely blessed by the preaching of the gospel!

Pray for us this week as everything is back to normal and at full speed. We began our Food Pantry this past Sunday and on Saturday, BBC along with Grainger Community Church will be distributing 100 food baskets and 100 boxes of personal care items to Harbor Homes which is a housing development close to BBC. This is a good way to start off the new year and I look forward to partnering with our friends and co-laborers in Christ from GCC!