Monday, March 30, 2009

Weekly Wrap Up

Greetings Blogging bunch! I will start this post by letting you know that this will probably be a little lengthy, so I apologize in advance. Last week was the annual City Wide Revival put on by I.M.A. . I was excited for 2 reasons, first because I really needed to be preached to and secondly this would be my first event as president of the I.M.A. Our evangelist for the week was, Rev. Dr. James A. Boyd, pastor of the Zion Gate Missionary Baptist Church of Columbus, Mississippi. Dr. Boyd has served as the pastor of this church for almost 44 years! He preached with power and passion each night, challenging both clergy and congregation to live up to our God given potential. He was truly a blessing to the body and I look forward to hearing more from him.

Normally, during the revival, we have noon day services featuring local pastors. However, over the past few years, attendance has been extremely low. Because of the drop off in attendance, we decided to combine the noon day into the night service and allow the local pastors to lecture. This turned out to be a wonderful idea! All the pastors were to lecture from an invitational passage of the bible. I was selected for the lecture on Friday night. The passage I chose was Matthew 11:28-30. It was simply called, "An invitation to rest" Here's the outline:

1. Request (Come unto me)
2. Requirement (All you that labor and are heavy laden)
3. Reward (I will give you rest)
4. Responsibility (Take my yoke upon you and learn of me)
5. Resume (I am meek and lowly in heart)
6. Revelation (You shall find rest unto your soul)
7. Report (My yoke is easy and my burden is light)

God blessed as I did my best to keep this at a lecture! This revival was truly a wonderful experience as Dr. Boyd shared with the pastors and ministers some of the pleasures and pitfalls of pastoring.

After hearing such a great week of preaching, I could not wait to get to the pulpit on Sunday! As always, we started out public worship day with Early Morning Prayer. The topic for the day was being available.. My heart was lifted as the prayers of the saints went forth. It was amazing to see the people of God crying out to Him for them to be available to be used by Him.

The choir truly blessed us and set the tone for worship. I approached the preaching moment with anticipation of something transformitive happening in the lives of the people of God as a result of hearing the Word of God! We continued in our series, "No more drama". The passage for the preaching moment was James 2:1-4. The message was entitled "The problem with partiality" Here's the basic outline:

1. Adverse Contradiction (v.1)

2. Absence of Consideration (v.2-3)

3. Antagonistic Conclusion (v.4)

God blessed the exposition and presentation as we were challenged to not show favoritism. The closing argument was simply this. We are no better then anyone and all of us have what we have, simply because of God's grace! It's not that we've applied ourselves, been good, been careful, made all the right decisions, or even the fact that we are saved, it is simply God' grace!

The IMA started a night worship on 5th Sunday nights at 7pm. This is part of fulfilling the three-fold vision of the IMA: 1. Restoring the Worship 2. Reclaiming our Witness 3. Reconciling the World. Our preacher was Rev. Dwight L Gutridge, pastor of the St. Luke AME Zion church of Gary, Indiana. We were truly blessed as he encouraged us on what to do when your life is a mess. This was a tremendous day of worship and I believe that God was pleased with our offering of public worship!

Pray for us this week as we continue to "Serve the Lord with gladness"!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday Summary

What a day of worship this Lord's Day! I arrived back home yesterday from a wonderful Georgia trip extremely tired. I will admit early that I did not think that today was going to be a good day. It really started off rocky as I overslept for prayer meeting. I really don't like to miss prayer meeting. I pledged to myself that I would do better in the future!

When I arrived at church, I was greeted warmly by the saints at BBC! The saying is true, "There's no place like home!" I was happy to see my church family. Service started for me with a very lively devotion, which really set the tone for morning worship! The choir blessed us with beautiful songs of Zion, which continued to build the worship experience!

I was very excited about preaching in my pulpit on today! I couldn't wait to get back to our series. today we continued in James 1:26-27 ESV, which says, "If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. The message was entitled, "Do you got good religion? Here's the basic outline:

Good Religion involves:

1. Dialogue (26)

2. Duty (27a)

3. Detachment (27b)

This message was well received by the congregation! Praise God for His Word! I really thank God for BBC! God has blessed me to pastor a great church with great people!

My day of public worship concluded with an evening service at the Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church here in our city, where the pastor is Rev. Larry W. Davidson. Pastor Davidson is a member at BBC, so I was happy to have been invited to share with him and his congregation. Greater Friendship is a wonderful church with a very powerful youth ministry. We were there to celebrate their Nurses Anniversary.

This was going to be my fifth sermon in as many days and I really didnt know how much I had left. The longer I'm in ministry, the more real the scripture becomes that says,"His strength is made perfect in my weakness". I wanted to encourage the nurses especially and the congregation to continue to serve in spite of obstacles that they may face. I preached a message from Hebrews 12:1-2, entitled, "Being committed to the cause" Here's the basic outline:

To be committed to the cause, you must:

1. Embrace your cross (2a)

2. Erase your contempt (2b)

3. Elevate your condition (2c)

God blessed the message and gave me power to preach it! This has been a great welcome home day for me. I was glad to see family, friends, and have an opportunity to fellowship. I'm exhausted and ready tp rest. Thank God for monday! Pray for me this week! God Bless!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Revival Night 3

Tonight we had a wonderful closeout of this revival! We were blessed with the presence of the vice moderator and several other pastors. The New Beginnings Choir really took me back with their singing. They sang one of my favorite songs, "God specializes in things that seem impossible".

I was ready to preach after that, but Pastor Vincent T. Ellison took us to another level as he sang the sermonic hymn. He is truly a gifted man of God. I was blessed by his fellowship. Tonight, we concluded with a message from 2 Corinthians 4:17 entitled, "The pleasure of persecution". Here's the basic outline:

1. Your suffering is not serious

2. Your suffering won't stay

3. Your suffering causes success

God blessed in a marvelous way and the people praised over the preached word! When I was done preaching, Pastor Ellison sang, "When the gates swing open", when he did this HE DUMPED THE HOUSE!!! You can check him out on you tube!

All in all this was a great week of revival, and I am grateful to God for allowing me to come and share my convictions. However, I am ready to go back home and see my family and the people of BBC! God Bless!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Revival Night 2

Tonight was another great night of revival! I'm in agreement with the saying that every round goes higher and higher! We were blessed tonight with the presence of several local pastors who showed themselves to be very friendly.

Tonight, I preached from Job 1:8-12 although some of the sermon material covered the entire book of Job. The message was entitled, "What to do when the hedge is removed" Here's the basic outline.

When the hedge is removed, you must:

1. Worship

2. Witness

3. Wait

God blessed the exposition and presentation of this passage! The people were both receptive and responsive to the preaching. This has been a tremendous revival and I am sad that it is coming to an end. New Beginnings is a great church with a great pastor. I am so grateful to God for allowing me to meet Pastor Johnson. After worship, the preachers and I enjoyed a rich and warm fellowship at a restaurant.

It's late, I'm tired, and have a full day on tomorrow. God Bless!

Revival Night 1

Today was an awesome day! I flew out from Chicago at 6am, and landed safely in Atlanta! God be praised. Pastor Johnson and his associate minister Rev. Churchwell met me at the airport and were very helpful and friendly. I was so excited to be back in Columbus, GA! I was really excited about preaching this year. Not only because I get an opportunity to express my convictions about Christ, but when I arrived last year, I was sick and had no voice and preaching those 5 nights was a struggle for me. Thanks be to God, that this year, I am feeling fine.

They dropped me off at my room to get some rest and I could hardly rest because of the excitement I had about preaching! When we arrived at church, people were already there excited about the revival. Pastor Johnson did something very unique and commendable in my view. The church gathered on Monday and Tuesday to pray for the revival. Needless to say, that after 2 powerful days of prayer, there was an atmosphere of praise in the place!

I anxiously approached the preaching moment and as it drew closer, I had to ask the Lord to calm me down so I could communicate His Word clearly. Tonight I preached a message from Daniel 3:15-18, entitled "Furnace Faith" Here's the outline.

Furnace Faith:

1. Accepts the Challenge

2. Announces the Creator

3. Astounds the Critics

God blessed the exposition and presentation of this passage! The people were both receptive and responsive to the preached Word! God gave further evidence of His presence, as a little girl came to give her life to the Lord! Hallelujah!!! I am really looking forward to the remainder of this revival as we are expecting God to continue to manifest Himself in the place!

I'm going to bed now so that I can be rested and refreshed! See you tomorrow! God Bless and pray for us!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sunday Summary

We had a wonderful day of worship this past Lord's Day at BBC! I got started late, because I forgot to set my clock an hour ahead. Therefore, I missed prayer meeting. I thought my day was going downhill from there. However, I could tell when I arrived that the saints at BBC had been in prayer! I arrived ready to preach God's Word!

We were few in number, but mighty in spirit! I was extremely blessed by the ministry of the mass choir ! They really prepare the worshipers for the Word of God! We continued in our series entitled, " No more Drama". Sunday's message was from the book of James. I preached a message from James 1:12-17, entitled " A Tussle with Temptation" Here's the basic outline:

1. Resist the strength of temptation

2. Recognize the source of temptation

3. Remember the solution for temptation

God really blessed the exposition and the presentation of this message! I am grateful to God for this series! It has been a blessing to me as well as the people of God!

Pray for me as I will be travelling to Columbus, Georgia as the guest evangelist at the New Beginnings Baptist Church, where the pastor is fellow blogger Rev. J.D. Johnson, , for their Spring Revival. This is my 2nd year preaching for Pastor Johnson and I am really excited. He has a group of believers that are really on fire for God. They are both receptive and responsive to the preaching of the Word of God! I will post during each night of the revival! See you soon!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday Summary

We had a wonderful day of worship this Lord's Day at BBC! Our Christian Education Dept. is in charge of Early Morning Prayer Meeting this month. The topic of today was compassion. The Spirit of God really moved in the place as the people poured out their hearts to God asking Him to place it in their hearts to be more compassionate toward their fellow man. The desire of the prayer meeting was that we would be as compassionate with others as God is with us! Through this ministry of prayer I am watching the Saints at BBC mature right in front of me! God be praised!

Worship started off with a bang as we baptized 5 new converts into the family of God! Our choir was really on point today and everything flowed just perfect. I normally don't list the songs they sing but I really want to share as much of my worship experience with you as possible. Our choir opened up with, "God is an awesome God", followed by "My worship is for real"! This really charged the atmosphere as the Saints went up in Praise and Thanksgiving to our God. After altar prayer, the choir continued with "Because of who you are" and "Calvary". Praise God for a music director that is in tune with the Spirit of God and can move as God is moving!

This set the atmosphere for preaching! I was really excited about beginning this new preaching series. The series is called "No More Drama". The first message was from 1 Thessalonians 4:11, which says, "And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you." The message was entitled, "Drama Free Living". Here's the basic outline:

1. Manage your behavior (Study to be quiet)

2. Mind your business (Do your own business)

3. Move your body (Work with your own hands)

God blessed the exposition of this passage! I was not expecting a celebratory response from preaching like this, but I received some very favorable feedback from this message! Several members came up to me and said that this is exactly what they needed. God be praised!

I believe that God was pleased with our offering of corporate worship on today! Pray for us this week as we continuously endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace! God Bless!

I also wanted to let my blogging family know that you can catch a glimpse of a worship experience at BBC via youtube! Have a great week and see you on Wednesday!