31 March 2010

Lessons from Riley Grace

Well, as many of you know, our little Riley Grace made her safe arrival into this world last Tuesday night (March 23). She weighed 6 lbs 6 oz and measured 19½ inches long. Mother and baby are both doing very well. All praise be to God!

Many people told us throughout the course of Lauren’s pregnancy that once our first little girl was born “life would never be the same.” I never doubted them. I just didn’t have any clue exactly what they meant.

Well, they were right. The blessing of being a parent totally changes everything. And there really is no better way to describe it than to say that “life will never be the same.” And that’s a good thing.

Just a couple quick things that have been on my mind the past week.

1. God really does answer prayer. Throughout the course of Lauren’s pregnancy and the entire 18+ hours of labor and delivery, we prayed some very specific prayers, and the Lord graciously granted some very specific answers. He didn’t have to, but He did. And we’re thankful for it.

2. I understand that we will never be able understand or explain or comprehend the “love of Christ, which passeth knowledge” (Ephesians 3:19), but I believe that watching the birth of my little girl last Tuesday night maybe inched me just a little bit closer. It seems the best example God can give of His love for us is the love of a parent for his child. “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him” (Psalm 103:13).

At the risk of sounding gushy, there is absolutely no way to describe the wave of love that completely overwhelmed me the moment my wife gave birth to little Riley. I mean I absolutely lost it the moment my little girl was born, and there’s just absolutely no way to describe the intensity of the love that has filled our hearts for this precious little gift from God.

If I can feel that strong and indescribable of a love for my little child as a weak, depraved, fallen human being, then “behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we might be called the sons of God…” (1 John 3:2).

If you ever come to the place where you doubt God’s love for you, either consider becoming a parent ;) or if you already are, think back to the day when your little child was born and you caught a slight, little glimpse of the amazing love God has for you.

Praise His name!

Lord willing, I’ll pick back up with regular posting in the very near future. In the meantime, please be in prayer for the 3rd annual youth rally at THE BIBLE Baptist Church on Saturday, April 17. We don’t just want to have fun or host an organized and efficient meeting, we want God to do a work in the life of some young person that will mean something in eternity.


18 March 2010

God Will Judge

Just a quick Bible note for those who are interested in that type of thing. There are 3 places I’ve been shown or have come across in the Bible where the Lord’s commandment or warning regarding a particular sin includes a definite, unmistakable promise of judgment. I’m not saying that God is not serious about the sins I commit, but He leaves no question as to the fact that He’s serious about these things:

--blaspheming His name

--corrupting the marriage bed

--troubling Christians

Let me know if you come across any others.

Exodus 20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

Galatians 5:10 I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.

16 March 2010

All These Things Are Against Me

Went to a preachers’ fellowship meeting last Tuesday, hosted by Astatula Baptist Church and Pastor Travis Lane. Heard some good preaching and enjoyed some good fellowship. Two of the speakers I had heard much about but had never heard preach: Glenn Riggs, pastor of Starlight Baptist Church in Orlando, FL, and Mickey Carter, pastor/founder of Landmark Baptist Church and College in Haines City, FL.

It was a blessing to hear an old saint (Bro. Carter) who has fought long and hard still standing strong on the word of God and excited about the Lord’s return.

Bro. Riggs preached from Genesis 42:36, where Jacob makes a statement many of us feel we can identify with from time to time: “All these things are against me.” He made some great points from the passage, so I wanted to pass along my notes.

INTRODUCTION: It sure looked this way in Jacob’s life at this point, but things are not always what they seem. Because “as [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7),” our attitude is so important.

1. There are and will be times in our lives, especially in the ministry, when it seems as if “all things are against us.” But it’s never quite as bad as we think it’s going to be.

2. In such times, we must never forget the lessons of the past. Many examples of God’s blessing and intervention in Jacob’s life. “In times like these it always help to remember that there have always been times like these” (Paul Harvey).

3. Our disadvantages often turn out to be our greatest opportunities. Nothing Jacob said in this verse was true. “Joseph is not.” He was. Bro. Riggs put it this way: “In fact, you ain’t gonna believe how is Joseph is.” Next, “Simeon is not.” But he was. And “ye will take Benjamin away.” That’s not at all what happened. In reality, God was about to turn everything around and do something great in Jacob’s life.

In Genesis 42:36, Jacob said, “All these things are against me.”

But in Romans 8:28, the Bible says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Then in verse 31, “If God be for us, who can be against us?”

Praise the Lord!

12 March 2010

Bearing Burdens

Sorry it's been a while since I've posted. Quick entry here. Brother James preached an excellent message last Sunday morning from Galatians 6 on the subject of bearing burdens. Click here to listen.

Give some thought to these convicting questions from Job 26:2-4.
  • How hast thou helped him that is without power?
  • How savest thou the arm that hath no strength?
  • How hast thou counselled him that hath no wisdom?
  • How hast thou plentifully declared the thing as it is?
  • To whom hast thou uttered words? And whose spirit came from thee?
May the Lord richly bless your service in His name.