Someone once said if you want to make God laugh show him your five-year plan. Life is not always what we expect but as we follow Him it is always blessed. As many of you know this year has been a time of unexpected changes in my ministry life. I concluded my 2+ years of ministry in the pulpit of Bible Center Church in April. In August, I completed my 12 years of ministry at BCC. I have spent the last months traveling, (including a wonderful time serving missionaries in South America) and accelerating work on my Doctorate Degree.
Now the Lord has revealed what the next step in my ministry is to be. Through a remarkable set of God-controlled events I will begin serving as Interim Pastor of Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Charleston beginning in January. Pastor David Mitchell has served there wonderfully and faithfully for the past 24 years and is retiring the last Sunday of 2010. Mount Calvary Baptist has served in the Kanawha Valley for more than 100 years. The Church is blessed with a wonderful staff and excellent facilities located just off the Westmoreland Exit of I77 (one exit north of the 77 – 64 split). I will begin filling the pulpit on Sunday January 2nd and after the service on Jan. 9 the congregation will vote on the recommendation of the Deacons to approve this. I am looking forward to getting to know and serve the people who worship at Mount Calvary.
Another development is that Mount Calvary Baptist will also launch a Sunday morning broadcast on AM58 WCHS on January 2nd from 7:30-8:00 a.m. This spot has been served by Pastor Bobby Sizemore as a ministry of Elkview Baptist Church for many years, and I will do my best to continue to serve the listeners with quality Bible teaching in that location and time. Listen in if you get the chance.
While I wait for the Lord to direct to an opportunity for a full-time and permanent ministry I am excited to tackle this next task. I would appreciate your prayers in these next days. Thank you so much for all of the love and encouragement so many of you have shown over the past months.
I have recently been involved in an online conversation about why God would choose Shepherds to be the first ones to hear about the birth of His Son. The comments generally revolved around the connection to Jesus being the Good Shepherd, the Son of David who was a Shepherd or the fact that they were low and humble. While thinking about this I come to an even more fundamental and I believe, profound conclusion: God wanted to deliver a message. That night He chose the extraordinary means of a multitude of angels filling the sky, but He got the message across; a message of peace and goodwill and a Savior born. He directed them via the angelic announcement to find Jesus wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.
God does not often use such extreme measures to deliver news to us. He usually speaks through His all-time best seller and the only book He has written; the Bible. Our responsibility? To listen! In this case you have access to the source documents, to firsthand accounts of what God had determined for you to know. What a blessing to know that God wants to speak to you.
This Christmas please plan to invest some time digging into God’s Word, privately and with others. He has delivered on His part, are you delivering on yours?
Recently I needed to move a large bookcase my father had built for me (see picture below) it is beautiful, and has a built-in 55 gal. aquarium. It is huge and it is heavy. It is way beyond my ability to move. I remember that someone once said that the one thing better than having a truck, is having a friend that has one! So I called a dear friend who showed up with a huge truck complete with hydraulic life and couple of other well-muscled men. I still had to shoulder my corner of the bookcase but the gracious help of these friends got the job done.
Peter describes our Lord as “the God of all grace.” Earlier we looked at the “God” part and the “All” part, so now we want to think about the “Grace” part. Grace can be defined as God’s help in our need. That is why the bookcase story is a great example of this. The gracious act of these made a job that was too big for me possible. His grace can move even impossible things that maybe staring at you. Those things that keep you up and night and steal your joy in the day. He can move it!
So what is that huge – immovable thing in your life? That one thing that is way too big for you to budge? Maybe it is time to trust in the God of all grace. Count on His help to be there for you in your need. Renew your confidence in His showing up when you need strength beyond yourself. He won’t let you down.
Would you take three minutes and help a seminary student out? I have added three quick questions to my ongoing poll which is part of my research for my Doctoral Dissertation. I need as many responses as I can get, I so appreciate your taking the time to answer these three questions. NOTE: You will have to use your browsers “Back” button to get back to the questions page to answer the next question. Thanks so much for your help!