Thursday, November 22, 2007
I write to you on this Thanksgiving Evening finishing a full day. I have much to be thankful for and today only helps solidify that in my mind. We have had a really good day today as I was pleasantly surprised to be visited by one of my good friends who I went to school with out at Amazing Facts who was on his way down to Chattanooga. The rest of the crowd came over for lunch which included Stephen, Uncle Dave, Grandma, Jonathon Cherne who I have grown up with at Highland and of course me, Mom, and April. Mom and April prepared a tremendous meal which was no surprise. Later in the day my cousin JD came over to visit which it was great to see him as well. Today I am reminded of such a wonderful network of family and friends that I have. I am truly greatful for these people in my life. Though many of us face challenges each and every day in this world that never seems to slow down it is nice to take a day to pause to enjoy good food, fellowship, and most importantly to enjoy the people you are with. I hope all who are reading have had a wonderful Thanksgiving today.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
I just finished preaching my 2nd sermon in the last 3 weeks both having been in small churches in Kentucky. Two weeks ago I preached in Ashland, KY where there were maybe 30 people there. Today I preached in Leitchfield, KY which is just north of Mammoth Cave National Park about 2 hours away from where I live. This was another small church with about 20 people there. I would have to say this is one of the most enjoyable parts of my job as I get to go out to some of these rural churches and visit with the members and also give a sermon as well. I give all the glory to God for Him using me to be part of His work. Today I preached on Dan. 5 and paralled the experience of Daniel and Babylon to the end time Babylon and God's people at the end of time. The Lord laid on my heart to share the contrast between the life of Daniel compared to that of literal Babylon and how that parallels to God's people compared to spiritual Babylon. The book Sanctified Life by Ellen White spends alot of time dwelling on the character of Daniel and how his experience and faith is to be ours as well. I have to give thanks to my brother Norman for sharing a message on this topic on Audioverse.org. The title of that sermon is "The Candlestick, The Prophet, and the Fall of Babylon." I used alot of information off of that sermon for my sermon. So Norm, if you are reading this thanks for the help. Ultimately though God deserves all the credit for giving us the words and impressing us with the thoughts to put them forth in words. As I mentioned this has been one of my favorite parts of my job is to get out to the churches and visit with the membership although I never know what to expect when I am going to preach at a church. I have only preached in 4 churches here in KY-TN and 2 churches in the Gulf States Conference but it seems as though every time I go there is always at least one person who not to be demeaning but after a conversation with them just seems a little bit out there. Today I was talking with a man who has put out a whole booklet on the tribulation and believes strange things on the seals and the trumpets. I can remember in Hopkinsville, KY a man cornered me and started talking about time machines and time travel. In Tuscaloosa, AL a woman during prayer request time proceeded to share how she was being attacked by vines and a presence of evil in her dreams at night it was very strange. As I mentioned these are just one time meetings from appearance so I don't know everything in these peoples experience but even from that first encounter you can gather alot of information from a person. The reason I share this with you is that I have found that wherever I go there are people of all sorts of differing personalities. With this being said all of the churches I have visited there are always the solid committed leaders in the church who you can tell hold the ship together. I again come back to the question of unity in the church. It seems hard for me to comprehend how it is possible when there are people of all different kinds in our church. But I suppose this is the beauty of it all. How we as a church can still be united under one banner and one cause is a wonderful thought. How we can all be drawn to the same Saviour who gave His life for us. How we can all be drawn to more fully represent His character in our experience on this earth. All these things bringing people together of differing viewpoints and personalities united under one cause is a mystery but can only be explained by the power of the Holy Spirit. May God continue to guide and lead us individually so that we may be united with others in that unity of purpose of fulfilling His mission.