I am writing this post from the Indianapolis airport. I have been in town to preach three nights at the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, where Dr. Theron Williams is the pastor.
It has been a tough week of preaching. First of all, I think I became homesick the moment the plane left LAX Monday morning. I have been struggling with cold symptoms all week. And the weather here has been horrible. I (wisely) did not leave my room all week expect to preach.
Although the weather has been cold, I found Mt. Carmel to be a warm congregation. I met Pastor Williams several years ago, as we were both preaching in Oklahoma City. And I had the opportunity to hear him preach, so I knew Mt. Carmel was not a church that was starving preaching. Dr. Williams is a fine, biblical preacher. And the Mt. Carmel Church is doing a great work here. And it has been a joy to worship and fellowship with them this week.
Each night, Pastor W. Jackson from Munsey (I think) spoke on evangelism-discipleship. These were three powerful lectures on (1) the reality of Christ, (2) the reliability of scripture, and (3) reliance upon the Holy Spirit. It was hard for me to preach after Pastor Jackson finished. Each night I literally sat in the service, prayerfully trying to establish what the Lord would have me to preach. And I wouldn’t be clear until after Pastor Jackson finished his lectures.
Likewise, I think I preached too long each night. Now, I know that I am a long-winded preacher. Mt. Sinai puts up with it, because I belong to them and they belong to me. However, I try to be more conscious of my time when I am away from home. I try. I tried this week. And I think I missed my off-ramp every night. But the congregation was kind and patient, enduring both me and Pastor Jackson each night.
I believe I preached the messages the Lord would have me to preach this week. And each night, I preached with all my heart. I trust the Lord was honored. And I pray that the messages will continue to be a blessing to the wonderful membership of the Mt. Carmel Church.
Please remember Dr. Williams and the Mt. Carmel Church in your prayers.