The 1st Sunday on 2008

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  • Yesterday was a long, busy, and exciting day.

    I laid down Saturday night to sleep for a couple of hours, planning to get up and tighten up my message. I had been working all week on an exposition of Psalm 23. However, when I woke up early Sunday morning, the message that I intended to preach at our first Tuesday night service tomorrow was on my heart and mind. So that’s what I preached – a message on 2 Kings 6:1-7 that I called “Losing Your Cutting Edge.” I was quite shocked that I shifted directions so sharply in just a few hours. But I believe I did what the Lord wanted me to do.

    I usually teach the youth and adults in a mass Bible study during the Sunday School hour in January. And I began that series of lessons yesterday, except – again – I did not teach on what I intended. I had planned to begin a series on what it means to be a participating member of the church. But I was moved to teach instead of examining your spiritual health and maturity. Again, I believe I did what the Lord wanted me to do. I intend to begin the series on the church this coming Sunday.

    After our morning services, I came home to pack a bag and catch a flight to Oakland. Pastor Elliot Ivey invited me to preach the consecration service for the leaders and members of the New Beginnings Baptist Church. The worship service was so encouraging and refreshing to me. And it was a joy to minister to this attentive and receptive congregation. Pastor Ivey, who is younger than I am, is one of the very fine young preachers of our day. He is multi-gifted. And he is sound in this theology (Believe it or not, the two don’t often go together!). And he is seeking to develop a faithful and fruitful ministry. I was really glad to share in the worship and fellowship with my friends in the Bay area. And I am excited to see what God will do in and through New Beginnings Church in the days to come.

    I returned home this morning. And I spent as much time as I could today on my couch recuperating from the weekend. Work begins again tomorrow – God willing. Thank you MSMBC for your prayers.


    H.B. Charles Jr.

    Pastor-Teacher at the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church of Jacksonville and Orange Park, Florida.