I am in Tyler, Texas. Tonight, I will preach the the second of two sermons at the Liberty Baptist Church, where Mark Hood is the pastor. God willing, I will fly home in the morning to be with Mt. Sinai for our midweek service. I am working on a message from Psalm 119:65-72 entitled, “How Has the Lord Dealt With You?”
It has bee more than a week since my last post. And boy, what a week. First of all, my wife had received news that her father was sick. So she went to check on him in Midland, TX. It turns out that his situation was not as dire as was first communicated to her. But I am still glad that she went to personally see how he was doing. Crystal makes countless sacrifices for me, our kids, and may work. So when she said she wanted to go to Midland, there was absolutely no way I was going to object. Last week, I was scheduled to preach Tuesday through Thursday for Pastor Garfield Burton at the Macedonia Baptist Church in Washington D.C. We had prepared for a babysitter to watch the kids, with both of us being away. But Tuesday the closer the time came for me to leave, the more uneasy I was about leaving. Finally, late Monday night/early Tuesday morning, I decided that I had better stay with the kids. Pastor Burton, a true friends, was very understanding. I owe him a big one. And I pray that he did my absence was not too detrimental to his work. There are many times I do not want to get on a plane to go preach. But this is one of the rare times I have cancelled a meeting in the last minute. The last time was about ten years ago. So it was hard for me to make that phone call to Pastor Burton. But I am sure that I did the right thing.
The kids took it easy on me last week. And it was really good being with them, even though we missed Crystal a lot. At the same time, I was getting for our second service, which began this past Sunday. And I was also getting ready to begin two new series this past Sunday – Ephesians in our worship services and “Membership Matters” is our mass Sunday School hour. I also seemed to have a lot of pastoral care and administrative things to come up last week. I wasn’t even supposed to be in town. So you would think I would have had a relatively easy week. But That was not the case. I ended up with a lot on my plate. And it was very taxing on me. I thought about blogging everyday. But I just couldn’t get to it.
Sunday was a great day. Our new 8 AM service began. Our congregation gave a “new commitment” offering. And the Lord blessed my message on Ephesians. When I begin an epistle, I like to start off with an overview of it. So I preached a message covering the entire six chapters of Ephesians. This is not how I usually preach. But I thought the Lord helped me to summarize the content, themes and movements of Ephesians. This Sunday, God willing, I will pick up the study with the “Hymn of Grace,” recorded in Ephesians 1:3-14. During the month of June, I am teaching our updated new members class to the entire church at the Sunday School hour. Sunday was the first lesson. I think it went well. I look forward to the rest of the series. We also made some structural changes to our services and add some new procedures for follow-up and assimilation. I think there was some awkwardness to it, being the first week. But I pastor such gracious and patient people. I am really grateful for their willingness to follow my leadership. Oh, yeah. It was really hot during the second service! We are having more electrical work done on our building. It’s another chapter in a long story. And the stage of the work this weekend prevented us from using our AC system. Yet, the congregation fought through it and were quite attentive to the message. That is, those who did not have the “spirit of sleep” jump on them.
Well, that’s it. That’s a (somewhat) brief summary of what I’ve been up to the past week. Thanks for the calls and emails, checking on me. All is well. Blog you later.