It’s been a few weeks since my last musings, so this one might have a few more items in it than normal. I’ll be brief with each one.
Men filling the pulpit for me:
This fall has seen more guys fill in for me than normal. Due to my sickness in late September-early October, it put me out more than planned. However, I want to make sure that we as a church recognize unique evidence of God’s work among us by providing so many men to sub in when needed. We have a “deep bench” and I’m very grateful for that and we as a church should be as well.
During Bill’s sermon on Sunday, I was really encouraged by his introduction as he compared the division in the Church in Corinth, with the joy that we have experienced at CLF. But what I appreciated about the introduction, was the lesson in his sermon on the importance of humility. Let me repeat what I said in the 8:30 service on Sunday: “Satan does his darkest work among proud people”. I think we saw this throughout our study of Corinthians…pride destroys churches.
CLF, let’s make sure we posture ourselves correctly. We were dead, but God made us alive. We were children of wrath, but God made us recipients of His grace. All that we have and are, is because of God’s work among us. We have no reason for sinful pride and lots of reasons for Christ-like humility.
Sovereign Grace Pastors Conference:
Last week, 3 of our pastors and one of our founding deacons went to the Sovereign Grace Pastors Conference in Orlando. I must admit that I don’t usually go to a conference like this because I need a break or because I am in need of refreshment. That’s what my family times are for and what time with my wife is. I go to these conferences to be challenged, grow in my faith, and see how others are doing ministry.
This year’s conference was all three of those things. So here’s a brief recap:
- Monday: our Council of Elders meeting went very smoothly. Probably the highlight was approving the Global Partnership Plan to our Book of Church Order, which will pave the way for international churches to be a part of our denomination.
- Tuesday: Session 1: “Christ Preeminent” sermon by Jeff Purswell. Jeff is my favorite preacher in SGC. He’s the leader of our Pastors’ College and is a unique blend of humility and intellect. This sermon left me worshipping Jesus.
- Session 2: “The Steadfast Savior and His Beloved Servants” by Jon Payne. Jon did a wonderful job of showing how Christ stands with us in the midst of suffering/hardship. This sermon left me filled with faith that Jesus sees me in hard times.
- Session 3: “Our Prowling Adversary” by C.J. Mahaney. C.J. showed how spiritual warfare is not “weird” or some oddity in the christian life but a normal experience for us, especially in trials. This sermon left me more aware of our adversary and his lurking schemes in the midst of difficulty.
- Session 4: “The Grace of Partnership” by Jared Mellinger. In this sermon on 2 Corinthians 8, Jared showed the New Testament norm of church partnership and why that’s important. This sermon was the most challenging for me because I’m an independent/autonomous guy. If you have denominational “skepticism”, this would be a great sermon to hear.
- Here’s the link for all the sermons: https://www.sovereigngrace.com/pastors-conference-2021. You can listen to them or watch them.
One major highlight for me was to see how God is at work around the world. Below are 2 graphics that show this. The first one is church plants in the next 2 years and the second one is church adoptions (already established churches who want to affiliate with SGC).
The gospel is indeed moving around the world and this is marvelous in our eyes!
From the Cheap Seats:
- This might be the sports’ play of the year, no matter the sport: https://youtu.be/laNRPAjKQsM.
- How does an NFL team get destroyed by an average team one week and then do the destroying in the week? Broncos 30 Cowboys 16 (at one point it was 30-0) then Cowboys 43 Falcons 3. The NFL is crazy. As the famous Cowboys’ Vice-President used to say “they pay their players too”. True.
- The Atlanta Braves! Yes, in 6 games, no less. Loved it. Although I will say there are some Astros’ fans in the church…sorry, not sorry:).
- The OSU Beavers are bowl eligible! Jonathan Smith has done a great job. I sure hope he stays.
- Is it just me or is college football more equitable this year? Not very many unbeaten and no one seems untouchable. Although Georgia’s defense is crazy good.
For prayer: our pastors/wives are heading out this Wednesday for our annual planning retreat. Would you pray for us? The Lord has been at work at CLF and we need wisdom on some agenda items for the upcoming year(s).
Praying that your week is filled with an understanding of God’s grace extended toward you in Christ.