This week’s edition of musings will be more like ramblings. It’s been a few weeks since I last posted anything, but I thought I would touch on several things in this post that might be of interest.
Josh Montague’s sermon on Habakkuk was wonderful. I loved how he made things applicable to our time and how authentic he was with his struggles. It was very relatable. I was reminded that God is at work doing things in our world that take a long time to develop. My job is not to know when God will fulfill His promises but to put my trust in Him as He does His work.
I found Josh’s question about how we receive God’s sovereign work challenging. I must admit that most of the time, I say, “well, God, I’m not a big fan of what’s happening,” and then try to set my heart to “grin and bear it.” I was struck by Habakkuk’s rejoicing in God’s sovereignty, even if it didn’t match his expectations. That’s very compelling and challenging.
I found it funny on Sunday that several people caught me and said, “when I saw that you weren’t preaching, I got nervous. But that guy was awesome.” Believe me when I tell you, when I’m not preaching, we’re trying to get people that would be awesome. 😂 I’m grateful that CLF enjoys hearing me preach. But it’s really good for our church to hear God’s word from others. Plus, it’s good for my soul as well.
Sovereign Grace Pastors/Wives Conference
Speaking of which…that’s one reason why it’s important for us to go to the pastors’ conference each year in Sovereign Grace. For the last several years, I’ve got to the conference energized and not needing a break. This year was no different. I didn’t need to step away from the throes of ministry or church leadership. I wasn’t hurting spiritually or in a bad spot. I went because it’s good for me to hear God’s word preached and be with other brothers doing the same work I’m doing. This year was no different.
I was sick, which made things a bit more challenging, especially when I missed my connecting flight from Dallas to Orlando because my flight from Eugene to Dallas was delayed by an hour. Sunday night, I spent in a hotel room recovering and resting. I was able to get to Orlando mid-Monday. Dave Quilla went to the denominational meetings for us and, as always, represented us very well.
Our conference started Tuesday night with a Global Missions Dinner as we heard about the ways that God is working around the world. It was an exciting night. We heard updates from the Philippines, Latin America, Ethiopia, and Australia. Throughout the rest of the week, we heard updates from Germany, Ukraine, and Mexico. it is quite clear that the gospel has not been hindered by the pandemic.
When you’re in an auditory with over 700 church leaders, the singing is simply astounding. I really cannot give a comparison to what that’s like. Everyone knows the songs, knows how to clap; 🤣 and is energized by Christ…it’s just so “full”. At SGC conferences, there’s no one not singing. It’s actually one of my highlights when I go. I love singing with the leaders from our sister churches.
Here’s a link to the sermons: https://www.sovereigngrace.com/messages. The ones that I was encouraged and challenged by were:
- CJ’s sermon on Isaiah 52-53 about the Power of the Cross because it was one of the clearest sermons I’ve ever heard on the crucifixion and resurrection.
- Jeff Purswell’s sermon on The Pastor’s Zeal because I was reminded how important it is to not go through the “mechanics” but to maintain zeal for Christ.
- Dave Taylor’s sermon on The Pastor and the Lost because I was reminded that you never know when the gospel is going to “go off”.
These sermons will be good for your soul.
I left the conference grateful and excited to get home. It was a good week with the brothers I went with: Dave Quilla, Dave Ruble, and Stan Welch. I did leave Dave Ruble and Stan a little gift from the conference, as both got sick on Friday. And it was refreshing to treat some brothers to lunch and dinner that we don’t see very often, like Chad Haygood and Holden Berry from Hastings, Nebraska, Steve Teter from West Virginia, and Andrew Schmidt from Chaska, Minnesota. Dear brothers that we enjoyed.
This coming Sunday, we will be in the book of Zephaniah, which has one of my favorite verses. Zephaniah 3:17: “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” We need a God who is strong and rejoices over us. Thank God that our God is just that.
From the Cheap Seats
- I’m not an Astros fan, but they are a dynasty. Six straight years in the American League Championship Series and 2 World Series trophies, albeit one with an asterisk. There were only 5 players on this year’s team who won their ring in 2017, and the majority of their players are homegrown talents. They are phenomenal at drafting and developing.
- Tom Brady…without knowing any of the details and from the outside looking in, it seems like Brady chose to play football over being married. If that’s the case (and I’m sure there’s so much more to this story), it’s another cautionary tale for us not to try to find our identity or satisfaction in success or anything other than Jesus. Again, this is without knowing any details. He did pass the 100,000-yard mark in his career this past Sunday.
- Texas A&M…dumpster fire…Jimbo has an $86 million buy-out. And they’re bad.
- Now that Liverpool is for sale, Jurgen Klopp might get the oil money he’s been longing for.
- We had a few coaches and student-athletes that had teams in state tourneys last week. Roseburg High School Volleyball-Grace Luttrell; UVC Volleyball-Candice Renyer and her coaching crew, Amy Pappas, Avery Renyer, Jaz Cornell, Ali Saylor, and Bethany York; UVC Soccer-Michael Graham and his coaches, Levi Heard, Joe Buechley, Logan Anderson, Sanford Sidlo, Vienna Tornell, and Titus Woodward. It was an amazing fall sports season for many.
Have a great week!