Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thanksgiving is Coming

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just a week away. It's hard to believe that time is going by so quickly. 2008 is almost gone, and before you know it 2009 will be too.

I'm looking forward to this weekend and next week. I'll be continuing my series through the Book of Acts on Sunday morning. We will be focusing on Peter's message after the healing of the lame man in the Temple. On Sunday night we will begin looking at the material to be gone through in our New Member Orientation class that will begin in 2009. I'll be taking about four Sunday nights to go through the material. Please pray for me as I continue trying to narrow it down. This class is something that every person wanting to become a member of our church will go through before actually becoming a member. At the end of the class they will be asked to sign a covenant with the church agreeing to what has been covered.

After the PM service Ben C and I will be taking a little trip to Georgia to do some deer hunting. We'll be back Tuesday afternoon before our Thanksgiving service at 6:30. Please come and share with us how God has worked and blessed your life this year; it will be an encouragement to all present. We will sing, praise and share. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday & Sunday

It has been a busy but good couple of weeks. Today my dad, Rick R., Steve A. and I went to Gainesville to see the UF/USC game. Needless to say, the "chicken" was good in Gainesville. We had a blast. Thanks to Dale W. for the tickets; I'm glad your home and better.

Tomorrw we have an exciting day at HGBC. Mercy's Well will be doing a concert. Can't wait to see and hear them. They came highly recommended (Sherry Holloway).

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Louisiana Horse Whisperer

We had a great time last night out at the Clay County Fair Grounds. We, HGBC & Black Creek Baptist Association, hosted Wild Horse Ministries. Paul Daily is the Louisiana Horse Whisperer. He takes an unrideable horse and in the matter of about 2 hours is riding that horse; he did it last night and I have the video to prove it (I'm gonna try to upload it to my facebook page).

But as he is working the horse he relates it to how God works in and on you and I. It was amazing to see God working in the hearts and lives of those people sitting in the stands last night. I was told over 40 people responded in some way to Christ after they "saw" what God has in store for us.

As I type this I'm watching the video. I had a blast riding last night. The rodeo queen couldn't be there so Paul asked me to present the flag, so I jumped on his horse and had some fun. Thanks Paul for the ride. Thanks to the volunteers who helped make last night a success. Thanks to the churches for getting involved and providing the volunteers. Most of all, thanks to Denise Towe, my secretary, who worked so tirelessly going beyond the call of duty to make last night a success (enjoy the day tomorrow, you earned it).

And last but not least, "Thank you Lord Jesus for graciously working and drawing people to yourself just like you promised you would."

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Election Results

The following was written by Dr. Al Mohler this morning concerning the election of America's first African-American president, Barack Hussein Obama. I believe we must follow the advice of Dr. Mohler and begin immediately to pray earnestly for our president-elect.

America Has Chosen a President
Posted: Wednesday, November 05, 2008 at 5:04 am ET

The election of Sen. Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States came as a bang, not a whimper. The tremors had been perceptible for days, maybe even weeks. On Tuesday, America experienced nothing less than a political and cultural earthquake.
The margin of victory for the Democratic ticket was clear. Americans voted in record numbers and with tangible enthusiasm. By the end of the day, it was clear that Barack Obama would be elected with a majority of the popular vote and a near landslide in the Electoral College. When President-Elect Obama greeted the throngs of his supporters in Chicago's Grant Park, he basked in the glory of electoral energy.
For many of us, the end of the night brought disappointment. In this case, the disappointment is compounded by the sense that the issues that did not allow us to support Sen. Obama are matters of life and death -- not just political issues of heated debate. Furthermore, the margin of victory and sense of a shift in the political landscape point to greater disappointments ahead. We all knew that so much was at stake.
For others, the night was magical and momentous. Young and old cried tears of amazement and victory as America elected its first African-American President -- and elected him overwhelmingly. Just forty years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, an African-American stood to claim victory as President-Elect of the nation. As Sen. Obama assured the crowd in Chicago and the watching nation, "We will get there. We will get there." No one hearing those words could fail to hear the refrain of plaintive words spoken in Memphis four decades ago. President-Elect Obama would stand upon the mountaintop that Dr. King had foreseen.
That victory is a hallmark moment in history for all Americans -- not just for those who voted for Sen. Obama. As a nation, we will never think of ourselves the same way again. Americans rich and poor, black and white, old and young, will look to an African-American man and know him as President of the United States. The President. The only President. The elected President. Our President.
Every American should be moved by the sight of young African-Americans who -- for the first time -- now believe that they have a purchase in American democracy. Old men and old women, grandsons and granddaughters of slaves and slaveholders, will look to an African-American as President.
Regardless of politics, could anyone remain unmoved by the sight of Jesse Jackson crying alone amidst the crowd in Chicago? This dimension of Election Day transcends politics and touches the heart of the American people.
Yet, the issues and the politics remain. Given the scale of the Democratic victory, the political landscape will be completely reshaped. The fight for the dignity and sanctity of unborn human beings has been set back by a great loss, and by the election of a President who has announced his intention to sign the Freedom of Choice Act into law. The struggle to protect marriage against its destruction by redefinition is now complicated by the election of a President who has declared his aim to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. On issue after issue, we face a longer, harder, and more protracted struggle than ever before.
Still, we must press on as advocates for the unborn, for the elderly, for the infirm, and for the vulnerable. We must redouble our efforts to defend marriage and the integrity of the family. We must be vigilant to protect religious liberty and the freedom of the pulpit. We face awesome battles ahead.
At the same time, we must be honest and recognize that the political maps are being redrawn before our eyes. Will the Republican Party decide that conservative Christians are just too troublesome for the party and see the pro-life movement as a liability? There is the real danger that the Republicans, stung by this defeat, will adopt a libertarian approach to divisive moral issues and show conservative Christians the door.
Others will declare these struggles over, arguing that the election of Sen. Obama means that Americans in general -- and many younger Evangelicals in particular -- are ready to "move on" to other issues. This is no time for surrender or the abandonment of our core principles. We face a much harder struggle ahead, but we have no right to abandon the struggle.
We should look for opportunities to work with the new President and his administration where we can. We must hope that he will lead and govern as the bridge-builder he claimed to be in his campaign. We must confront and oppose the Obama administration where conscience demands, but work together where conscience allows.
Evangelical Christians face another challenge with the election of Sen. Obama, and a failure to rise to this challenge will bring disrepute upon the Gospel, as well as upon ourselves. There must be absolutely no denial of the legitimacy of President-Elect Obama's election and no failure to accord this new President the respect and honor due to anyone elected to that high office. Failure in this responsibility is disobedience to a clear biblical command.
Beyond this, we must commit ourselves to pray for this new President, for his wife and family, for his administration, and for the nation. We are commanded to pray for rulers, and this new President faces challenges that are not only daunting but potentially disastrous. May God grant him wisdom. He and his family will face new challenges and the pressures of this office. May God protect them, give them joy in their family life, and hold them close together.
We must pray that God will protect this nation even as the new President settles into his role as Commander in Chief, and that God will grant peace as he leads the nation through times of trial and international conflict and tension.
We must pray that God would change President-Elect Obama's mind and heart on issues of our crucial concern. May God change his heart and open his eyes to see abortion as the murder of the innocent unborn, to see marriage as an institution to be defended, and to see a host of issues in a new light. We must pray this from this day until the day he leaves office. God is sovereign, after all.
Without doubt, we face hard days ahead. Realistically, we must expect to be frustrated and disappointed. We may find ourselves to be defeated and discouraged. We must keep ever in mind that it is God who raises up nations and pulls them down, and who judges both nations and rulers. We must not act or think as unbelievers, or as those who do not trust God.
America has chosen a President. President-Elect Barack Obama is that choice, and he faces a breathtaking array of challenges and choices in days ahead. This is the time for Christians to begin praying in earnest for our new President. There is no time to lose.

Monday, November 03, 2008

A Borrowed Idea!

I was listening to Johnny Hunt preach on my way to SC to preach a revival meeting at Siloam Baptist Church with Jason Webb. He was preaching on evangelism. In the message he shared an interesting statistic: 97% of all professions of faith in SBC churches are a result of relational evangelism with an intentional invitation to attend church, 97%. I was blown away by that information.

What does that mean? It means that 97 out of 100 people who accept Christ as personal Lord and Savior do so after being asked to attend church by someone they know. That means that of the 10,000 or so SBC churches who recorded NO baptisms this year or any other year didn't really have any members inviting friends (I know this is a little bit of a stretch, but maybe not).

Bro. Johnny went on to talk about FRAN evangelism. FRAN evangelism is relationally inviting Friends, Relatives, Associates, and Neighbors to church. It is getting to know those around you, finding out about their spiritual condition, and inviting them to church. At HGBC, I have declared January to be FRAN evangelism month. I issued a challenge yesterday at church during my message from Acts 2:41-47 that each member begin praying for 3 people they know who are lost, with a intentional plan of inviting them to church where I will preach the gospel. I told them I am praying that in the month of January that we will see 25 souls saved, baptized and joining our church. I believe that is a "lofty" goal for us (we baptized 25 this last church year; up from 18 the previous two years).

I want to encourage you to begin a lifestyle of evangelism and discipleship with FRAN evangelism and see what God will do.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Don't Forget!

Don't forget to set your clocks back one hour tonight. See you in Sunday School in the morning.