Friday, December 17, 2010

From John Stott

The emperor and the innkeeper both played their part in God's plan without knowing it.  The emperor's edict brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem in fulfillment of prophecy (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:5-6).  And the innkeeper, by reason of overcrowding in the town, ensured that the Savior of the world was born appropriately not in a palace but a stable, not in splendor but in obscurity and poverty.

"Virgin birth" is a misleading expression, suggesting that there was something unusual about Jesus's birth, whereas his birth was entirely normal and natural.  It was his conception that was abnormal, indeed supernatural, for he was conceived by the operation of the Holy Spirit, without the cooperation of a human father.

"The first and most indisputable fact about the birth of Jesus," wrote Bishop John A. T. Robinson, "is that it occurred out of wedlock.  The one option for which there is no evidence is that Jesus was the lawful son of Joseph and Mary.  The only choice open to us is between a virgin birth and an illegitimate birth."

To me the humility and courage of Mary in submitting to the virgin birth stand out in contrast to the attitudes of the critics who deny it.  She surrendered her reputation to God's will.  For us too what matters is that we allow God to be God and to do things his way, even if with Mary we thereby risk losing our good name.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

All Saints' Peachtree City

Ray Griener, Me, Michael Fry

Today I visited All Saint's Anglican Church in Peachtree City as their new bishop.  This congregation has stood strong for the Gospel of Jesus and Biblical Truth.  They sacrificed much for the integrity of the Christian Faith and it was truly an honor to be with them.  The congregation has numerous folks who are committed to serving our Lord through intercessory prayer and it is observance in the atmosphere of their worship.  Jesus said that those who worship him should worship in spirit and in truth.  All Saints does both well.

The rector, Michael Fry, has served in the formation of the new diocese and is the current president of the Standing Committee.  He is a man of deep devotion to our Lord who practices a love for the reading and study of the Scripture.

I preached on Matthew 11:2f a sermon entitled,  Is Jesus the Messiah, based on John the Baptist's question in 11:3.  To hear this sermon go to;show,56.

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised! (Ps.48)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Word from N.T. Wright

"We need to be constantly looking harder at the God of the Bible.  Otherwise we shall discover that gradually the picture we have of him gets domesticated, whittled down to something we can live with.  And gods that we live with comfortably are idols."

Friday, December 10, 2010

Nehemiah and Leadership

John Stott offers six principles of leadership based on the account of Nehemiah and his leadership in rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem (The Book of Nehemiah). Simply said, they are:

1) The Christian leader has a clear vision. One might say that apathy is the acceptance of the unacceptable, whereas leadership begins with a decisive refusal to do so. How can tolerate what God finds intolerable?

2) The Christian leader feels deeply about his vision. (2:17)

3) The Christian leader seeks support from both God and human beings. (2:4-5)

4) The Christian leader develops a realistic plan. Dreamers have to become thinkers, planners, and workers. People of vision need to become people of action.

5) The Christian leader attracts a following. The leader takes the initiative, but he persuades others to join him... The authentic leader, however, inspires people to follow his lead, for he sees his task as a cooperative enterprise.

6) The Christian leader refuses to be discouraged. Once the work of God begins, opposition can be expected. The forces of reaction muster, and hostility comes out in the open. Indeed, discouragement is the chief occupational hazard of a leader.... But the true leader refuses to give in. He or she perseveres.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Saturday at the Church

We had a men's workday at the church this morning clearing out the undergrowth in the woods in front of our building. It was a great time of work as well as fellowship. With all the chainsaws and clippers, it did not take much time to get the work done -- nothing like a man and his chainsaw!!!

Our Church Warden, Rick Pruitt, and me at our Brotherhood Meeting today.

A couple of good quotes....

The Scottish minister, Andrew A. Bonar, wrote:

"In order to grow in grace we must be much alone. It is not in society that the soul grows most vigorously. In one single, quiet hour of prayer it will often make more progress than in days of company with othe
rs. It is in the desert that the dew falls freshest and the air is purest."

Harold Norris: "Where you go, there you are."

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Let's Go to the Holy Land Together

Consider going to the Holy Land with my wife and me on June 5-17, 2011. IT is a wonderful pilgrimage to the land of Jesus. Your Bible will never read the same again, and your walk with the Lord will be deepened. Click for more information:

To Study, To Do, and To Teach

John Stott on Ezra 7:10...

"Ezra had his heart to study the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach the statutes and ordinances in Israel." (Ezra 7:10; NRSV). This threefold characteristic is very significant. Firstly, he was a diligent student of God's law. Not content with superficial acquaintance, he sought out its meaning and its application. Secondly, he was resolved to be not a forgetful hearer but an obedient doer of God's Word. Thirdly, he went beyond personal study and observance to a ministry of teaching others. Moreover, on all three (to study, to do, to teach) he had set his heart.

Sounds like discipleship to me!! (Mt. 28:19f).

Monday, November 29, 2010


We have entered into the Season of Advent on Christian Calendar. This is the time of the year when the Church intentionally recalls that Jesus said he would return to judge the world with his righteousness - the parousia - the second advent. This season in the church year is also a time to prepare to celebrate the first advent of the Lord -- his birth which we remember on Christmas.

The culture around us is already celebrating Christmas. We actually had houses in our neighborhood all decorated like Christmas before Thanksgiving. Even a local Christian radio station started playing Christmas music several days before Thanksgiving. When I received an email from a local bank on Thanksgiving Day wishing me a Merry Christmas, I promptly wrote back and reminded them that it was THANKSGIVING, not Christmas; that Thanksgiving is a day which Congress set aside as a national holiday to give thanks to Almighty God. This is one of my pet-peeves: Can't we at least celebrate Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving Day and then start celebrating Christmas? Do we really have to listen to Christmas Carols on the radio on Thanksgiving morning?

Well... it's Advent. Maranatha! Come, Lord, Come!

To hear my First Sunday of Advent Sermon entitled: "The Advent Message" click on;show,53

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What A Game -- What A Rivalry

Here in Georgia, there is no bigger football game each year than the Georgia - Georgia Tech Game. I was privileged to be able to attend with my wife and a couple of friends. Wow! Non-stop excitement. Neither team could stop the other one. It was either a score or a fumble for most of the game. And of course, it came down to last minute of the game!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks!

We are blessed to live in a country which by an act of Congress has set aside a national holiday calling for the people to give thanks to Almighty God. As I look back at this year, there is much I can give thanks for, but today I especially give thanks to God for sending His one and only Son into the world to live and die on a cross for my sins.

Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57.

I was able to gather with family and celebrate with a wonderful meal. IN a time when so many are displaced and so many are hurt by our economic conditions, I am thankful we were able to share Thanksgiving today. God is good!

To hear my Thanksgiving Sermon at Holy Cross, see;show,52.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Concerning Prophets

In Jeremiah 23:9-32 are strong words directed toward those who speak on behalf of the Lord. Here is John Stott on this passage....

We are blessed to have the written Word of God. So the contrast today is between true teachers, who submit to Scripture, and false teachers who reject or manipulate it.

Here are five characteristics of false teachers, whom Jeremiah exposes.

1). They abuse their power. They are marked more by autocracy than by the gentleness of Christ. They "use their power unjustly" (v.10).

2) They live a lie, a double-life between their private and their public persona (vv. 13-14).

3) They strengthen the hands of evil-doers instead of calling them to repentance (vv.14, 22).

4) They fill people with false hopes, saying that no harm will come upon them (vv. 16-17).

5) They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord (v. 16)

Perhaps the church's most urgent need today is pastors who faithfully expound and apply the Word of God and who practice what they preach.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Aslan is on the Move

Last night I attended a screening of the new movie, The Voyage of the Dawn Trader. Being a C. S. Lewis admirer and a dedicated reader of The Chronicles of Narnia, I really enjoyed the movie. It strayed from the original story, but was good none-the-less. It is full of insightful character and value emphases based on Biblical principles. The Undragoning of Eustace gives tremendous insight to the Holy Spirit's Process of Sanctification.

For a great presentation by Jim Burgen on "Undragoning Your Life", go to

Pastors check out You'll find 20 different Narnia-themed sermon outlines and discussion guides from various Christian leaders like Luis Palau, Fuller Seminary, Group Publishing, and Young Life. You can even download clips of the film.

As with most movies, however, it doesn't compare with C. S. Lewis' original written story. But it is well done. It hits theatres on December 10th.

Monday, November 15, 2010

All Saints' Atlanta

After a great morning at Holy Cross today, I went to All Saints Anglican Church of Atlanta on a bishop's visitation. I went to officially install the Rev. Dr. Chima Ekeke as rector of the parish. All Saints is one of the founding members of the Anglican Diocese of the South, and Dr. Ekeke was ordained to the priesthood on November 6.

Those who were Confirmed

I also confirmed new members of the parish, installed new members in the Mother's Union, installed new members in the Women's Union, licensed new Lay Readers, and a Licensed a new Lay Catechist. It was a great time with these brothers and sisters in the Lord, and Allison and I were blessed to share in their special day.

Friday, November 12, 2010

John Stott on Isaiah 55

Read Isaiah 55 and then see John Stott's insight on this passage....

Christianity is essentially a revealed religion. We would know nothing about God if he had not made himself known. This is especially true of God's gracious character. He offers a free drink to the thirsty, a free place in the covenant to the nations, and a free pardon to the wicked. (v.1-7). Who could have invented such a gospel of grace? It is too good to be true!! It could be known only by divine revelation. Consider its logic.

FIrstly, Yahweh's thoughts are inaccessible to us. They are as much higher than our thoughts than the heavens are higher than the earth. Our little minds cannot climb up into the infinite mind of God (vv.8-9).

Secondly, Yahweh's lofty thoughts must come down to us as the rain and snow come down from heaven to earth (v.10).

Thirdly, Yahweh's thoughts have in fact been brought within our reach because they have been put into words. Thus human speech is the model of divine revelation. It is by the words of our mouth that we communicate the thoughts of our minds. We cannot even read each other's minds unless we speak; how much less can we read God's mind unless he speaks? And God has spoken, his word has come down to us.

Fourthly, Yahweh's word is powerful; it always achieves its purposes (vv.10-11).

The last two verses of the chapter (vv.12-13) describe in vivid Hebrew poetic imagery the immense blessings enjoyed by the people of God who have received the word of God. They experience a new exodus (v.12), and they inherit a new promised land (v.13). No wonder we are filled with joy and gladness. See 1 Corinthians 2:6-10.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Prayer at Holy Cross

On Sunday we left our church open for the whole afternoon for people to come and spend time with the Lord in prayer and worship. We used incense as the Hebrews would do, as symbolic of our prayers before the Lord -- "May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice" (Psalm 141:2). "Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of saints" (Revelation 5:8).

This picture (taken by Chris Stallings) shows the incense floating on the air. May the Glory Cloud of the Lord fall on our church in such a way!!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ordinations and Synod

What a privilege to be able to ordain men to the ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!! On Saturday the Anglican Diocese of the South had its first Annual Synod which began with worship and the ordaining of four deacons and on priest. I am excited about these guys!! They are going to make a difference for the Lord in this world.

Bill Arnold, Chima Ekeke, Lee Adams, me, Gene Prince, Austin Goggans

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Challenge to Pastors

Someone gave me a quote from Charles Finney, and if he is correct, then we pastors have our work cut out for us!!!! He wrote this:

If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it.
If the public press lacks moral discernment, the pulpit is responsible for it.
If the church is degenerate and world, the pulpit is responsible for it.

If the world loses its interest in Christianity, the pulpit is responsible for it.
If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it.
If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government is ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Great Quote from Martin Luther

Martin Luther..."My conscience is captive to the Word of God... to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me."

Christ Church Atlanta

I had my first visitation today as an Anglican bishop at Christ Church Atlanta. While on our way to the church which is located in Buckhead, Allison and I saw a buck cross the road on Habersham Road. Having been around Buckhead all of my life, this was the first time I have ever seen a buck in Buckhead!!

David Charney, Alfred Sawyer, Me

Me, Allison, Memory Sawyer, Alfred Sawyer

Christ Church is a delightful congregation which meets in the Atlanta International School (my old high school - North Fulton). Alfred Sawyer is the rector and his Associate is David Charney. This congregation is serious about standing for the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a religious and secular culture which is constantly dismissing the need for people to come to Him.

It was great to be in such a memorable place with a large number of people whom Allison and I have shared fellowship over the past thirty years. I preached on Philippians 3:17-21 a sermon entitled: "Living as We ARE, Not as We WERE." Administered Confirmation and shared at the Lord's Table. Great day of worship!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Food for THOUGHT

From James Allen -- "Good thoughts and actions never produce bad results; bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results. This is but saying that nothing can come from corn but corn, nothing from nettles but nettles."

Been thinking about what I have been thinking about!!

Do we really reap what we sow? Gal.6:6-8. Yes, we do. So what am I sowing in my mind? Am I constantly sowing what I hear in the news or from the gossip trail or from my pastoral counseling? If I do not sow the Word of God, the awareness of God's Presence, His Beauty in the creation all around me, and WHO the Scriptures say I am "in Christ," then the fruit of my life becomes more and more worldly and chaotic. But if I will sow God's "good" in my life, I benefit by reaping the fruit of a Spiritual life, and the peace which passes all understanding.

Been meditating on Philippians 4:8 -- "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think on these things."

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wesley on Spending

Another friend, the Rev. David Roseberry, Rector of Christ Church, Plano, TX, posted the following questions John Wesley would encourage folks to ask before they made a purchase. Perhaps, we should apply them to our purchases....

1. In spending this money, am I acting like I owned it, or am I acting like the Lord’s trustee?

2. What Scripture requires me to spend this money in this way?

3. Can I offer up this purchase as a sacrifice to the Lord?

4. Will God reward me for this expenditure at the resurrection of the just?

Wesley also encouraged someone to pray a prayer like this before a purchase:

“Lord, thou seest I am going to expend this amount on that food, apparel, furniture. And thou knowest I act therein with a single eye, as a steward of thy goods, expending this portion of them thus, in pursuance of the design thou hadst in entrusting me with them. Thou knowest I do this in obedience to thy word, as thou commandest, and because thou commandest it. let this, I beseech thee, be a holy sacrifice, acceptable through Jesus Christ! And give me a witness in myself, that for this labor of love I shall have a recompence when thou rewardest every man according to his words.”
A friend sent me this quote by John Wesley. Worth meditating on and living out...

" is the highest gift of God;
humble, gentle, patient love;
that all visions, revelations, manifestations whatever, are little things compared to love;
and that all the gifts above-mentioned are either the same with, or infinitely inferior to, it.

"It were well you should be thoroughly sensible of this, -- `the heaven of heavens is love.'

There is nothing higher in religion;
there is, in effect, nothing else;
if you look for anything but more love, you are looking wide of the mark, you are getting out of the royal way.

And when you are asking others, `Have you received this or that blessing? 'if you mean anything but more love, you mean wrong; you are leading them out of the way, and putting them upon a false scent.

Settle it then in your heart, that from the moment God has saved you from all sin, you are to aim at nothing more, but more of that love described in the thirteenth of the Corinthians. [1 Cor. 13] You can go no higher than this, till you are carried into Abraham's bosom."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Quick Visit to London


Forty-eight hours after I was consecrated as an Anglican bishop, I was eating dinner at Lambeth Palace sitting next to Jane Williams (ABC's wife) and Nicky Gombel (the founder of Alpha). I was there at the invitation of Graham Tomlin regarding St. Paul's Theological Centre of St. Mellitus College in London, an innovative approach to theological education. Being at the place of such history, especially for Anglican Christians, was very inspiring and uplifting. We ate dinner in the Palace dining room surrounded by paintings of former Archbishops of Canterbury, and the whole building dripped with Anglican history of which I have read about many times.

Pippa Gombel, Jane Williams (wife of ABC), me, Rev. Nicky Gombel in the historic dining room in Lambeth Palace. Notice the painting of ABC's from the past in the background.

St. Paul's Theological Centre offers a solid theological education with ministry preparation and training which is based in the local church. Rather than sending a person off to an isolated location, teaching is given in a church setting in amidst of a faith community. The curriculum calls for the person to be in school 1/2 time and serve in a church the other half. This offers much potential for training for the pastorate and for lay ministry for the new Anglican movement in the U.S. As we are attempt to share Jesus Christ with those who do not know Him and plant new churches in communities throughout the land, this program is a possible equipping tool which can be easily implemented.


This was my first time to London. I look forward to going back with my family and visiting the places where so many incredible acts of Christian faith, charity, vision, and sacrifice occurred.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Now A Bishop

Wow! I don't know how to describe the past 48 hours. Being ordained and consecrated a bishop was an incredibly humbling, awe-inspiring, and meaningful experience with the Lord and the people of God. I am really at a loss for words at the moment as it will take me a while to be able to put into words what the Lord is doing.
Being able to be in the presence of the godly men of the Lord who are serving as bishops was such a privilege.

The outpouring of love and encouragement has been most inspiring.

And today we confirmed and received over 40 new members in the church! Blessed be the Name of the Lord. May Jesus be praised and honored!

The service was incredible (should be able to watched on

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ordination and Consecration Service

On this coming Saturday, October 9th
at 1:00 p.m.
at the Church of the Apostles in Atlanta,
I will be ordained and consecrated an
Anglican Bishop in the
You are invited if in town, or if not,
You can watch on

I covet your prayers!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Shepherd's Heart

Luke 15:1-10 illustrates God perspective toward those who stray from His ways. I am constantly overwhelmed with His seeking Grace -- how He pursues us and comes after us -- how He desires fellowship with us --- how He feels toward one person who turns back to Him.

This morning I had the privilege of preaching on the The Shepherd's Heart to our congregation at Holy Cross. What a privilege to be able to tell about Jesus Christ and His Heart. You can check out the sermon at;show,36.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


John Stott commenting on Genesis 3:5,6 -- "Sin is an unwillingness to let God be God, a refusal to acknowledge his 'otherness' and our continuing dependence on him. Sin is a revolt against God's unique authority; it is an attempt at self-deification."

Monday, August 30, 2010

Revival Praying

From the book, Revival Praying, by Leonard Ravenhill...

We preachers must teach prayer; if we do not, we are unfaithful ministers of the New Testament. But we must do more than teach prayer; we must teach it by practicing it.

A praying preacher is never envious of another man whose pulpit mastery exceeds his own. He glories that another can explain the way of the Lord more perfectly and glue the ears of a shifty congregation to the Word of the Living God.

There cannot be two operators of the Christian's life. We are either Spirit led in everything or self led.

We may call prayerlessness neglect, or lack of spiritual appetite, or loss of vision. But that which matters is what God calls it. In I Samuel 12:23 God calls prayerlessness sin: God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you."

Good preaching on ground ill-prepared by prayer is an abortive thing.

The man behind the pulpit must have a prayer life. "A holy man, " Robert Murray McCheyne used to say, "is a fearful weapon in the hands of a holy God."

Prayer links man's impotence to God's omnipotence.

Prayer swings us out of the natural into the supernatural.

Prayer turns our stony words into bread because He who turned water into wine still longs through the preaching of the Word to impart nourishment to heaven's pilgrims.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Mark Your Calendars

Having been elected a bishop by the College of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America, Archbishop Robert Duncan has called for an Ordination and Consecration. I will consecrated an Anglican Bishop to serve the Anglican Diocese of the South on October 9th at 1:00. The service will be held at the Church of the Apostles on Northside Parkway in Atlanta.

Mark your calendars and come celebrate with us on this special day. More thoughts to come...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Son of Hamas

Just finished reading Son of Hamas by Mosab Yousef. Literally could not put the book down. Stayed up most of the night. Mosab was the son of the major leader in Hamas. He shares his life journey from being a Muslim in Israel, a leader in the organization of Hamas, and becoming a follower of Jesus. It is absolutely incredible what this man went through and how God brought him through to real faith.

August Newspaper Column

My August Newspaper Column, "Trouble Praying?", is now posted at

Friday, July 16, 2010

Teach Me To Pray

From French Roman Catholic priest, Jean-Nicolas Grou (1731-1803) ...

O my Savior, I say to Thee, again with more insistence than ever: Teach me to pray; implant in me all the dispositions needful for prayer of the Holy Spirit.

Make me humble, simple and locile; may I do all that is in my power to become so.

Of what is my prayer if the Holy Spirit does not pray with me? Come Holy Spirit, come to dwell and work within me! Take possession of my understanding and my will; govern my actions not only at the moment of prayer but every moment. I cannot glorify God nor sanctify myself save by Thee.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Standing in the Gap

We had our annual Patriotic Service on July 4th. Great time with the Lord. I preached on "Standing in the Gap." Check it out at

Friday, June 25, 2010

Call to Prayer by Gulf State Leaders

Received this from a friend -- Let's join them in Prayer on June 27th!

Historically in America, whenever there has been a crisis, our civic leaders have called our cities, states, and even our nation to prayer, asking for God's help and guidance. They understood that help would come only through calling out for God's intervention. Today, the Gulf Coast States face a crisis with the oil spill that has threatened health, homes, and jobs, in addition to a number of other problems - and there doesn't seem to be a successful solution close at hand. So the elected leaders of the Gulf Coast States - Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida - are calling for a day of prayer in their states this coming Sunday, June 27.

We are including links to their prayer proclamations below and we encourage you to print them off and take them to church with you this Sunday, encouraging your congregation, friends and family to join with others in this critical time of prayer.

Even if you are not in one of the states along the Gulf, we're urging everyone across the nation to join with these states, asking for God's hand to be on all the decision-makers and lawmakers, that He would give them discernment and guidance, and that a solution would be forthcoming. I John 5:14-15 says, "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him." Please join with these states in petitioning God for a quick work in the Gulf Coast Region!

Texas -
Governor Rick Perry's Prayer Proclamation
Louisiana -
Governor Bobby Jindal's Prayer Proclamation
Alabama -
Governor Bob Riley's Prayer Proclamation
Mississippi -
Governor Haley Barbour's Prayer Proclamation
Florida's Prayer Proclamation

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Important Words on Prayer

Of course the preacher is above all others distinguished as a man of prayer. He prays as an ordinary Christian, else he were a hypocrite. He prays more than ordinary Christians, else he were disqualified for the office he has undertaken. If you ministers are not very prayerful, you are to be pitied. If you become lax in sacred devotion, not only will you need to be pitied, but your people also; and the day cometh in which you shall be ashamed and confounded. All our libraries and studies are mere emptiness compared to our closets. (Charles Spurgeon)

Pray continually. (Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Prayer should be the breath of our breathing, the thought of our thinking, the soul of our feeling, and the life of our living, the sound of our hearing, the growth of our growing. Prayer in its magnitude is length without end, width without bounds, height without top, and depth without bottom. Illimitable in its breadth, exhaustless in height, fathomless in depths and infinite in extension. (Homer Hodge)

If during meditation our thoughts move to persons who are near to us or to those we are concerned about, then let them linger there. That is a good time to pray for them. Do not pray in general, then, but in particular for the people who are on your mind. Let the Word of Scripture tell you what you ought to pray for them. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

What the church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use – men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men – men of prayer. (E. M. Bounds)

The potency of prayer has subdued the strength of fire; it has bridled the rage of lions, hushed anarchy to rest, extinguished wars, appeased the elements, expelled demons, burst the chains of death, expanded the gates of heaven, assuaged diseases, repelled frauds, rescued cities from destruction, stayed the sun in its course, and arrested the progress of the thunderbolt. Prayer is an all-efficient panoply, a treasure undiminished, a mine which is never exhausted, a sky un-obscured by clouds, a heaven unruffled by storm. It is the root, the fountain, the mother of a thousand blessings. (John Chrysotrum)

If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. I have so much business I cannot get on with spending three hours daily in prayer. (Martin Luther)

I must secure more time for private devotions. I have been living far too public for me. The shortening of private devotions starves the soul; it grows lean and faint. I have been keeping too late hours. (William Wilberforce)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Amesbury, Mass

This past week I had the privilege of participating in the Provincial Council and College of Bishops meeting of the Anglican Church in North America. Big on the agenda for me was two events -- my being elected the first bishop of Anglican Diocese of the South and the privilege of being able to teach the College of Bishops Bible Study.

In Procession with Bishop Keith Ackerman

Foley, Allison, Roger Aimes, Gretzy Aimes, David Anderson

I have been overwhelmed at the encouragement and affirmation from so many folks about the Lord opening the door for me to be a bishop. I am walking in faith that this is what he wants me to do, and I am excited about the vision he is beginning to give me regarding this sacred ministry. More reflections to come.....

Bishop Bill Murdock installed as the Bishop of the Diocese in New England in All Saints' Cathedral

Monday, May 31, 2010

In Memoriam on Memorial Day

On Memorial Day our country gives thanks to God, and honors the men and women our nation who throughout the years gave of their lives so we could have the freedoms and liberties we now enjoy. Sadly most of us take for granted the incredible sacrifice and dedication that so many individuals willingly gave in the horrors and tumult of war and battle.

This past week I had the privilege of traveling with my wife to Washington D.C. and participating in the graveside funeral service of her uncle, Lt. Col. Allan William Clarke, at Arlington National Cemetery. He was 90 years old and died earlier this year in Naples, Florida. The service was a sober reminder of the preciousness of life, the blessings of our country, and the honor and dedication of the men and women who wear the uniform of our nation.

These pictures are from the service at Arlington. I am walking in the Procession with an incredible and dedicated servant of the Lord, Chaplain Fernadez, who presided at the service.

O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women our our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy. Grant that we may not rest until all the peoples of this land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accepts its disciplines. This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN. - from the Book of Common Prayer

Saturday, May 29, 2010

James in Morocco

My son, James, just finished his junior year at the University of Georgia. He is currently on a nine-week study trip in Morocco. He is there studying Arabic. Check out his site at

Friday, May 21, 2010

God Save America

My friend and colleague in ministry, Dr. Michael Youssef, Rector of the Church of the Apostles in Atlanta, has issued a call for 100k Christians across America to covenant with God to pray daily for a spiritual awakening in our country from July 4 (Independence Day) to November 2 (Election Day).

I am joining him in this cause and invite you to do the same. Holy Cross will offer special days of prayer, fasting, and thanksgiving on behalf of the work of the Lord in and though our country. I hope you will pour out your heart before our Lord in prayer and supplication on behalf of our country.

As important as elections, laws, jobs, balanced budgets and public policy are, the root of our nation’s problems is our turning away from the Lord. Only a national repentance and revival will stop the flow of evil and destruction flowing through our land. Christians of all stripes must humble ourselves, confess and turn from our sins, and call out for God on behalf of our family, friends, neighbors, and nation.

2 Chronicles 7:14 must come alive in our land! Together we can unite with the heart of God.

For more information, click on God Save America.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Words from Vince Lombardi

The great football coach had some great words to say -- many of which were grounded in his privately held faith. Here are a few samples....

Winning is not a some time thing; it is an all the time thing. You don't win once in a while; you don't do things right once in a while; you do them right all the time.

The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field or endeavor.

Once a man has made a commitment to a way of life, he puts the greatest strength behind him. It is something we call heart power. Once a man has made this commitment, nothing will stop him short of success.

It's not whether you get knocked down; it is whether you get up.

Once you have established the goals you want and the price you are willing to pay, you can ignore the minor hurts, the opponents pressure and the temporary pressure.

Winning is not everything --- but making the effort to win is.

They call it coaching but it is teaching. You do not just tell them... you show them the reasons.

Teams do not go physically flat; they go mentally stale.

Success is like anything worthwhile. It has a price. You have to pay the price to win and you have to pay the price to get to point where success is possible. Most important, you must pay the price to stay there.

I derived my strength from daily mass and communion.

I believe in God.

If you aren't fired with enthusiasm, you'll be fired with enthusiasm.

There is only one way to succeed in anything, and that is to give it everything. I do, and I demand that my players do.

For more on Vince Lombardi, read his book edited by his son, Vince Lombardi, Jr., "What It Takes To BE Number One." Inspiring and easy read.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Chima and Nena

Chima Ekeke and his wife Nena with me at the Ignaural Synod of the Anglican Diocese of the South. Chima is a transitional deacon who is leading All Saints' Anglican Church in Atlanta. The Synod was the first gathering of the proposed new diocese.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Easter Reading

I recently posted some quotes from "The Crucifixion of Ministry" by Andrew Purves. Well, I picked up his sequel called "The Resurrection of Ministry." I am slowly working my way through it as I digest and reflect on his comments. Good stuff. Here are a few quotes...

"The actuality of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and his subsequent ascension and ministry at the right hand of the Father and through the Holy Spirit, make Christian faith and ministry possible."

"It's all about Jesus."

"Ministry in the continuing mood of Holy Saturday will sooner or later leave us burned out, dispirited and depressed for this reason: it is not faithful to the reality that is at the core of faith and ministry. That core: Jesus lives."

Other quotes from my readings....

From John Stott --- As Tertullian wrote in his Apology: "Kill us, torture us, condemn us, grind us to dust... the more you mow us down, the more we grow; the seed is the blood of Christians."

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. And he will be like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. -- Psalm 1

Monday, May 3, 2010


This past weekend we hosted the Inaugural Diocesan Synod for the newly forming Anglican Diocese of the South. We were able to ratify our proposed Constitution and Canons and elect our nominee for Bishop of the new diocese.
The Synod elected me by acclamation as the possible bishop, and my name will now be sent to the College of Bishops for their blessing and approval in June. I find the description of the bishop in the Constitution of the diocese quite inspiring...

A bishop is called by God and the Church to be a shepherd who feeds the flock entrusted to his care. A bishop is an overseer of the flock and as such is called to propagate, to teach, and to uphold and defend the Faith and Order of the Church, willingly as God wants him to -- not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to his care, but being a wholesome example to the entire flock of Christ. By the tradition of Christ's One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, bishops are consecrated for the whole Church and successors of the Apostles thought the grace of the Holy Spirit given to them. They are chief missionaries and chief pastors, guardians, and teachers of the doctrine, and administrators of godly discipline and governance.

For me this is a walk of faith as I will continue to serve as the Rector and Pastor of Holy Cross, Loganville. My life verse again speaks to me: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not upon your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:5,6).