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: http://www.hcanglican.org/page.asp?pg=Israel%20Tour%202011

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 http://www.holycrosspodcasts.org/C1-media;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 http://www.holycrosspodcasts.org/C1-media;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 www.undragonyourlife.com.

Pastors check out www.narniafaith.com. 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.