Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Another Great Weekend & A Small Break

Well this past weekend was jam packed. So much was going on.

First in Friday and Saturday Caleb's All-Star team, which I coached, played in the District tournament in Underwood which is about an hour and a half from here. They got beat both games which knocked us out but they had a great season and I was so proud of them. So now we get a one month repreive from sports until August. Caleb says he wants to play football and I suppose I'll let him but man, I wish he'd reconsider. But it is what it is. Football is most people's god around here and so all Caleb's friends are playing, hence, we play.

Sunday was a good day. Our choir did about a 25 minute program entitled, "From Sea to Shining Sea". It used the projector screens to show a DVD while we sang and it was powerful. I preached on "The Problem With America" and everyone seemed to be very receptive to it. It was probably the most talked about sermon after church that I have preached in a while.
Sunday night I continued with "Red Sea Rules #8". I really think our people love this series.

This Sunday Southeastern FWB College will be with us and Ron Davis will be speaking Sunday morning. I will preach Red Sea Rule #9 Sunday night and then began a brand new series Sunday morning July 12th. Not sure what yet.

Tomorrow, I'm leaving for 3 days. Not long, but needed. We are going to Ft. Morgan, Alabama. It is just west of Gulf Shores. So off to the beach for a few days.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A GREAT Falling Away

I know what some are thinking, "He hasn't posted this much since he has had this post." But I've had some things on my mind and so I just wanted to share.

2Thessalonians 2:3 says "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;" It says that as the end nears a falling away will come first.

Why am I writing about this? Because I have never seen a falling away like I am right now. Preachers, teachers, once faithful church members, you name it, they are returning as the Proverb said, "to their vomit." Proverbs 26:11, "As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly." I dont guess I understand but I see it so rampant. People that once understood sin and the authority of the Bible and the fear of God, now just do what they want and disregard the Bible. I was talking to a pastor friend yesterday who was telling me that he had parishoners who the Bible had NO authority in their lives. But the problem is, there was a day it did.

I guess for myself and those who may read this - stay in the Word, stay close to God, make the Bible the ULTIMATE authority in your life and Fear God. God is a loving God but for those who don't fear Him, He will one day be there judge.

Just something to ponder.

Just Doesnt Make Sense

Have you ever wondered, "Why do God's people get attacked by "God's" people?" No, everything is fine and I am ok but it hasn't always been this way. Why do people who claim to know God attack, defame and tear down people who DO know God? Maybe I'm the only one who this has happened to but I am sure I'm not. In almost 32 years of life growing up in a Christian home with Godly parents and now almost 10 years of ministry, I've seen in over and over and over again. And from my human standpoint, it just DOESN'T make sense. I mean why would Godly people who want to serve Christ want there to be division and strife. The truth is the answer is found in the question.
Let me give a few things that I believe can help get through these times.

#1 In Matthew 13:24 Jesus begins a parable talking about how a man planted a field and that night when the man went to bed, the enemy snuck in and planted tares within the field. Stalks of tares looked a lot like stalks of wheat but they were imposters.
We may not like it but if the devil is to destroy us, he will do so by planting tares with the church. We must pray that as the tares go to work against the wheat (the true church) that God binds the work of Satan and allows the work of God to go forth.
A while back I preached on how that Satan would use someone inside our church to try to destroy it and it didnt take very long after that sermon for that to come true.
So the first thing that I have to remember, is most likely (not all the time) Im dealing with a tare, a lost person, a tool of Satan. And if you read the rest of that parable you understand that the tares receive their due judgment.

#2 1 Thessalonians 4:8 says, "He therefore that despiseth , despiseth not man, but God." A person who comes against you while you are standing for truth and serving God is just a tool of Satan who is in essence going against God. What I have to remember is that their REAL problem is not with me, its with God.

#3 And then finally one will say, "Preacher, they are lying about me." "They are running me down and its not true." "They keep running their mouths." Take it from me and remember Jude 9, "Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him accusation but said, "The Lord rebuke thee." You know what Ive learned, let God shut them up. Let God fight the battle for you. He does so much better than I do.

Does it make sense that "Christian" people attack Godly people? No. But it happens and will continue to happen. So remembering a few things helps me.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

10 Years

Well, April has put up with me 10 years.

Let me give a short run down of the last 10. We've lived in Manassas, VA, Clayton, NC, Springfield, MO, Crewe, VA and Hamilton, AL. You'd think I was in the military. We have seen our high spots and low spots. We loved, laughed, cried and prayed together. She's made me mad and Ive got on her last nerve. She has grown to love the Braves, Alabama, the Cowboys and Duke. I still hate shopping. She still likes to spend money but appreciates my cheapness. And at the end of the day, she is the very best friend I have. She is so loyal. She has so many great qualities but most of all, she is Godly. I love her for that. She stands on Biblical truth and loves God first and foremost no matter who, and I mean who, it offends. I want her NO other way.
She is a gift from God and I will hold on to her until the day I die. And me and her both know I'll die first. (Thats an inside joke)

To my wife, thanks for the last 10. I love you so much. I look forward to the next 50.

It's Been A While

Well, I know what most are thinking. Its been a while. And since my last post a TON has happened.
Let me say first the church is doing great. Services just keep getting better and better. Bro. Adrian, my new youth pastor, started about 2 weeks ago. First chore, go to camp. We went to The Wilds this year and took 28 kids to camp and had a great time. We also saw a ton of decisions. We had 5 first time decisions and a bunch of others. Last Sunday night we had 30 testimonies and I baptized 12. God is so good. And btw, Adrian is doing a SUPER job.
April and I just celebrated our 10 year anniversary last Friday but I will create a post just for that.
Caleb's baseball is ALMOST over. We MAY have just one more game. We will know after tomorrow night.
Josh is just Josh. Not much else to say there.

So thats that. Im ready for the fall and football season. Its WAY too hot here and the Braves STINK.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Exciting Times

Well i promise a blog update if I had some big news for this week and I do.

Wednesday night I hired a brand new youth pastor, Adrian Nottonson. We are extremely fortunate and priviledged to add Adrain to our staff at Hamilton FWB Church. Adrain will graduate next week, May 8th, from Southeastern FWB College. He will also marry Ashley Jefferson on May 23 and then start with us the first week of June. First assignment? CAMP!!!

Let me say a few words about his dear fiancee Ashley. She will also be a great addition to the Hamilton FWB Church family. She was a BIG hit with the teen girls and moms. We are excited to have her come as well.

Adrian is distinctively Free Will Baptist and unashamed of it. I like this a whole lot. He will be a great asset to our ministry.

Welcome Adrian and Ashley!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Summer - I Feel It

Well, it has been almost a month since my last update and there is good reason. These past few weeks have been insane.
Let me start with the family. (I know I usually start with the church but lets shake things up a little). April is almost finished with her school for the semester. Just one week left. I'm sure she will be thrilled to have a break. But thats not to say she has done bad because the girl is a genious. All A's this semester. Caleb has got 3 1/2 weeks left until 2nd Grade is in the books and we have our fingers crossed that he'll have all A's for the year. His baseball team (which I coach)is in full swing and we havent lost yet but that surely doesnt mean it aint coming. Caleb has been to the plate 11 times and has 10 hits. 10 for 11 aint bad! Josh is continuing to be Josh and needs your prayer. (or maybe we need your prayer) Preschool is only 3 months away.
The church is going great but has been incredibily busy. April is by far the busiest month here at Hamilton Free Will and breathing is a must. We've had a Sunday School Campaign, Couples Retreat, Easter Drama and this Sunday is Friend Day plus a concert Sunday night with Karen Peck and New River. Our attendance has been good - 180, 226, 188 respectively and keep continuing to see new faces. The biggest need is to stay focused - stay at Bethel. May we never forget or stop what got us here and thats prayer!
Summer is coming and at least things wont be as busy. Exciting days ahead.
Hopefully I'll have some exciting news next week and if I do I will be sure to update.

Monday, March 30, 2009

It Is Well

One of the greatest songs ever written is "It is Well (w/my soul)". That could never be a truer song than it is today. Im overwhelmed.
Let me say first it seems i havent been in the office for ages. One week i went on vacation with my family to Orlando, FL which by the way I had a great time. I have a great family. I love April more today than ever. This June will be ten years she has put up with me and all that goes with me. I also have two great boys that are growing up way too fast. Caleb is 8 and Josh is 4 and I am the most blessed man on earth. Truly!
Last week I went and played in the Masters Men (of FWB) golf tournament and i stink but i had a great time. We have the best guys in the world in our church and they are a pleasure to be around. That even includes Phillip! :)
So I get back to church and yesterday was unbelievable. In the morning I finished a series of the book of Ruth and talked about how Jesus is our Kinsmen-Redeemer and the great lengths He went to to redeem us. When He got me, He didnt get anything but He went to the cross and died anyway. I serve an awesome God.
But then last night is hard to put into words. We did this thing called "Cardboard Ministries". I must say that when I first heard about it and even saw it on YouTube I wasnt sure. Basically it is where you get a group of people and on one side of the cardboard they write what they were before Christ and then on the other side they write what they are now. They simply walk to the stage one by one and show the before and then the after. It might be the most powerful thing I have ever seen and been a part of. The song "I will rise" by Chris Tomlin played and one by one (myself included) went to the stage and showed their cards. Mine said that before Christ I was "a rebellious hypocrite" but after Christ I was "real". Its a long story and one that i dont tell much, but let me just say that I am different, so different and pray every day to be the "real deal" for Christ. But i guess the one that got me the most was a Godly lady in our church who is such a blessing. The front of her card said "Mom at 15" and the back talked about how now she is trying to be a Godly mom and wife. It was POWERFUL!
So this is over and the altar is full and by the end of the night 3 people were saved!
I've been in church all my life. Been in the ministry almost 10 years. I've been in services that were this powerful but NEVER services this powerful back to back to back and so on. IT IS TRULY WELL!

So starting a new week anticipating the moving hand of God.

Caleb starts baseball games this week and maybe they will do good inspite of his coach! But I wouldnt change it for the WORLD!

So until next time, It Is Well.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Simply Amazing

Joseph told his brothers, "What you meant for evil, God meant for good." And there is NO DOUBT that those words ring true for me and my church today.
I wish I knew where to begin in writing what God is doing in our midst. I think the last think I wrote I was telling about the unexplainable things God is doing in our church. Let me see if i can summarize.
It seems revival started in our church about 2 weeks ago when God began to move in the lives of our people. Then we had actual revival services and they were great. But then we come to today. And this morning 4 people came to the altar and prayed to receive Christ as Lord and Savior. Now I was shouting and praising God for all that He did. I came home tonight from church and it was good, but when I got home I received a phone call from a couple in our church needing to meet me back at church. When I got there I had the priviledge of leading them to Christ as well! WOW what a day! Six people prayed to receive Christ today. And all I can say is Simply Amazing!!!!!!!
But the truth is I believe it is just starting. God is doing something awesome in our midst and I am just glad to be a part of it.

Tomorrow is Monday and I have much to do because I leave for my yearly vacation on Friday to Orlando, FL and I want to get my work done so I can relax while I'm gone. Im excited about vacation but also a little sad to leave church at such an exciting time.

Caleb's baseball starts on Tuesday and I will again be coaching his team. Should be fun. Josh turned 4 today and it just seems like time is moving too fast.

April has three mid-term exams this week so pray for her. She too will welcome vacation Friday.

I will try to update from sunny Florida where I will hopefully be "sitting by the dock of the bay" doing a bunch of nothing.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Its been a few weeks since my last update and it has been a wild two weeks. What has been going on is not important, but what God is doing now is amazing.
There is no doubt that in my own personal life I have times where I get complacent in my Christian walk. And it never fails when that happens that God does something to wake me up. Well, God has woken me up. And now what He is doing is unexplainable.
There are so many things happening right now I'm not sure where to begin. Our services lately have been awesome and God is truly showing Himself mighty. Many of our people are developing deeper walks with Christ and seeing the seriousness of the spiritual battles.
Our small groups are doing great right now and it seems like every time one takes place, the effects are seen in our church.
So all in all, God is truly being with us.

Revival starts Sunday morning with Christian Powell and I am excited and the church is ready for something great.

So thats about it. BTW, the Braves start Spring Training games this week. So I'm pumped.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Great Sunday

I just wanted to update the blog and let everyone know what a great Sunday we had.
As many may know, we started our new service time yesterday at 10:50 and had the largest crowd we've had in a while. The service was powerful from the music to the preaching to the invitation.
God is doing some great things here. He is really working in peoples lives and causing them to dig much deeper in their lives. The small groups seem to really be having a positive impact and we are trying to implement them in the other SS classes. So we will see how that goes.
Last night I started a series on the family. That too went well and had good response. Hopefully the families in our church will be solidified.
Ok, so thats it.

Braves baseball not far away!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Being Me

Well, its almost February but January was an exciting month and I have learned a great deal.
We just got finished with our Missions Conference at church and we had some great guys come speak for us. Our attendance was pitiful but my heart was challenged. But as I talked to these guys and thought about my own spiritual journey, I have determined more than ever to just be me. To understand this would take a long time but let me just say that its been a process for some years now.
You see for some time I have been trying to make sure men accepted me and my stands on things instead of worrying what God thought. And it was frustrating for a long time. But God wants me to be me and follow Him as He leads my ministry. Let me settle some down who might be reading this and thinking Ive fallen off the turnip truck and say these are not radical changes but changes non the less.
I just finished a series on Sunday nights entitled "Out of the Box" which btw was my favorite series to preach ever. It focused in on simply maximizing ministry and making sure we were not being exclusive in reaching people for Christ. So many are, and I refuse to exclude anyone based on non-Biblical grounds.
We are starting small groups which kicked off tonight. Our young adult SS class has been averaging 45-50 on Sunday mornings and they have been broken up into 9 small groups. Yes, we still have SS but they also will meet outside of church at least once a month. Hopefully this will develop relationships, encourage discipleship and also create salvations in those who are unchurched. I think it will go well.
Anyway, February is soon approaching and I will make a final decision on my next series in the morning. Sunday morning will either be "Pressing for the Prize" or "Escape: A Look At Jonah". Sunday nights will be on the family unless the Holy Spirit changes my mind.
Nothing else going on except I now am the parent of an 8 year old and that makes me sound real old.
April is doing great in school and I am so proud of her. And Josh is growing up before our eyes. I no longer have babies.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Brand New Year

So its been awhile since my last post. Its a brand new year and its been a busy new year already.
Let me just say first of all, I had a great Christmas and holiday season other than Bama stinking it up and my Cowboys imploding. Smoltz has left the Braves (traitor) but they now have Derek Lowe. Hopefully by the time I post again, they will have a new Left Fielder.
Anyway, at church we hit the ground running. We have some changes and I hope they are being received well.
For starters, we've changed the morning time of service to 10:50 am. That will begin on Feb. 1st. We want to include more singing in the service and because Im known to be a little long winded, we had to add some time. But the one thing I really like about the am service, is its all about worship. We've cut out all the excess. And it seems to be going well.
On Sunday nights Ive been preaching a series entitled, "Out of the Box". Being that I pastor a small town Alabama church, it lends itself to get in the "we've only done it one way" mentality. Im hoping with preaching, praying and effort, that will change. And it is already starting and its exciting.
April started nursing school and shes loving it. The kids are in their groove and that seems to be going well.
So, there is my update and I will try again soon.