Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hymns on Sunday - Red Mountain Church and Indelible Grace

This week I want to make you aware, if you are not already, of This is a website that is any artist can put up and freely distribute their music online. has a variety of music genres including Christian music and hymns. To get the music you must provide a little info (email address and zip code) - your download link/code will be emailed to you, but that's it. Oh an it provides a way to share what you are downloading on facebook and twitter to share with your friends.

Anyway, now that I have plugged noisetrade, I want to commend to you a couple of albums available. The first is a group from Red Mountain Church in Birmingham, AL. I became familiar with them a few years ago and totally got into the music they were putting out. I bought this album a while back but now it is available in it's entirety

It is "Help my Unbelief" by Red Mountain Church

Another album that I'd like to commend to you is Arise my Soul by Indelible Grace. What is offered on noisetrade is just a sampler, but it has several great songs that I hope wet your appetite for other Indelible Grace albums. Indelible Grace have put out several cds over the last few years that take many old hymns and put them to a new tune or bring a not so familiar hymn back into light.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Why I appreciate my pastor and his wife

Before I was a Christian I thought being a pastor would be a cush job...Sit around, go visit people, preach a few minutes on Sunday morning, do funerals and weddings. I know much better now that that is not the case, at least for my pastors. I realize that the work/service they do is much more than that. I know that I do not know all they deal with, the joys and the struggles. But I do know that it's not just a job that you check in at 8 and out at 5 and don't really have to think about when you go home.

There are a lot of things I could say about my pastor, but these are a few specifics reasons I appreciate him and thank God for placing him in Lakeshore and giving him a heart to proclaim the gospel and reach the community.
  • He is dedicated to glorifying and exalting Christ.
  • He decided to stay at Lakeshore Baptist Church when there was nothing here but the Lord, His Word, and the members of Lakeshore Baptist Church
  • He sincerely loves the local body of believers and the gulf coast community.
  • He loves the Word of God, committed to the doctrines of grace, preaches the Word expositionally, and proclaims the gospel in every sermon.
  • He loves his wife and his children,
  • He's a great leader and takes seriously the shepherding of the flock and caring for our souls.
  • He's led this small congregation to have a heart for mercy ministry married with the gospel.
  • He's not only pastor, but also contractor, architect, counselor, friend, father, husband, mentor...the list could go on.
  • He stands firm to the Truth in the hard times and doesn't break to meet the complaints just to make people happy, but he listens to the concerns and questions of the congergation and addresses what does arise.
  • He has a heart to see all in Hancock County come to Christ.
I could not go without mentioning Courtney, Pastor Don's wife. I've learn a pastors wife's 'job' is not always easy. She see her husband and her pastor in his highest and lowest moments. I could go on an on about Courtney as well, so this is no where near an exhaustive list but a few reasons I appreciate her.
  • She's taught me a lot in many areas of life
  • She's a great wife and mother.
  • She's loves God's word.
  • She stands firm in truth and doesn't beat around the bush to make sure truth is known.
  • She's been there for me in tough times.
Thank you both, Don and Courtney for your service to God and Lakeshore Baptist Church. Love you guys.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Why should you appreciate your pastor?

I ran across the blog Created to Give God the Glory earlier this month when I remembered October was Pastor Appreciation Month. I wish I did not need a month to help me to remember to appreciate my pastor, but I feel we and especially me, all too often forget to express my appreciation to him and to the Lord for him.

I thought this blog did a great job of explaining why we ought to appreciate our Pastor's. Here's a bit of what this blogger had to say.
Pastoring a local church is the hardest job in the world...Why?
1. The pastor carries the burdens of the people and is responsible for their souls before the Lord.
2. He does his best to help these people. Most of the time they completely ignore everything he tells them to do.
3. Church members tell the pastor how the church ought to be run. They have taken the point of view: "I have been in church, therefore, I know how to run the church."
4. Members take the church's highest peaks and try to say that was the standard
5. There are some members who always hide in the shadows. They will be quiet until they see something go wrong.
6. Pastors are not psychic.
7. Pastors cannot be at two places at one time.
8. People are sometimes incredibly unreasonable and the pastor has to let it roll off his back.
9. The pastor is expected to present a dynamic sermon each week.
10. Your pastor does all of this for the Lord. I promise you; he doesn't do it for the money!
I think these reasons and his examples are reminders for us to appreciate and encourage our pastors more frequently. Before the month is out, Lord willing tomorrow, I want to share publicly the reasons I appreciate my pastor, Don, and his wife Courtney.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Why Memorize Scripture?

I spent a lot of time in my first few years as a Christian memorizing scripture. I'm not claiming to be any sort of super Christian. All I knew right off was Christians need to memorize scriptures for many different reasons. The one reason I quoted most often from ps 119 - I've hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

I've gone through periods of time in the past couple years that I have been on the ball, memorizing scripture, hiding those words in my heart. Unfortunately there has been a lot of time I've neglected memorization. I saw this sermon clip today and was convicted about my lack of time and effort put into memorizing the most important thing I possess. Be encouraged by the words spoken by Pastor John Piper and may it prod you to memorize the words given us by our Holy God.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hymns on Sunday - Page CXVI Hymns I & II

There are so many great hymns and I am thinking about beginning a new idea for blog posts on Sundays that will highlight hymns, share the stories behind the hymns, or put resources in your hands to hear, learn, and enjoy hymns of old and the not so old. We'll see if I stick with it, but I have some ideas to get me started.

So to kick off this blog idea I want to share with you hymns from Page CXVI. I've enjoyed listening to Page CXVI hymns put to and they have just made them available for streaming on blogs and I would like to share them to you.

From Page CXVI Hymns I

Chord charts for Hymns I can be found on the Page CXVI blog

From Page CXVI Hymns II

Chord Charts for Hymns II can also be found on the Page CXVI blog

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bringing Christ to those who have never heard pt 2

I wrote just the other day about the Wild's ministry to a people group across the world who previously have never heard the gospel message, seen the scriptures in their language, and were as sinners bound for hell.

In an update from the Wilds they write that after years of preparation and 3 months of daily teaching on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday this week the gospel was presented for the first time to the people group. They added, "We did not use any gimmicks, flashy technology or big props - only the written Word of God spoken in the power of the Holy Spirit."

God was gracious and merciful opening blind eyes and darkened hearts of all types of people, young, old, murders, the polygamous, loners, warriors, and widows to respond in faith and repentance to the glorious gospel message of Christ's completed work on the cross.

The missionaries have spent the last few days talking to individuals and groups, some of whom are still confused and unsure. But we rejoice with the Wild's and others who are confident that we now have about 30 new brothers and sisters in Christ!!!

Here are a few testimonies from the new believers:

I - "Today I have heard the great thing that Jesus did by dying and shedding his blood. I am an evil man, but Jesus, in his death, has paid for my whole sin debt. when Yahweh ripped the temple curtain from the top down to the bottom, he showed me that I now have a way to join back with Yahweh and it is through the work that Jesus did to pay my full sin debt. i am now a child of Yahweh and that is all I have to say"

T - "Back before you guys came here we were always being told that having two wives, or having killed someone, smoking and chewing betelnut that we were Satan's children but the religious people who didn't do these were God's children. We were in complete darkness by you guys came and brough the light. You guys told us God's true talk and we now understand that there is no way for us to join up with God because we are all sinners. Only God can save us and Jesus paid the punishment for our sins with his blood when he died on the cross"

N - "I believe this talk, I understand it now. As you have been teaching, I have been confused about how I could be born again and joined with Yahweh. I know I have done many bad thing. But now I am understanding this talk. Jesus, has paid my sin debt in full. He has paid for my sin debt fully, and now because I believe on what Jesus did, and because I am leaning on him I am a child of Yahweh. I am very happy. Not just a little happy, but very happy. That is what is on my heart, and that is all I have to say.

L - clearly understood and gave a crystal clear testimony of Christ's blodd making the complete payment for his sin debt. He did have one question though, and that was that they have been told many times that people who have killed other people can never join up with God. He said that a long time ago he and three guys killed one guy and later, he was involved in killing three ladies thinking they were witches. He said that they whole time he has been listening to the teaching his heart has felt like crying because he didn't think he could ever join up with God. However, he now realizes that Jesus paid his complete sin debt, even that of killing other people. he said that Jesus blood made the way for us to join up with God and that he believes the talk.

The Wilds know this is just a beginning as they take on the task of discipling the new believers, who are already asking if there is more to Yahweh's talk and when they are going to hear it. It's an amazing work the Lord is doing in the hearts of his children and in the tribe. I praise God for saving these brothers and sisters, praying they would be encouraged, grow in relationship with Christ, and peresevere.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dog Eared Pages - Evangelism & The Sovereignty of God

In the book Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God author J.I. Packer dives into the discussion of the apparent antinomy between the Christian's evangelistic task, man's responsibility, and the sovereignty of God in salvation.

In other words, Packer states, that we Christians have a responsibility to share the gospel with the world, those who hear the gospel have a responsibility to respond to the gospel in faith and repentance, and know that God is in control of all things including saving men (He has elected those who are going to believe).

I highly recommend this book if you've struggled with the question 'If God elects people why do we have to share the gospel' or any similar question. Packer explains how God's sovereignty prevents evangelism from being pointless, because it creates the possibility and certainty that evangelism will be fruitful.

I could say much about this small but powerful book, but reading the book would be much more beneficial to you than just reading some quick review. The book is short and and easy read, but packed with truth. I recommend it for all.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bringing Christ to those who have never heard

In 2003 I have the great privilege to meet the Wild Family. At that time they were training with a missions organization preparing to be sent to a hard place.

Since then the Wilds along with the another family have moved across the world where they minister to a remote people group who have yet to hear the gospel. This unreached people group are a group that had been overlooked by the government and church groups. They did not have a written language, therefore no Bible in their language.

The missionaries have been working on becoming fluent in the language, transcribing the alphabet and words, and translating the scriptures. Last November they began the first literacy classes to teach the locals how to read and write their own language. Now they have literacy classes being taught by local men.

In addition to the Literacy classes, the missionaries began teaching chronologically through the Bible to the local men and women.

They write - The locals are sitting on the edge of their leaves each day waiting to hear how they can truly be made right with Yahweh!

"I was in Satan's hands, but because you have come, I am hearing God's true talk." -W

"What can I really say? Since the time I was born, I have been in Satan's hand, and I am his child. Is there any way that I can join with Yahweh? I am scared." - I

"We know we must believe on the Coming Redeemer, but what must we believe about him? Our insides are eating us!" -L

I just couldn't help but share of some of the great news being reported by fellow believers serving in from here what is a distant land. I give thanks to God for the safety of the missionaries, for the ability to learn the local language and begin translating the scriptures, and for the work that the Lord is already doing in the lives of the people as they go through the scriptures leading up to the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

I received an update email telling of their experience and the Lord's working as they recently shared the gospel with the local people. It's very exciting and I hope to share more soon.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Things I Wont Be

Over the years I have been encouraged by articles found on the Boundless website. For those who are unfamiliar Boundless is a Webzine that has many articles on being a Christian young adult, singleness, going into marriage, and deals with many hard issues that are very real in lives of believers.

One recent article, "Things I Wont Be", really caught my attention:

"During my twenties and early thirties I was hit with the many things I wouldn't be: married at 22 like my mom, the first of my siblings to wed, a young mother, a youthful grandmother, a couple married for 70 years. Life just wasn't going to work out the way I had anticipated.

And I had a choice. Choice No. 1: I could dwell on the deep sense of loss I felt at the death of those dreams, question God's goodness and become bitter. Choice No. 2: I could grieve the things I would not be and ask my loving Father to show me new dreams — the things “No eye has seen” (1 Cor. 2:9)."

I can't tell you how many times thoughts likes these have crossed my mind. Especially, for whatever reason lately, the part about being a couple married for 70 years. But I as I continued on through the story of Ruth and the remainder of the article, I was encouraged and challenge (once again).
"At some point in my single years, I decided it was futile, and even sinful, to cling to the things I would not be. I could only seek to know better the things I would be: a loving daughter, a loyal friend, an encouraging sister, a devoted follower of Jesus."

Marriage is a great thing and something that can be desired, but coveting marriage like coveting anything else is sin. Instead of focusing on the things I wont be, I need to be focus now on being faithful, making the most of the opportunities that I am given, being a better friend/sister/daughter, and diligently following Christ.

Who knows, what the Lord has in store. His plans may include marriage, they might not. They might mean years and years with a spouse or just hours hours. They may include kids, they might not. Whatever the Lord has planned is perfect and I need not covet the life that I don't have. I will try to embrace everything that He's given me and pursue godliness. And I will pray letting the Lord know the desires of my heart which include marriage and children, but also praying that the Lord would lead me from the temptation to covet the things I am and have not.