Sunday, March 25, 2007

New Modern-Day Hymn...Oh to See the Dawn

Tonight at Rockport we sung the words of a great Hymn by Stewart Townsend and Keith Getty. I thought it might be good to include the story behind the hymn by quoting the article from their will also notice that Townsend is also the author of "In Christ Alone" another modern day hymn that has already swept the English-speaking world.

The original link for this article is

If you would like to see the words of the song in it's entirety, then click on

Story Behind: The Power of the Cross
Hymn for Communion

"The Power of the Cross" is a meditation on the sufferings of Christ.

Over the past couple of years, we have been working through the Apostles Creed and writing hymns teaching the fundamental beliefs of Christianity.

The Creed teaches that 'He suffered under Pontius Pilate', and in communion we are commanded to 'remember his death 'til he comes'. In the New Testament, Paul and the Apostles often preached and prayed in more detailed and visual ways about the cross, turning all of our senses to Christ's sufferings and their significance.

Stuart and I considered how the reality of His sufferings should penetrate our worship services and were challenged by the need to explain the overwhelming significance and implications these have for our lives. In our congregational worship the sufferings of Christ have often only been given a surface glance and it is hardly surprising that the theological meaning often remains confused:

'This the power of the cross

Christ became sin for us

Took the blame, bore the wrath

We stand forgiven at the cross.'

Our hope is that the hymn; "The Power of the Cross" will be a resource to the church as a declaration of what we believe; a challenging reflection on Christ's sufferings and a powerful song for Easter or Communion services.

It is also our hope that people will be challenged again by the wonder and the power of the cross.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Update on Worship Service In Spanish

We had a new person attend the service this evening. A lady (Ingrid) and her young daughter attended and enjoyed being here! Praise the Lord! They both really enjoyed coming and are looking forward to returning the next week! Thank you Kristi and Robby for picking them up! Thank you Robby for making the brownies!!!

There were five in attendance this evening. The Lord is opening many doors!

Prayer Requests
  • Ingrid and her daughter. I'm sorry I don't have the little girl's name. Her daughter speaks English and we really desire that there might be other kids for her to interact with.
  • Armando, Bauricio, Elias, and Angela as they could not be there this evening.
  • We have been asked if there is anyway that there could be a service on Sundays or if our services temporarily could be translated. Please pray that the Lord's will and His provision!
  • Prospective contacts that we are visiting: Eric, Mauricio, and Antonio.
  • We would desire to have some banners, storage for supplies, and other materials for follow up and teaching.
  • I have been asked to assist in leading worship at the 3rd Anniversary Service at Daniel's Home Church (Centro Cristiano Kingshighway) on April 28-29.

Prayer requests for tonight

If you are keeping up with this ministry, you already know that we are having a worship service/Bible Study in Spanish on Tuesday nights at Rockport Baptist. I appreciate everyone praying over this. We are getting ready for our 6th meeting and I want you all to be aware of some prayer requests. May Christ be honored and may He build His church!
  • Daniel Hernandez and his congregation and family as he is busier now that he is teaching and leading this group.
  • Elias, Bauricio, Ingrid, and other other who have stated that they will be attending for the first time this evening. This is exciting to see the Lord open many doors!
  • Mauricio, a young man that I met a couple of weeks ago and Daniel followed up with last night.
  • Pray that there would be a rock solid foundation in the truth as this group forms.
  • Pray for the necessary finances for materials, storage areas for materials, etc.
  • I know that I haven't mentioned this lately, but please pray for me as I am working on the Spanish language and really need to make a more concentrated effort at learning this. There has been great progress, but there must be more. It is really my desire to return to Mexico for at least a few days before our trip in June. I have found that being around others who do not speak English is really the best way to learn!

Within 24 hours I will post and update on any new information!

In all things...Christ Preeminent!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Reflection from a past "Youth Event"

A few years ago, I attended a youth event filled with Missouri Baptist Youth and their leaders. They convened upon St. Louis and were gathered for a conference focused on missions and evangelism. I was excited. If you know me, you know that there isn't much more that can thrill me then when we get together to talk about taking the Gospel message to others so that they to may taste and see that the Lord is good! I was pumped, I loaded our church van, headed out, and there we arrived.

The church building we were meeting in was packed!!! There must have been a thousand or more students, and they were giddy, excited, loud, and crazy. Then they had a great band lead some songs, and they were good songs at that.

What happened next was a surprise to me. A guy got up after the music and began telling jokes and imitating a man by the name of "Chris Farley"...I'm not sure how to spell it. I don't know that I have ever seen any movie with this person in it, and I hope that I have not, but I was told by some of the kids that this was they guy that our speaker was impersonating. This went on back and forth with jokes and impersonations for about an hour.

I looked around. I saw students and leaders doubled over they were laughing so hard. It appeared that everyone was having a great time. They were all in to this guy's message. I mean, everyone was memorized and totally given in to this. He had the entire audience captivated.

Finally at the end of the "talk" he wrapped everything up by asking the kids if they wanted "Jesus to come back." Everyone was screaming "yes, yes." Then he proceeded to tell them that Jesus could not come back until everyone in the world "had the chance to be saved." Therefore, we have to GO!!!

At first, I was appalled that there were all of these students that were joyfully applauding this man's foolishness. Then something greater than that struck me...their leaders are in it and encouraging it as well!

I was sick. I was angry. Sadly, this type of foolishness goes on far too often in the name of "Youth Evangelism." It is time that we stop playing our little games and imitating the world, and we return to the preaching of the gospel. For it is the power of God for the Salvation of everyone who believes. Romans 1:16

Dios es El Evangelio (God is the Gospel)

Many people have been touched by this book written by John Piper. Our congregation purchased a copy of this book in English for the Pastors of the Jefferson Baptist Association. I pray that this book might be able to find it's way circulating through the Hispanic Congregations both in the United States and elsewhere!
'Cheap grace' is the mortal enemy of the church. Our struggle today is for 'costly grace.' - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Update on Worship Service in Spanish

There were 4 in attendance and Daniel brought a message from 2 Timothy 4 on the authority of the Scripture. This came after a time of singing praises to the Lord with Daniel on the guitar and Armando on the keyboard. Armando is learning how to play the songs and is learning how to read the "chord progressions" in English. He is very excited about learning this because he really does foresee a future with him in leading music.

Included in tonight's service was a repeating of the memory verse challenge as well as a charge to memory three scriptures by next week. This has been a great encouragement!!!

Armando has a cousin that recently came here to St. Louis, and he is going to be attending with us next week. Armando also took a Bible home to him. The Lord really seems to be opening doors here with this family so please continue to pray for them. Pray also for Armando's health because he has been sick now for almost 3 weeks.

Prayer Requests
  • Pray for Daniel as he is teaching, leading, and organizing this service as well as Pastoring his own congregation. Pray for his wife and children as they are adjusting to him being more busy.
  • Pray for me that the Lord will sustain me and my wife. Times are really busy..we know that with the baby coming, they are not going to get any slower.
  • Pray that the Lord would grow his church. We desire to see a Christ-exalting Spanish-speaking congregation started. It is our hope that the Lord will use this Tuesday Night service to do just that!
  • Pray that I might continue to brush up on my Spanish-speaking skills that in the future the Lord might use me more and more in this area.
  • There was a Hispanic family that we met at Culver's after the study. They were very open to me discussing with them about the service. I left them the contact information and encouraged them to join us.
  • Pray for Elias (a new guy that I have been getting to know over the past several weeks). He is planning on coming with me next week, I believe that he does not know the Lord. Also, pray for Eric, a contact that Daniel made. He is also interested in attending next week.
  • We have two other leads, a man named Mauricio and a woman named Ingrid. She has children and has at least expressed some interest.
  • Pray that financial support will continue to come in for this ministry. Right now the Jefferson Baptist Association is matching everything that Rockport donates. Currently this is approximately $100.00/month. I would like to see that eventually see that go to $250.00/month as this will help provide for more supplies and outreach type materials.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Have you ever considered?

I was sitting at Starbucks this morning before church and was reading my Bible. (Recently I fell behind in where I had been reading...but was "catching up.") On a side note, and I recognize this is another sermon and another post, I find that when I am most busy...even with "church things" is when I sometimes feel so distant.

I am using Robert Murray M'Cheyne's Daily Bible Reading guide to help me stay focused on a good balance of Old and New Testament readings. I would recommend this for everyone!

In my "catch up" reading, I went through Job chapters 38-40. Specifically chapters 38-39 were very inspirational today. You see, the Lord was bringing back to Job's memory the awesomeness (if this is a word) of God.

Can you life up your voice to the cloud, that a flood of waters may cover you? Can you send forth lightings, that they may go and say to you, "Here we are?" Who has put wisdom in the inward parts or given understanding to the mind? Who can number the clouds by wisdom? Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens, when the durst runs into a mass and the clods stick fast together? Job 38:34-38

Just simply considering this and being overwhelmed at how much bigger God is than me brought me to a great place today...worship. I could not help myself when I was reading this. It seemed that everything else in my mind had been forgotten because I had been blown away at the amazing authority, power, and majesty of our God.

You can find M'Cheyne's Bible Reading plan at:

Saturday, March 10, 2007

D-Now Weekend at FBC Fenton

We have just finished our first session at the D-Now weekend at FBC Fenton. The speaker is Thomas Young and he has been challenging us on the priority of worship and a truthful understanding of the attributes of God.

Please remember us in prayer as we are here this weekend. Specifically, pray that our students would be renewed by the power of the Word of the Lord. Also, pray that if there be any among us that are unbelievers, that they might be converted by the power of the gospel.

Tonight on the way Starbucks (surprise, surprise) I was walking a little behind the rest of the group because I had been checking on a few things at the hotel. As I was crossing the parking lot I noticed a young man in the parking lot of one the restaurants. I stopped to speak to him, he's from Mexico...again...are you surprised that I would speak to him? I explained to him about our Bible Study and invited him to come. Another great thing is he is off on Tuesdays. Please pray that the Lord might open the door for us to share the gospel with him. His name is Mauricio.

In all things...Christ preeminent!


Thursday, March 8, 2007

Update on Tuesday Night Service in Spanish

I'm sorry that i am late posting the update...however I am excited about my experience this past Tuesday night.

We started out with multiple commitments from people to be in attendance at the service. So, Daniel and I met and together we spent a great time discussing the Word of God rejoicing in truth, exhorting one another to holiness and Godliness. We shared testimony, triumph, and requests for prayer and thanksgiving for answered prayer.

Throughout the week we have been in contact with more people, and this seems to increase each week. For the upcoming Tuesday there are new people that have given a verbal commitment to come to the Bible Study. We will be following up with them throughout this week. Specifically pray for the following people.
  • Ingrid and her family
  • Armando (He has been very, very sick for almost two weeks now. He is improving and hopes to be back next week.)
  • Ed (This is a friend of mine that I have known for about a year. He is expressing interest in coming with me.)
  • Antonio and Lazaro (Brothers, both in need of salvation)
  • Elias - This is a new person that I have come in contact with over the past few weeks.
  • Amado and Family - This is a new family that moved in to our apartment complex. He and his wife have two teenage children.

You may ask...are you discouraged because it was only the two of you this past week? The answer is absolutely not!!! We knew that we would go around planting seeds, sowing, praying, and dependant upon the Lord to build His church! (Matthew 16:18)

Secondly, after almost two hours of time with my dear brother, Daniel, I rejoiced in the goodness of God. On a side has been said in the past that accountability is the most talked about, but the least done action within the church. I used to say this many times and still believe that there is a great need for reform in this area. However, I now believe that there is something that is said about 100 million times more than "accountability" and is truthfully done even less, and that is exactly what we were able to experience Tuesday night, that is...fellowship.

I wonder how much genuine fellowship actually occurs among God's people? What do we consider "fellowship?" Does our opinion and the Bible's clear picture match up? If not, why?

In all things...Christ preeminent!


Sunday, March 4, 2007

Words from the D-Now in Troy, Illnois

First, I would like to thank the folks from Bethel Baptist Church for having us this weekend for the Disciple Now conference. It was an honor and a privilege for us to be a part of such a time in the life of your students.

From hearing the testimony of some of the students and the workers, it appears that the Lord is working mightily in your lives and it is our prayer that this work would continue to produce fruit for the glory of God!

One thought that I would like to leave, though I am sure that there is more that will follow...first, a look back at the passage found in Romans 12:1-2 (ESV)

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
I know that this was preached over and over again throughout the weekend, but I cannot get it out of my head. Do not be conformers to the pattern of the world! That seems to be a given...duh!!! However, I would like to quote Bro. Bob Schembre in his sermon to not conform to the ways of the church! This struck hard because when we are only conformers to the ways of the church, we are not transformed to the ways of Christ. Once you are truly transformed, then your outward living will change. Therefore I would like to mention two quick points.

  1. For the person that might be reading this that does not know Christ. Trust in Him alone to save you. Do not waste your life trying harder to make yourself look good. Don't waste your time being a "good person" and think that this is going to help you "know God." It will only make you think that you are "ok" and in the will cost you your very soul.
  2. For the one that does now Christ. Constantly and consistently resist the temptation to conform to the thinking and the pattern of the world. Constantly be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Read and Study the Word of God. Turn off the television and read the Word of God! Here's a little rebuke for me...Aaron...stop worrying about the e-mail and read the Word!!! Stay in the Word and be transformed. More to follow...
For any Students that might read this...thank you for your time and dedication this weekend! It would be a great joy to have any testimonies posted as comments to the blog!

In all things...Christ preeminent!


Saturday, March 3, 2007

Update on D-Now in Troy, Illinois

Recap on What's Happened...
I would like to give everyone an update on how things are going here in Troy. Scott opened last night with a powerful message on Romans 12:1-2 discussing the fact that we are all worshipers. He challenged us to think about what is the object of our worship.

This morning Bob brought a message challenging us on the other part of that verse about conforming or being transformed. A special note to this was the fact that the Lord impressed upon Bob to specifically mention how wrong it is for the non-Christian to be conformed to the "church" since this brings an outward appearance of righteousness, but really only makes someone twice the child of hell.

Prayer Requests
Please pray for Scott as he is preparing for the upcoming message tonight...actually in about an hour from now. There will be a great concert with the worship band. Anyone is welcome to join us here for the concert tonight from 7:00p - 10:00p @ Bethel Baptist Church in Troy, Illinois.

Please remember us as we have met a young man named Derek at a restaurant last night. He was able to take us to find Starbucks today and we are praying that he would be willing to come with us tomorrow morning for the service. Please pray that the Lord will open the opportunity for us to share the gospel with him. I am going with some of the college students here to see him tonight at work (surprise, surprise...I'm going where there is food!).

Pray also that Scott and I might be able to speak with great boldness tomorrow for the final sessions.

Hopefully I'll have some more updates later and perhaps some pictures from here in Illinois.

In Christ,

Friends, pray for a boynamed Derek. We methim after the D-Now service. We invited him to come. Pray for Bob as he preaches in the morning.

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