Friday, April 27, 2007

From "A Narrative of Surprising Conversions"

I have been sharing with some lately, a most interesting line from the book that I am currently reading, "Jonathan Edwards on Revival." This line describes something that I desire...oh so my life/my well as in the lives of the Students at Rockport Baptist Church. Let me share it with you real quick and then talk about it...but first, understand that Jonathan Edwards was writing about what was going on during a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit bringing salvation and transformation to a large area over 200 years ago.

Our young people, when they met, were wont to spend the time in talking of the excellency and dying love of Jesus Christ, the glory of the way of salvation, the wonderful, free and sovereign grace of God, his glorious work in the conversion of a soul, the truth and certainty of the great things of God's word, the sweetness of the views of his perfections, etc. (15)

Oh how I long that this and more could be said!!! It is my desire, and my prayer...that the Lord would again, open up the heavens and rain down a special outpouring of His Spirit in the hearts and lives of the young people of this generation. We are a generation that waste our affections on everything else but what pleases God. Oh how I can become so excited about the latest gadget, discussion, music, Cardinal ball game, etc. I can use my emotions, my time, money, and energy to gladly enthrall myself in these things. There is nothing necessarily "evil" about sports, gadgets, discussion, coffee, music...but do others see in me a greater desire, a greater love for the God who saved me...though I deserved the fiery flames of Hell? Ask yourself...where are my affections invested, where do I spend them?

Father, may You be pleased to come and do such a mighty work of transformation among us Your people. Lord, may the streets resound with singing Your great fame and Your great Name! May You bring salvation and a great awakening to Your truth among the young at Rockport, and may this lead to the conversions of others at such a surprising rate, that none can doubt that this is a mighty move of the Sovereign Lord! Lord, may this be all for your glory, and not our own! Amen

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Praise the Lord!!

For those who have been praying for us the last few days, Rachel, Olivia, and I would like to say "thank you." Everything appears to be just fine with Olivia and we have a follow-up appointment at the doctor on Friday!

In all things...Christ preeminent!


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sitting at Starbucks...Looking over the Sermon

It is amazing what you will learn by just listening to people...and communicating with them. As I am looking over my sermon notes for this morning, my heart is broken for those around me here at Starbucks...those that do not know the risen Savior.

This morning I feel a sense of heartache over the fact that most of these people walking in and out of these doors in front of me...the ones standing behind the bar making drinks...well...they shall never know God. I pray for the opportunity for the open door...began discussions with some already...pray for them...that the Lord may open their hearts and that they may see the Light of the Glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus. Sitting here listening to Chris Tomlin sing "How Great is our God" and when he sings...and "All will Great is our God" it reminds me of two types of people.
  • There will be those on that day...who will see How Great God is when they stand before Him in Judgment for their rebellion and stiff-necked refusal to submit to Him as Lord.
  • There will be those for whom Christ took the sting of death upon Himself...and they shall see the Glory of God and will rejoice on that day when they stand with the redeemed and Sing...Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty...who Was...and Is...and Is to Come!!! Praise the Lord
Romans 8 (ESV)

Future Glory

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

God's Everlasting Love

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Do not rest until you have good evidence that you are a new creature

I know that I have already made one post this morning, but I feel that I must make another. Today, I had a most wonderful discussion with two brothers and was recalling the necessity of proclaiming the gospel and teaching it to our children and to those whom we come in contact with.

Monday evening I was meeting with two young men as we are working through the Baptist Catechism and discussing the things of the gospel. One of the guys mentioned to me, "Aaron what do you think of the shootings at Virginia Tech?" I explained my great feelings of sorrow for what others have had to endure and what they are experiencing. I pray that I may never have to know that pain. However, my advice to the young man was this. Let this be an occasion to prepare for our own death. For we have not been promised tomorrow, and someone could very likely take our lives the very next day. Therefore consider tonight whether or not you are born again and when death comes for you, you will be ready to joyfully meet the one who made you.

The Lord recently has given me several opportunities to discuss similar situations with others...and I pray that all of us might consider this great situation. If life is here today and gone tomorrow, where is our sense of urgency for the "good evidence" of conversion in our lives and in the lives of those whom we love?

I have learned so much from reading about the life of Jonathan Edwards and feel that my thinking about this matter has been shaped by him in so many ways, therefore please allow me to quote from a much recommended book "A God Entranced Vision of All Things." The book is edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor. The publisher is Crossway ( You can purchase it at

This family (Edwards' family) who had hardly tasted death, yet they were very aware of its constant nearness. How easily might a woman die in childbirth. How easily might a child die of fever. How easily might one be struck by a shot or an arrow of war. How easily might a fireplace ignite a house fire, with all asleep and lost.

When Jonathan wrote to his children, he often reminded them--not morbidly, but almost as a matter of fact--how close death might be. For Jonathan, the fact of death led automatically to the need for eternal life. He wrote to their ten-year old Johnathan, Jr., about the death of a playmate. "This is a loud call of God to you to prepare for death....Never give yourself any rest unless you have good evidence that you are converted and become a new creature." (73-74)
Here is the call, let us make our preparations.

Tom and Mike, thank you for our time in worship and celebration this morning. Grace and Peace!!!

In all things...Christ preeminent!


Our Ultimate Entertainment

I hate to simply cut and paste something from another site, but I found this so enlightening that I could not help but share this with anyone that might come across this blog. Recently, even this morning at Starbucks, I have been discussing with others the dangers of our American forms of entertainment. It is astounding how so many of those who profess Christ will then love, praise, enjoy, participate, view, and speak to others about the things in which God hates. For example, consider the American movie industry. How Christians can indulge in such things and speak greatly and enjoy seeing and speaking of the things that God detests? It seems as if this action calls one of two things in question, first, is this really something that God detests, or secondly, is this person that claims Christ really a new creature? (Please understand that these words are believed, typed, and spoken in an attitude of utter humility and love).

In stark contrast to what the world has to offer, we find Christ, our ultimate Joy, Satisfaction, and Entertainment. Here are the words of Jonathan Edwards...

When the saints shall see Christ’s glory and exaltation in heaven, it will indeed possess their hearts with the greater admiration and adoring respect, but it will not awe them into any separation, but will serve only to heighten their surprise and joy, when they find Christ condescending to admit them to such intimate access, and so freely and fully communicating himself to them. So that if we choose Christ for our friend and portion, we shall hereafter be so received to him, that there shall be nothing to hinder the fullest enjoyment of him, to the satisfying the utmost cravings of our souls. We may take our full swing at gratifying our spiritual appetite after these holy pleasures. Christ will then say, as in Song 5:1 “Eat, O friends, drink, yea, drink abundantly O beloved.” And this shall be our entertainment to all eternity! There shall never be any end of this happiness, or anything to interrupt our enjoyment of it, or in the least to molest us in it!

–1736, “The Excellency of Christ

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

From Monday Night Small Group

Let me just encourage parents that are reading this blog to consider using a catechism to train up your children. For others, let me encourage to use it to help train your minds as well. I was asked by two young men to teach them using the Baptist Catechism and this is what we are using on Monday nights for our small group meetings. I was especially touched this past week during studying through this question...I hope that it will be special to you as well!

(On a side note...I am meeting with some guys already for a small group on Monday night...others are invited...and if we have an overwhelming response of others that would like to come on in...then we will form some other groups meeting at other times!)

Question 4: What is the Word of God?

Answer: The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, being given by divine inspiration, are the Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice.

Scripture: 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; Isaiah 8:20; Matthew 5:17- 18; 1 Corinthians 2:13; Psalm 19:7-8.

Comment: "Scriptures" is a special word for the "writings" of the OT and NT. Perhaps you will want to explain that the OT deals with God's word that came before Jesus was born; and the NT is the word of God that came after Jesus was born. "Infallible" means it will never lead us astray in what it teaches. It is true and does not err. It can be trusted. "Faith" refers to right thinking and feeling; and "practice" refers to right doing. We measure our thoughts and emotions and actions by the rule of the Bible. "Inspiration" means that it is God-breathed: by his Spirit he guided his spokesmen to speak his word in their language.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

We viewed the video "Indescribable" during part of our discussion on missions Wednesday night. I encourage everyone to view this video as it contains a message preached by Louie Giglio during the Chris Tomlin/Matt Redman concert last year.

During this video, Chris uses images from the solar system and the universe to discuss how the "heavens declare the glory of God." It is worth reviewing and we have a copy available in the Student Ministry Department, so feel free to check it out. We will also be using it in some of our small group discussions, so...if you haven't seen it should have the opportunity very soon.'s the question...

Can you remember a scripture reference that Louie used during the sermon? If not, feel free to post one regarding the topic. Legitimate responses will be gathered and put in to a collection for next Wednesday's give-away.

If you have viewed the video before or were there for the concert and would like to leave comment, that of course, is welcomed!!!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

There is a Louder Shout to Come!!!

Lately I have been considering the way I worship, both privately and publicly. No, I'm not just talking about singing songs. So please do not discredit this post from this presumption. There is an act of worship in pretty much everything that we do, because we naturally worship that which we value the most. The scripture tells us that where our treasure is, there our heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21)

The more I consider the greatness of God, the sufficiency of knowing Him, the utter dependence that I have on Him, the self-sufficiency of Christ, the Holiness of God, and His great love for me His child...I can't help but be overcome with great joy and emotion. As a Southern Baptist, I can confess that traditionally so many have neglected worshipping God with our entire being, especially in the context of corporate worship. God is not honored by emotionless, dead worship. Neither is honored by emotion driven driven worship. He is most honored by an utter amazement at who He is...therefore this must be driven by solid Biblical truth. The result of being amazed at who Christ is in the lens of Scripture...should be an overwhelming response that engages the heart, mind, and might.

Recently I have sensed a great freedom during cooperate worship times at Rockport. Lately, there have been people that have felt the liberty to cry out and to shout about the goodness of our Lord. I must confess, these people have done what I have wanted to do for so long, but have just been too afraid to express it. I have been considering and meditating on the Psalms and contemplating the loud and rhythmic music, and the glad heart leading to shouting, singing, and dancing before the Lord, and am amazed at how often this was expressed as a normal part of rejoicing in God's greatness. I'm sure that there are some that are reading this and saying..."but Aaron, what about the times of silence, fear, trembling, etc." I couldn't agree with that question more...where is it? I am convinced that in America our corporate times of worship, if present our private and family times of worship, are more driven by tradition that is not biblically based, therefore is no tradition worth following. It seems that most of this has American flavor rather than a Biblical root. For instance, schedule driven, an attempt to be consumer-friendly, non-offensive, etc. Where is the time of jubilant rejoicing, where is time time of silence, where is the time of shouting? Have when thrown it away in fear of being labeled as those of another denomination...if this is our motive, then we are to be pitied and need rebuked!

Well, I could preach about 100 sermons here...but I must leave with this reflection. There is a louder shout to come...there is a greater song that will be sung. I long for the day that representatives of every nation, tribe and tongue will stand together and in ONE VOICE shall stand before the throne and shout, sing, and cry "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty." A great song by Matt Redman writes about that day...

There is a sweeter song to hear;
All the nations with one voice,
All the people with one fear.
Bowing down before Your throne,
Every tribe and tongue will be;
All the nations with one voice,
All the people with one King.
And what a song we’ll sing upon that day.

O what a song we’ll sing and
O what a tune we’ll bear;
You deserve an anthem of the highest praise.
O what a joy will rise and
O what a sound we’ll make;
You deserve an anthem of the highest praise.

Now we see a part of this,
One day we shall see in full;
All the nations with one voice,
All the people with one love.
No one else will share Your praise,
Nothing else can take Your place;
All the nations with one voice,
All the people with one Lord.
And what a song we’ll sing upon that day.

Even now upon the earth
There’s a glimpse of all to come;
Many people with one voice,
Harmony of many tongues.
We will all confess Your name,
You will be our only praise;
All the nations with one voice,
All the people with one God.
And what a song we’ll sing upon that day.

Matt Redman
Copyright © 1996 Thankyou Music

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

A Must Read for all Christians

I am finishing up the book, "A Christian Manifesto" by Francis A. Schaeffer, and I must confess that I believe that it would profit all believers to be challenged by his radical teaching. Though this work was published in 1981, you would think that it was written last week because of his keen insight and strong attack on issues facing the world and the church.

Here are some quotes that I would like to specifically point out...

The basic problem of the Christians in this country in the last eight years or so, in regard to society and in regard to government, is that they have seen things in bits and pieces instead of totals. (17)

They have failed to see that all of this has come about due to a shift in world view--that is, through a fundamental change in the overall way people think and view the world and life as a whole. (17)

Liberal theology is really humanism expressed in theological terms instead of philosophic or other terms. (21)

The humanists push for "freedom," but having no Christian consensus to contain it, that "freedom" leads to chaos or to slavery under the state (or under an elite). Humanism, with its lack of any final base for values or law, always leads to chaos. It then naturally leads to some form of authoritarianism to control the chaos. Having produced the sickness,humanism gives more of the same kind of medicine for a cure. With its mistaken concept of final reality, it has no intrinsic reason to be interested in the individual, the human being. It's natural interest is the two collectives: the state and society. (30)

For those interested, you can find a copy of this at your local Christian bookstore, Borders, online, or at

Bibliographical Information:

Schaeffer, Francis A., A Christian Manifesto. Copyright 1981, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Response to a Question Regarding the Popular "Dare To Share Conference"

I was recently asked about my opinion regarding the very popular "Dare 2 Share" conferences that are sweeping the nation. Recently, I was asked for my opinion regarding the conferences...below you will find my response.

Please understand my heart in writing this response. My hope is to advocate for Christ-centered Biblical truth that stands in great contrast to popular teaching and methodology today. I pray that this humble attempt will provide clarification to many who have been asking me about this event.

Dear (name omitted for confidentiality),

Thank you for sending out the e-mail requesting feedback from the Dare-to-Share conference. I am really sorry that I am just now getting back with you.

I have read much about these conferences, attended luncheons, and have visited with youth pastors and students whom have attended these conferences. Some parents of my students have also done the same and we have some concerns regarding the Dare-2-Share conference. I just returned from speaking at a D-Now conference in another state and was asked my experience and my opinion regarding this ministry as well.

First I would like to start by saying that I love the concept of getting students excited and equipping them for kingdom service and the spreading of the gospel. I believe that I disagree more with the methodology and the theology behind such conferences.

May I ask you some questions about the conference? Does this conference promotes such a big view of God that his Holiness stuns us? It has been my experience that this conference does not teach students that there is none who seek after God, no not even one, is this correct? It is also my understanding that this conference does not teach that it is impossible for anyone to be saved apart from the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, or am I mistaken? Furthermore it is my understanding that it is not clearly presented that unless a person repent and believe, there is no real conversion. What has been explained to me is that students are encouraged to present two options to people and call them to a decision. I am wondering where the supernatural regenerating work of the Holy Spirit happens in this?

Students and youth pastors alike do not describe this as an event that demonstrates the radical conversion of the Christian to come out of the world and to take up his cross, deny himself, and follow Christ. My real concern is this teaching is not so much grounded in Biblical doctrine as it is emotional hype.

I recognize that I may be completely off base, and would really appreciate knowing this first hand, which I guess means that I might need to attend one of the conferences. However, looking at what I have seen from those that attend, I am afraid that though there may be a temporary emotional response, and yes perhaps numbers to support this, I am wondering if these are genuine conversions, or simple human "decisions."

Please understand that my intention is to advocate for Christ-centered, God-exalting truth that promotes that Christ alone is the way and to follow him may cost you your very life, but it is worth it. Thank you for asking for follow up regarding this conference because I do believe that this demonstrates your desire to offer Missouri Baptists the best in missions training.

Your brother in Christ,


Monday, April 2, 2007

Prayer Requests for Tomorrow Night

For those interested in specific points of prayer for tomorrow you go!

First, let me share with you an answer to prayer over the past week. Recently Rachel and I began praying that there would be an open door to the Bayshore apartments in Arnold. I know that there are Hispanics that live there, but have had no clue how to reach them. Well, Sunday morning we had a gentleman show up because he saw the sign on Telegraph Rd and was excited that there was something available in Spanish. Guess what??? He lives in Bayshore! Praise the Lord! He is going to be joining us tomorrow night. Pray for him.

Other areas include:
  • Continued prayer for Daniel, his congregation, and his family as he is stretching himself teaching and preaching. Pray that the Lord will continue to bless his ministry as he writes for the Red Latina, a local Hispanic Newspaper, and leads his congregation at Centro Cristiano.
  • Those whom we have already seen in attendance - Armando and Ingrid, and Ingrid's daughter.
  • Prospects for the future...Antonio, Bricio, Elias, and many others!
  • More time for me and help as I continue to learn the language.
  • Pray with me for a great awakening to truth and that we might see a core group of people wholly committed to the truth of the Scripture and in great joy be motivated to worship and a desire to see others do the same.
  • Financial support to fund an add for the paper, materials for study, etc.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Update on Hispanic Ministry in Arnold

I am sorry that it has been almost a week since I have posted an update...but here is the information...

We had 4 in attendance last Tuesday...and had a very good meeting! We are meeting in a new room on the main level of Rockport. We like this new space because we are able to keep the keyboard and supplies all in one area! Thank you to the Sunday School class that is allowing us to do this!

We had something really awesome happen this morning! We met a new brother from the Dominican Republic. He came to Rockport this morning because he drove by and saw the sign in Spanish. He was excited because this is the only Hispanic Ministry in our area that he knows of. He is planning on joining us on Tuesday for the Bible Study.