Monday, December 31, 2007

Sunday Morning Spanish Service - The Doctrine of the Church

Thank you for your recent requests to be "informed" on what all is going on in our Spanish service at Rockport. I have been preaching through the Gospel According to John on Sunday mornings, but we are going to take a break to discuss the Doctrine of the Church. It is important for us to do this because there is so many conflicting views, and we must look at a verse by verse study of the true church and what the Scripture says.
Below I have given you the English translation of what will be in the bulletin this Sunday.
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Colossians 1:21-23 ESV

Many people have told me that they do not wish to “go to church” or belong to a certain “church” but they are “right with God” and that is all that matters. Sadly, these people are mistaken about what the church is, and what God’s desire is for his people.
“Church” is not something you “go to” but it is the name for the Bride of Christ, those whom He had redeemed. Therefore, it is incorrect to say that you are “right with God” and yet, you do not belong to the church. Do you see this?

Over the next few weeks we are going to take a break from our study in John to discuss an important topic, “What is the church.” We are going to look at some of the purposes, some of the responsibilities, joys, and struggles.

Paul gives a great description of who the church is. In Colossians 1:21-23 (quoted above) tells us that the “church” is the name for those people who:

Used to be alienated from Christ, dead in their sins.

Are now blameless before God because of God’s Sovereign work brought about by a new birth by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, by the preaching of the true gospel.

Are continuing, by the grace of God, in sanctification until death.

It is my prayer that through this study, we all might grow together in the grace of our Lord and have a better understanding of what it means to be called God’s people. To Him be the glory forever!


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Saturday Morning Post/Prayer Requests

We had a great time worshiping in the Word last night. Bro. Paul Washer brought the Word from Matthew Chapter 5:1-2. Specifically he focused on the grace of God that would cause Him to "sit down, and open His mouth."

Brothers and sisters, this was a great message. I hope that you have the opportunity to listen to this at or you will check out the Cds that will be available in the Rockport library.

Prayer Requests

There are many requests that we have been praying over. For those who faithfully read this blog, I am going to ask you to put a few items on the front burner.
  • Pray for those who are in attendance. Specifically those who are here from Rockport (or with us) Cyndi, Rob, Robby, Aaron W., Irian, Brady, Stephanie, Molli, Maggi, Mayci, Marie, and, of course, me.
  • For those who could not make it. -- Rachel is home with Olivia...we think that Rachel has pneumonia. Pray for Jonathan. He is lost and doesn't care. Oh Lord, his heart!
  • For the speakers, Jeff Noblitt, Paul Washer, and others.
  • For the Spanish Service at Rockport tomorrow. This past week we had someone from this service attend one of our Wednesday Night small groups. This was a great step. Irian has been helping me make visits over the past week, and he has done a great job.
  • Our upcoming Hispanic Ministry Meeting with some of the leaders from the Missouri Baptist Convention.
  • Our upcoming Spring Student Conference at Bates Creek Camp. (April 18-19, 2007) We need to find a Christ-honoring speaker for this event.
  • Our upcoming mission work to Mexico. Pray specifically for our team that will be going in February, that they might have success in finding Pastors that would be willing to get together during our trip in June and have Bible study, a time of prayer, and a time of teaching as well. Pray for the finances for several of our team members as there have been some changing in their situations, especially with employment.

Friday, December 28, 2007

We're here for the Anchored in Truth Conference

Our group of people arrived safely in Chattanooga, TN. We will be here over the next 3 days for challenging messages from men of God that are associated with First Baptist Church of Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Please be in prayer for those of us who are here.

I will blog throughout the days to let you know what all is going on. You will also be able to link to the conference itself as the messages and services will be broadcast live.

Click here to log-in.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A post from my brother, John

I was looking over the blog of my dear brother in Christ, John Jordan. Below is a link for a post that I wish that young men from Rockport and the rest of the world could take to heart. Following this link will allow you to download a great talk with questions answered from C.J. Mahaney. The theme is Biblical manhood.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Psalm 101 - Some thoughts from tonight

I Will Walk with Integrity

A Psalm of David.

101:1 I will sing of steadfast love and justice;
to you, O Lord, I will make music.
2 I will ponder the way that is blameless.
Oh when will you come to me?
I will walk with integrity of heart
within my house;
3 I will not set before my eyes
anything that is worthless.
I hate the work of those who fall away;
it shall not cling to me.
4 A perverse heart shall be far from me;
I will know nothing of evil.

5 Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly
I will destroy.
Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart
I will not endure.

6 I will look with favor on the faithful in the land,
that they may dwell with me;
he who walks in the way that is blameless
shall minister to me.

7 No one who practices deceit
shall dwell in my house;
no one who utters lies
shall continue before my eyes.

8 Morning by morning I will destroy
all the wicked in the land,
cutting off all the evildoers
from the city of the Lord.

Tonight as I have been considering the word of the Lord, I was drawn to the Psalms and considering what has been said by the Lord for our own good. At the time, I must confess, that my heart was bent in the other direction than what David wrote as he was confessing the desire of his heart to walk in integrity.

What is integrity? Well, there are many different ways to define it. I have heard others give the explination that Integrity is "who you are when nobody else is looking." Webster defines it as "adherence to a special code of moral or artistic values." Well, you may know of other good ways of explaining this. After thinking about the meaning of integrity and reading this Psalm, here are some questions that I have for myself, I submit them to you for your benefit.

1. Are my thoughts those which think about the ways that are blameless? Am I thinking thoughts that allow me to talk to others, counsel others, preach to others, and guide others with a clear conscience? Do I consider, or dwell on heavenly things, or have I become preoccupied, not necessarily with the "things of the world" but have I shifted my thinking to unholy, selfish desires with which I would be ashamed to commit? If so, my thinking must be returned to the only one worthy of my full affections.

2. What are my thoughts regarding my "neighbors?" Do I recognize the disdain that God has for a "haughty eye" or a proud heart? When I consider evil the sinfulness of those around me, do I look upon them with a proud and arrogant heart, or do I look upon them with compassion. Pastors, do we speak the word of Christ, in love?

3. Am I seeking counsel from those whose way is the way of Christ? Do I consider what is influencing me and have I put away the counsel of the wicked for the wisdom of God?


You know the condition of my heart. You certainly know the thoughts and desires of this fallen, imperfect man. It is for this, that I cling to your grace to sustain me. Of all those times that I have tried to justify myself, I repent.

There is nothing in all this world that has ever existed other than the finished work of Jesus Christ that will satisfy Your wrath. Thank you for the free gift of Your son to pay the penalty for my sins. It is in this finished work that I trust, and am trusting both now and forever.

I ask that by Your word, I may consider the way that is blameless, renewing my mind and heart by the cleansing, refreshing words of Christ recorded in the Scriptures. Your word is sweet to my soul, correcting, teaching, and encouraging me. Renew me, and restore me, oh Lord my Rock, and my Redeemer.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Missouri Baptist Convention Pastor's Conference

I think that the following article says enough. Below you will find a post from a Missouri Baptist Pastor stating his views on the recent Pastor's conference at the Missouri Baptist Convention. This year featured Mark Dever speaking on the importance of preaching the Word. Specifically, the necessity of correct, sound, expository preaching.

I have taken out the name of the man that posted this "Letter to the Editor" in the MBC Pathway's article. My desire is not to point out the man that commented, but to give you, a picture of the sad state of the Southern Baptist Churches in our state. I pray that the Lord would bring revival in our state and we would recognize our need for preaching of the Gospel, and rallying behind the truth of the Scripture rather than "man-made" religion.

Pastors’ Conference did not live up to expectations

Sunday evening, Oct. 28, I set my alarm for 5 a.m., excited about the anticipated blessing I would receive by attending the 2007 Pastors’ Conference. I go to the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) annual meeting every year as part of my job as pastor, to allow my church to participate in decisions made at the MBC and receive information I can take back to them about the ministries they generously support through their gifts to the Cooperative Program. But I go to the Pastors’ Conference for me. I love the MBC Pastors’ Conference and the spiritual lift I receive every year hearing sermons designed for where I live by fellow Missouri pastors, as well as pastors from other parts of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Imagine my surprise to discover this year’s Pastors’ Conference had been hijacked. Instead of being blessed by fiery sermons encouraging me in my struggles as pastor and challenging me to be more committed to Christ as I lead my church, I arrived a bit weary from my three-hour road trip to hear a couple of lectures on expository preaching, with the promise of more to come.

When time came to receive the offering, I left the Pastors’ Conference feeling betrayed instead of blessed by the “infomercial” on expository preaching that was substituted for the typical Pastors’ Conference. I did not return.

Who asked for this? Why the sudden change in direction? Can I please have my Pastors’ Conference back? I am certain the presenters had many good things to say about expository preaching. So sign them up for a MBC-sponsored touring conference on expository preaching and let pastors come who want to receive their seminar teachings. I may even come. But, please, return the Pastors’ Conference next year back to a format that will provide encouraging and inspirational preaching worth getting up at 5 a.m. to receive.

Do you see the danger in this sort of mentality? Can you believe that there would be such a comment about this? Sadly, here in our state, like much of the world now, we are focussed on easy-believism, how can we grow our church, and worldly agendas rather than the Gospel.