Sunday Summary – September 19, 2021 – “Resisting the Devil in an Unspectacular Way.”

Both of our services were strong today, but there was a wave of spiritual intensity during the end of our musical worship set at 10:45 AM. Pastor Aubrey sang a spontaneous song about the joy of the Lord, and I could feel us all stirred. You can experience this in the video posted below. (We do not usually record the 10:45 AM service, so this was a neat exception! The part I am referring to starts around 24 minutes, 30 seconds).

My sermon on “Resisting the Devil in Unspectacular Way (Part 1)” was very practical and seemed to impact a lot of listeners. I look forward to sharing the second part next week.

I like Constitution Day

I have not been aware of Constitution Day, but I am glad we have one! The United States Constitution, established in 1787, has served me well. I am thankful to be an American.

September 17 has only been designated Constitution Day since 2005, but social media is helping it catch on. Also, higher education institutions that receive Federal funds are expected to acknowledge Constitution Day.

So cheers for freedoms given by God, defined by the Constitution, defended by the military, upheld by the judicial system, and celebrated by the people.

My Perspective on the COVID-19 Vaccine

Many voices have been calling on religious leaders to speak out for the COVID-19 vaccine, so it is time to offer my perspective. I received the Pfizer vaccine early in the year, and I am glad I did. All of my immediate family members have received the COVID-19 vaccination, as well.

You have likely heard statistics about unvaccinated people hospitalized in Tennessee. Stats show that over 90% of hospitalized patients with COVID did not receive the vaccine; approximately 97% of patients on a ventilator did not receive the vaccine. These statistics are staggering in their implications! The data overwhelmingly establishes the widely used vaccines as effective.

Several healthcare workers have told me that these patients are primarily born-again Christians. Oh, how I wish more Christians would accept this opportunity. We are people of life. I see the COVID vaccines as gifts from God to reduce suffering, extend life, and allow more quality time to discover Jesus. Please prayerfully consider receiving the coronavirus vaccine.

A prayer of hope for those who feel forgotten

I have been reading in Scripture about the remarkable life of Joseph. In my study Bible, Dr. George Guthrie wrote this inspiring prayer that is giving me hope today:

“Yet you had a plan. You moved a youth from prisoner to prime minister. Let me see your providential hand in the affairs of my life, even as Joseph confessed that though his brothers had planned evil against him, ‘God planned it for good’ (Gn 50:20). Amen.”

Sunday Summary – Jacob Bell, “On the Road with Jesus”

This week was so complex that I had not taken the opportunity to write on this blog. Still, it is cathartic for me to review Sunday, and it creates a historic archive for our church and my ministry.

Pastor Jacob Bell preached for the first time at CIL, and he was so well prepared and clear in his communication. What a heart for God that came through his message titled “On the Roadway with Jesus.” Jacob is only 25 years old, but his wisdom and maturity come through in his life and this message. I anticipate great things through his ministry.

WATCH the service by clicking below:

Sunday Summary – September 5, 2021 – “Praise As Long As I Live”

Labor Day weekend has its challenges for churches, but God was faithful to give us a blessed day together. I preached a message of faith called “Praise as Long as I Live.” I called the saints to DECADES of worship to God.

Our key verse was Psalm 146:2

I will praise the Lord all my life;
I will sing to my God as long as I live.

I hope you have a blessed Labor Day and that praise will be on your lips.

Compassion, Mercy, and Favor

“… the Lord is compassionate and merciful (James 5:11).”

Jesus’ brother James wrote these words over two thousand years ago.. There is no doubt that he knew the ancient song that rejoiced in these lyrics:

“For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor, a lifetime.” – Psalm 30:5

So revel in these words that are true for you in 2021. Through Christ, you are a recipient of the compassion, mercy, and favor of God.

Sunday Summary – August 29, 2021 – The Song of Solomon

It is quite rare that I speak on the Song of Solomon – this is the first time I remember preaching from this book on a Sunday morning.

Even though the original meaning of this poetry was romance, the church has traditionally used this Scripture as an allegory. That is what we did Sunday, and it was a powerful reminder to look for the return of the Lord!

During Turbulent Times, this is Still My Father’s World

Holding my breath thinking of soldiers, Americans, and innocent people in Afghanistan. Praying for a resolution to this catastrophe.

Watching the hurricane develop in the Gulf and thinking of homes, dreams, and lives in its path.

“This is my Father’s world
let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.”
– Maltbie Davenport Babcock

Keep smiling in difficult times

Even though it is a difficult season with so many hurting, I still smile and laugh. There are nuggets of joy because life is good, and life is eternal. Thanks be to God.

Even some we have served in their suffering have demonstrated moments of humor, which is part of our humanity. Grief takes away our shallowness. Humor affirms our humanity.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” – Romans 12:12