Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Reflections

Sunday's prop (being handcuffed to DB) half the morning left me with several impressions worth sharing as the embers still remain and glow...
I am reminded that my circumstances should always lead me to ask, "God, how do you intend the Gospel to advance through this circumstance?"  I have had to ask that several times since Sunday, and I imagine you have as well.  It is the "What then?" question that Paul asks in Philippians 1:18.  So I encourage you to see your day through the lens of Paul's question with his resolve that "all things work together for good for those who are in Christ Jesus."
I also had a couple of takeaways from Paul being shackled to that Roman guard: 
If Paul praised the Lord with hands lifted high, then so must the guard have been shown how to praise the Lord.
As Paul wrote the letters, so did that guard trace those words of love, encouragement and instruction.
As Paul greeted with the holy hug or kiss, the very effort to embrace and reach impacted the posture also of the guard.
Proximity!  Pattern!  Two wonderful discipleship principles to discuss later...may the embers of Sunday continue to set your heart aflame!
See you tonight for Low Country Broil, Fellowship and Bible Study!
Coach/Pastor John

Saturday, August 11, 2018

What Then?

What then?  What do I do now?
Ever asked that?  We have all faced situations where with exasperation we raise our fists heavenward asking "What am I supposed to do now?"  Paul gives us a totally new perspective on  our earthly circumstances.  Watching Paul in all of his circumstances gives us a perspective that the gospel is central to his concern, especially in Philippians 1:12-20.  Paul is in prison chained to a Roman soldier and we find his "what then" totally counterculture to what we expect.  He is rejoicing!  He is filled with joy!  I find great encouragement in this passage.  The cause of Christ and the gospel going forward is what is first and foremost on Paul's mind.  Let's make that 2018 Camden for a bit.  I am delayed...What Then!  I will share Christ!  I have been diagnosed with a terminal illness...What Then!  I will use this diagnosis for gospel conversations.  My past has alienated me from my children...What Then!  I will repent.  I will seek relationship.  I will live in grace.  Whatever circumstance in which we find ourselves, to learn from Paul in this passage is to change our attitude from Why to How!  It is not "Why did God...?" to "How will God use me in this...?"
See you Sunday morning for the message BARRIERS TO BRIDGES.  Come join us!
Coach/Pastor John

Monday, August 6, 2018

Filling

My mother used to make the most awesome blackberry cobbler.  If she had time she would create that beautiful lattice top.  I think my mother knew a secret that Paul also knew about us as believers. A great cobbler not only looks good but tastes good.  Mom would make sure that the balance of sugar, butter, berry and water (only needed if the fruit needed some assistance) was just perfect for the inside.  Her lattice work was enhanced by the slices of real butter and abundance of sugar on the top of that crust.  In Philippians 1:11, Paul wraps up a set of verses encouraging us to love each other more and more by means of what is the most important ingredient in a believer--"the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ."  It works as well for a really good cobbler.  This week, I am encouraged and hope that you are as well, to live in such a manner that I will display the beauty of Christ outside because the filling on the inside is the good fruit of the righteousness of Christ Jesus!  Encourage one another with these wonderful truths!
Coach/Pastor John

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Amazing Love

John 3:16 is perhaps the most often quoted verse in the Bible.  What is common by our very nature we forget or neglect.  I hope you will come tonight to First Baptist Camden as we study John 3:16 and review it again for memory.  This little verse packs quite a punch!  It is the gospel in a nutshell!  See you for dinner at 5:00 and study at 6:00.  Last week's memory verse is Genesis 1:1.
Coach/Pastor John

Monday, July 30, 2018

RUSH

Hello and Happy Monday!!!!
I invite you to not only read these entries, but feel free to comment and dialogue.  It helps me much to hear from all of you.  What a thrill for me yesterday when in the second service "rush" came to my attention in the message PERFECT MATURITY.  The jailer of Acts 16,  in the account of the birth of the church in Philippi, rushed in at Paul's announcement that all the prisoners were still there.  He was stirred and moved by the Holy Spirit.  So he turned on the light and he himself rushed in asking, "What must I do to be saved?"  I so love that question.  Paul and Silas answered, "Repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ...and be baptized you and your household."  When the light overcomes our darkness, there is a rush.  I begin this Monday with an exciting, positive outlook for our future together.  Pray with me that we too will experience the Light, that we will be witnesses to the Rush of the Holy Spirit.  That we too might see others come to the Light and ask "What must I do to be saved?" 
Coach/Pastor John

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Perfection

I should not be amazed, but I reckon God just continues to display His "AWESOMENESS." As I prepared today's message PERFECT MATURITY, all week God kept bringing testimony through many of our people to this perplexing challenge.  Many of us can relate to the following: "I really do try, but I am not perfect."  I heard that all week in several different ways.  Today I invite you to three keys to growing in Christ Jesus to completion.  There's God's part and there's our part.  God completes perfectly what He starts.  His grace is for all!  Believers grow best when in Christ they participate in His work.  Come join us this morning at First Baptist Camden at 8:30 or 11:00 am.  Stay for Bible Study at 9:45.  All are welcome!
Coach/Pastor John

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Unity

"Make every effort to keep the unity through the bond of peace."  Ephesians 4:3
Last Sunday, we charged every member to maintain the gift of unity that God has given His church.  We will practice that unity by trusting God as He leads our worship pastor search committee.  Pray for them as they continue their work this Sunday.  Pray for their humility and cooperation with the Holy Spirit as they work together to consider all those who apply to determine who God has called to lead us to impact Camden with the gospel.
Coach/Pastor John