Monday, January 28, 2019

One Another

I just returned last week from a few days on the farm in Tennessee.  Pastor Clint preached a wonderful ONE ANOTHER message 1.20.19 on Honor.  Give it a listen at  Yesterday God showed us another ONE ANOTHER command--to forgive.  That is a difficult one for all of us, but it is not an option.  All new creations--those born anew in Christ--have this distinguishing trait...we forgive.  It begins in obedience.  It is more likely shallow at that point but daily forgiveness more and more changes the heart of the one forgiving until there are outward manifestations of a changed heart that is kind and tenderhearted.  It is Monday, just 24 hours ago we were challenged to forgive and let go.  A quick three people or things done or said that you know immediately through God's Spirit He is calling you to forgive.  Take care of that today.  Let forgiveness begin its work in you to the glory of God (Ephesians 4:25-32)
"Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32

Pastor's Message 1.27.19

 Pastor’s Message                                 January 27, 2019

“How do you balance ambition with God’s call on your life?” That was the question of the night at the yearly gathering of men and young men at the farm in Tennessee.  A young man in his early 30s, my cousin’s son, was facing some gigantic challenges in life as a husband, father, provider and coach.  We love this trip so much because each year we find these young men growing accustomed to an opportunity to hear from men they trust concerning direction and responsibility in life.  The ages in the room ranged from 17-82.  Here are some of the comments I remember:
“Your call and ambition can be mutually exclusive, but they don’t have to be.” 
“Patience is one key to discovering how God’s call on your life is carried out through managing ambition.”
“You have to trust in God’s timing to reach some of the ambitions you have set in life.”
“Ambition is not solely satisfied in a career. Our spouse and children are also due a husband and father whose ambition is Godly and inspired.”
“Maintain humility as you wait on the Lord.  Joseph had to learn that lesson.  He was put down, sold, forgotten, falsely accused, forgotten some more before God worked the dream and his ambition not only to the good for Joseph, but also for his family, Israel and other nations.”
“It is not wrong to ambitiously pursue opportunities while waiting on the Lord.”
“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:17
“Character is more about being than doing.”
“Some of the greatest opportunities to serve God came by faithfully serving where He currently has positioned me. My first head coaching job came as I was faithfully pursuing an internship opportunity.”
We all were blessed by the vulnerability in that young man’s question.  Maybe it will help you too.
Love God!  Love others!  Serve!
Pastor John

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Pastor’s Message                                                                                        January 6, 2019
Good Morning First Family!
I hope you have had a wonderful start to the new year.  Many of you know that my father was a pastor.  He was one of my very favorites.  He wrote a pastor’s message weekly for the bulletin, and until June 2018 I have carried on that practice.  One of my goals for 2019 is to bring this joyous work to First Baptist Camden.  I love to write, and God has been faithful to give me a weekly nugget to share with my church family as pastor.  I look forward to seeing how He blesses us in the years ahead.
I was trying to remember when it all started, but I had to look in the box to actually discover my first journal.  I found a very old spiral pad with the first entry dated October 1, 1986.  The verse to live by that day was “Whoever knows what is right to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” James 4:17.  As I gazed this week at those fading pages, I truly remember the impact of that verse on that 24-year-old young man.  Here we are 32 + years later and I am still journaling.  I include thoughts, prayer requests, the scriptures I read that day, scriptures I am memorizing, insights, sermon notes, conference notes and other things worth recording in what has become a document of my spiritual journey.  I encourage you to start that tradition if you do not already journal. Some may miss the sermon notes section, but where do those end up?  Might it be a better a discipline to have a secure place where your notes can be kept alongside your own personal, daily journey with God?  Start this week.
May God bless our church family as we…
Love God!  Love others! Serve!
Pastor John