Saturday, February 21, 2009

Back in Portland

Greetings.

I'm still on East Coast time so I'll be headed to bed soon, but I wanted to take the opportunity to thank the good folks at Bethany Baptist for their love and support. My wife and I appreciate all of you. I really came back refreshed and my family and I had a great time in Miami!

So sorry for not updating the blog in a while but now that I am back things should be getting back to normal soon.

See everyone tomorrow.

Shalom.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Miami or Bust

Well.... here we are. We made it to Miami safe and sound.

I won't be updating the blog as often as I'd like to, but check in periodically for some info.

As the Brits say, "Cheers!"

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Membership Classes

I am the pastor of Bethany Baptist Church… well ok… Jesus is THE PASTOR of Bethany Baptist Church. I serve Him as under shepherd. By the grace of God we are seeking to build up and strengthen the church through sound teaching and Godly leadership. One of the ways we do that is through our monthly Membership Classes (Exploring Bethany). Today, actually 16 minutes from now, we will be hosting membership classes in the office. I am a little nervous every time we have them because I have opened the floor up for questions and discussion. That can be a little frightening to be honest, (not that I am in the habit of lying), but here is why I do it:

  • Not everyone is at the same spiritual level. Getting answers to questions that have “stumped” someone can prove to be a major turning point in their life.

  • It pushes me, or the one teaching the class, to be in the Word and prepared for… well… anything.

  • It’s fun talking to people about how the Lord has ministered to them through his Word.

Ok… looks like I have to get going. One more thing before I go:

While it is true that someone becomes a member of the Body of Christ at the moment of Salvation, membership in the local church (the outward and terrestrial manifestation of the present Life of Christ) may not be.

Shoot me an email or call me if you have any questions.

Shalom

Thursday, February 5, 2009

CONFESSION OF SIN (Reflections on last Sunday’s message.)

1 John 1:9 states authoritatively and unapologetically:

“if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

I have made many, many mentions of this text from the pulpit and feel that some detail is warranted.
  • “if” = Notice the choice. We are not REQUIRED to maintain fellowship with the Lord… but it is offered to us.

  • “confess” = The Greek word that is translated “confess” here means to say the same thing [as]. This is more than saying, “sorry”. This is coming to grips with the fact that we have fallen short of God’s righteousness.

  • “sins” = These are not our faults… our shortcomings. These are sins, willfully or unwittingly defying God’s Holy standard.

  • “he” = God

  • “we” and “us” = Christians… those who have already trusted the sacrifice of Christ for eternal life.

  • “faithful” = God has promised that those who have trusted Christ as Savior will not be condemned, but have passed from death into life.

  • “just” = Because the payment has been made for our sin, God can forgive us of the sin we confess.

  • “forgive” = it is on the basis of God’s faithfulness toward us and His justice in accepting the sacrifice of Christ that He can forgive us.

* * * Notice that the sins are forgiven and we are cleansed from our unrighteousness. * * *

Here is the bottom line: God the Father is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins. We are the ones that need to act on that promise. We are the ones that need to live in light of that promise.

Shalom.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sermon Run-through 02-01-09

Greetings.

For those of you that were in attendance at Bethany last Sunday (02-01-09), you might recall my saying that i got a little emotional during my sermon run-through. Well here it is. I love diet soda and, as you can see, it is my beverage of choice while doing my sermon run-through.

Might I suggest you turn your speakers down a little when you get to around sixteen and a half minutes and keep them down until about eighteen.

video

Shalom.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sunday Night Roundup

Today was an amazing day at Bethany Baptist Church.

  • The fellowship was simply amazing.
  • The music was thought provoking and genuine.
  • The message this morning hit like a ton of bricks.
  • Communion was passionate.
  • The church now has a few more members after our very, very short business meeting.

Today was an amazing day and we should expect that next Sunday will follow suite.