Monday, March 29, 2010

Note to the Choir

I would like to offer a congratulations to the choir on a job well done.  As we prayed for, your diction was mighty, and your blend was smooth.  I listened to the DVD on Sunday afternoon, and you sounded beautifully.  If you ever get a copy to save of a cantata, this should be the one.  The mix was awesome, and the "breathy tone" worked so well!  There was no cracking sound on the DVD, so I'm sure our Monday evening audience had a treat!  A special thanks to our technical team: Mike, the monitors were spot on, and Mark, way to keep up with the words for us!  Your contributions made this presentation an unforgettable success!  Also, a word of thanks to our readers: you did an outstanding job!  My mom said you gave her goosebumps in both the rehearsal and the performance.  I have had so many compliments on the quality of this cantata, but I have to say that I had little to do with it!  We have an amazingly talented group of musicians at Bruner's Chapel, of whom I am so grateful.  It is so much fun to get to stand in the best seat in the house every week and listen to you worship our Savior in a way that is excellent and clear.

As a reminder, we will not have rehearsal this week so that you can feel free to take part in Easter plans and traditions.  Rehearsal will resume April 11, and we have some exciting things on the horizon!


-Mark Whitaker

Minister of Music and Worship

Interim Minister of Students

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Church News and Announcements

Thanks to all “Find It Here” helpers! We had an incredible turnout as 24 church members delivered the “Find It Here” bags to all of the houses on our assigned streets. Thanks for everyone who helped us to deliver the materials, and let us all pray that the Holy Spirit would use what has been passed out to encourage our neighbors to attend church and begin a relationship with Jesus.

Associational Bible Drill has been moved to March 31. We are all so proud of Taylor Gray, Lyric Brown, and Lauren Hahn and for their hard work preparing for the Bible Drill. Please be in prayer for them and come out and support them on Wednesday Night, March 31, at 7pm. in our fellowship hall as we observe our

Marci Wilham is going to Haiti and needs our prayers and support.
She will be leaving on March 31, and returning on April 10. The following is from her support letter:

“There will be many opportunities to witness to people in the community that we will be working with daily. Our goal is to share Christ’s love with everyone we come in contact with. We hope to do this on a spiritual and physical level as we provide for the Haitian people. I am so blessed to have been given this opportunity to share God’s word, and I would appreciate all the support that could be given. The cost of the mission trip is $2000. This amount will cover airfare, food, and sheltering needs. Your thoughts, prayers, and donations would be such a blessing for not only me, but for the Haitian people as well. In supporting me you will be selflessly helping God’s children who cannot provide for themselves at the time.”

To read her full letter, see the blog post below. Let’s all pray for Marci as she goes. If the Lord leads you to give towards her trip, please do so this Sunday.

The Great “Cup” Exchange. This past Sunday, we looked at Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and at the meaning of the “cup” that Christ had to drink. This cup was the cup of the Wrath of God mentioned throughout the Bible. Jesus drank of the cup of the wrath of God in full for us so that we might drink from a different cup - the cup of salvation.

May we grow in our thankfulness for such a great Salvation that Christ has provided for us as we journey through this Easter Season!

- Bro. Dave

Marci Wilham is going to Haiti and needs our Support

Marci Wilham, a member of our church, is going to Haiti on a mission trip and she needs our support: 

Bruner’s Chapel Baptist Church Members, 
      I will be travelling to Haiti on a mission trip beginning March 31st and ending April 10th. Haiti is a fourth world country that is in great need of our assistance. Two thirds of the Haitian people are unemployed and have to rely on the support and giving hearts of neighboring countries for supplies such as food, water, shelter, and clothing.  The needs of the country have grown tremendously due to the devastating earthquake that tore through Haiti on January 12th, 2010.
      As a group we will be travelling to Port-au-Prince where we will be assisting in several different projects among the communities. This includes working with the children in the orphanages, and helping mentor many different age groups in the programs they have previously established.  A new orphanage is being built and we will assist in tasks such as painting, building furniture and we will also have the privilege of working in the medical facilities. This relief effort is crucial to a population that has been through such a heartbreaking disaster.
      There will be many opportunities to witness to people in the community that we will be working with daily. Our goal is to share Christ’s love with everyone we come in contact with.  We hope to do this on a spiritual and physical level as we provide for the Haitian people. I am so blessed to have been given this opportunity to share God’s word, and I would appreciate all the support that could be given. The cost of the mission trip is $2000. This amount will cover airfare, food, and sheltering needs.  Your thoughts, prayers, and donations would be such a blessing for not only me, but for the Haitian people as well.  In supporting me you will be selflessly helping God’s children who cannot provide for themselves at the time.
                                          With Love,
                                                      Marci Wilham

Let's all be in prayer for Marci as she goes, and if you feel led to give towards her trip, please do so this Sunday.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hymn Story- Robert Robinson

       Turning to the young Robert Robinson, the bleary-eyed gipsy fortune-teller pointed a quivering finger and said, "And you, young man, you will live to see your children and your grandchildren." 

       Robert Robinson suddenly paled and said, "You're right.  She's too drunk to know what she's saying.  Leave her alone.  Let's go."

       But her words haunted him the rest of the day.  "If I'm going to live to see my children and grandchildren," he thought, "I'll have to change my way of living." 

       That very night, half in fun and half seriously, he took his gang to an open air revival service nearby where the famous evangelist, George Whitfield, was preaching.  "We'll go down and laugh at the poor deluded Methodist," he explained

       Two years and seven months after hearing that sermon, twenty-year-old Robert Robinson made his peace with God, and "found full and free forgiveness through the precious blood of Jesus Christ."

       Joining the Methodists, and feeling the call to preach, the self-taught Robinson was appointed by John Wesley to the Calvinist Methodist Chapel, Norfolk, England.  And there, for the celebration of Pentecost (Whitsunday), in 1858, three years after his marvelous conversion, he penned his spiritual autobiography in the words of this hymn .

—Ernest K. Emurian

Come, Thou Fount

Come, Thou Fount of ev'ry blessing,

Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;

Streams of mercy, never ceasing,

Call for songs of loudest praise.

Teach me some melodious sonnet,

Sung by flaming tongues above;

Praise the mount—I'm fixed upon it—

Mount of Thy redeeming love.


             Here I raise my Ebenezer;

Hither by Thy help I'm come;

And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,

Safely to arrive at home.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,

Wand'ring from the fold of God;

He, to rescue me from danger,

Interposed His precious blood.


             O to grace how great a debtor

Daily I'm constrained to be!

Let that grace now, like a fetter,

Bind my wand'ring heart to Thee:

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,

Prone to leave the God I love;

Here's my heart, O take and seal it;

Seal it for Thy courts above.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tim Tebow Superbowl Commerical Update

The following report is from Ted Slater of Focus on the Family:

It's been over a month since Focus on the Family's ad appeared in the Super Bowl. From time to time I hear comments that maybe Focus shouldn't have placed the ad, or should have placed a more hard-hitting ad. "What good has it done?" I hear some ask.
I figured since I'm on "the inside," I'd share one letter (of many) that we've received. This is from Susan, who's given us permission to publish it here:
I need to thank you so much. It's not like me to reach out to strangers or agencies for help. I was truly feeling lost. I saw the ad during the Super Bowl and it stuck in my head. I feel like that commercial was made to reach out to me.
Later that week I googled it and watched the ad over and over. Then I went to your website and watched the related interview. I felt drawn to reach out to you and I am so glad that I did. You may think that all you did was email me back, but you did so much more than that!!! You gave me hope and encouragement. You let me know that if I need help it's out there. (I went to the related website you suggested in your email.) You reminded me that I can't be perfect, but God loves me.
You also gave me a wake up call. Why was I worrying about what the baby's father wanted me to do? I am always trying to make other people happy. I kept thinking that unless I have an abortion, he won't be happy. Well, you put the focus back where it belongs. It doesn't matter what makes him happy, or me happy for that matter. It's about what will make God happy.
I tried to convince the father of this and he wouldn't listen. I just kept telling myself what you said about how I can't control how others feel about my pregnancy. Once I made the decision that it didn't matter what he says or thinks, I'm keeping the baby, I felt so much better! I am excited. I do want to be a mom and I will do my best (although we know I'll be far from perfect) for this baby. I mean I'm scared, too. I have a lot to figure out, especially financially, but I will put my trust in God.
I think I was partly afraid that God was mad at me for getting pregnant out of wedlock. While I know he isn't proud of me for it, thank you for reminding me that he still loves me. I didn't need to compound one sin with another. My mistake can't be erased, but I can ask for forgiveness.
The father is mad at me and says I'm ruining his life. That's OK. I can not control him or his feelings. I can only protect the baby.
I can not thank you enough for putting me back on the right track and reminding me what actually matters in life. I don't know how I forgot something so important, but I did.
Your organization, through the Super Bowl ad and your thoughtful email, saved this baby's life. I have no doubt about that. And in the process maybe you saved my soul. Words just can not express my gratitude, but thank you, thank you, thank you!
The Lord moved so powerfully to save this woman's heart and her baby's life. And her story is just one of many. Because of the Super Bowl ad, more than 1.5 million people have visited to watch a video of the full story hinted at in the ad.
And surprisingly (to me, at least) the ad itself -- a light and friendly affirmation of life -- has "caused over 5 million viewers to reconsider their view of the legality/morality of abortion."
Isn't it wonderful what the Lord has done through a seemingly innocuous commercial that simply affirms the preciousness of life?

You can click here to see this article on Focus on the Family's website. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Note to the Church

To everyone else at Bruner's Chapel, I hope that you are getting as excited as we are about the coming performance of See What a Morning, our choir's Easter presentation for this year. We will be performing Palm Sunday morning, March 28, in our morning worship service. Please begin now inviting friends and family to this wonderful event! Even more so, be thinking about the lost among those you know and love. This musical presentation is saturated with the truth of the Gospel, and there are many who wouldn't otherwise come to church, but might be willing to come for a "concert." I can assure you that, by God's grace, it will be musically excellent and enjoyable for all who attend, especially if our rehearsal times are any indication! This might be our most splendid cantata yet! So please, make plans for you, your family, and friends, to be at Bruner's Chapel Sunday morning the 28th to hear the choir sing!

-Mark Whitaker
Minister of Music and Worship
Interim Minister to Students

Note to the Student Ministry

Wow, what a great weekend!  I just wanted to say thanks to the chaperones that helped out this last weekend on our trip to Louisville for WinterJam 2010!  It was such a good time.  It really made me feel old when NewSong and the Newsboys played songs that I knew by heart and the students had never heard (and visa-versa)!  I was so encouraged to see the Gospel preached so faithfully by Tony Noland, and I hope the students and chaperones alike were stirred to trust in Christ or to live their lives more apparently in that reality.  It was very difficult at times to constrain myself from singing at the top of my lungs for the sake of having a voice to lead the singing Sunday morning!


-Mark Whitaker

Minister of Music and Worship

Interim Minister to Students

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Note to the Choir

I just wanted to say thanks to the choir for a thoroughly enjoyable rehearsal Sunday night.  It was such a pleasure to make music with you, and I hope you will remember some of the beautiful moments for a long time, as I will.  I'm getting so excited about the cantata this year, coming up in just two short weeks!  Don't forget, we have only two full rehearsals left (this Sunday night and next Saturday morning).  Another reminder, to the speaking parts, we have an extra rehearsal Sunday at 5 to run over the narration and readings!


-Mark Whitaker


Minister of Music and Worship

Interim Minister of Students

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Is Jesus God & Did Jesus Claim to be God?

It amazes me to find out how many people do not get it that Jesus is God. People who have been raised in church their entire life will argue with me that Jesus is not God. I wanted to take some time and provide some helpful articles on this extremely important topic - for the hope that we would all defend the truths taught in scripture.

In eight Scriptural passages, Jesus is described by the Greek word Theos (God): John 1:1-3; 1:18; 20:28; Rom. 9:5; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:8; 2 Pet. 1:1; 1 John 5:20. The New Testament also affirms the deity of Jesus in calling him Yahweh. Old Testament prophecies concerning Yahweh are quoted in the New Testament as being references to Jesus (compare Mal. 3:1 and Luke 1:76; Joel 2:32 and Rom. 10:13; Isa. 45:23 and Rom. 14:10; Psalm 45:6 and Heb 1:8,9). Angels Worship him (Heb. 1:6) while at the same time refuse to receive worship (Rev. 19:10) yet Jesus willingly receives worship (Matthew 2:11, 14:33, 28:9, 17; Luke 24:52; John 9:38).

Did Jesus Claim to be God?
by Y-Jesus Magazine

Is Jesus God? Did Jesus ever claim to be God?

The Deity of Christ (.pdf)
by F.F. Bruce & W.J. Martin

The Claims of Christ: A Sermon on John 5:16-29
John M. Frame

The Pre-existence of Christ
by James White

Is Jesus Christ God?
Brian Schwertley

Was Jesus Worshipped?
by Gregory Koukl

Who Is Jehovah? Who Is Jesus?

by Phillip R. Johnson

Jesus Christ Is Lord
by Peter Toon

The Deity of Christ in Mark 14
by Ed Komoszewski

The Deity of Christ in Philippians 2
Ed Komoszewski

Defending the Deity of Christ
Hilary of Poitiers, with comments from Martin Downes

Christology: The Classical View
Sam Storms

The Divinity of Jesus (MP3)
J.M. Comer

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." Rev 22:13

Monday, March 8, 2010

Him, Who? Part 8

In Genesis chapter 26, we read about a very familiar situation with Isaac, where he lies about his relationship with his wife for fear of being killed to take possession of her.  Like father, like son.  However, this time, no one takes Rebekah.  Instead, King Abimelech discovers Isaac's lie before any damage is done, and puts his protection over Isaac and Rebekah.  As a result, the couple prospered in the land, to the point that Abimelech sends them away because they have become mightier than he.  So they return to the land of his father, Abraham, where they begin to restore the wells that had been filled in after Abraham's death.  This is where we find our text today.


In verse 22, Isaac digs a well and, "he called its name Rehoboth, saying, 'For now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.'"  The well is given this name to remind Isaac and his family that God has kept his covenant with Abraham and Abraham's children.  I think there is a particular application to us as Christians in the United States.  We have been given a place, even though we have not received a promise like Abraham's family, where we have thrived both socially and financially.  Even in our deepest recession, we remain one of the most affluent cultures in the world.  We also have the freedom to live our lives to God's glory as we understand the Bible tells us.  Might we be reminded in our worship that God has blessed us in that we could live in such a nation.  We need to be careful that we don't think that because we have used our freedom to worship God that we deserve his favor, especially if the disasters and terrorism we face are any indication.  Instead, we need to realize that God has shown grace to us in an infinitely mysterious way.  He loves us, "just because."  Let's thank Him that, "he has made us room."

-Mark Whitaker

Minister of Music and Worship

Interim Minister of Students

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Good News from Dr. Chuck Lawless

This article has nothing at all to do with music, worship, or youth, but it is a story that needs to be spread, and so this is how I will do it.  As a matter of fact, if it weren't for the fact that I submitted this article late (which explains why some might receive their chimes late—thanks for waiting for me, Jeanne!), I wouldn't be able to share this story.  Because of my class schedule this semester, I have the opportunity to attend Chapel services at seminary, which has been a huge blessing.  During Chapel, there is always a time where the presiding faculty member (usually President Mohler or Vice-President Moore) introduces the speaker for the morning, as well as the guest musician when there is one.  This morning during that time, Dr. Moore invited the Dean of the Billy Graham School, Dr. Chuck Lawless, to the stage to share some exciting news.  Usually, when this happens, it means that someone has released a new book or has been recognized in some way in the world of theological academia.  On this particular occasion, Dr. Lawless approached the pulpit with tears in his eyes, sharing with the seminary body that, after a lifetime of prayer for his father's salvation, he received news yesterday that his father had prayed to receive Christ!  At first, this seemed strange to me.  Of course, we should celebrate with the host of angels when someone joins the Kingdom, but still this seemed out of place.  And then Dr. Lawless explained the significance of the event.  First of all, it should be noted that Dr. Lawless is a dean at the largest and most influential evangelical seminary in the world, and yet it was not his words that brought his father to faith.  It was the words of his younger brother, who lacks in any post-secondary education at all, much less theological education.  This should humble all of us (myself included) who become puffed up thinking we know all the answers.  And yet, Dr. Lawless celebrated in tears with his brother over this incredible victory.  Secondly, he told us that in his missionary journeys over the years, he had placed his father's name in the prayerful care of every missionary he had met all over the world, and one such missionary, after hearing the delightful news, shared with Dr. Lawless that he had been encouraged to share the Gospel in the extremely hostile country he served with more boldness than ever before because of this testimony.  Lastly, after Dr. Lawless finished the announcement, Dr. Moore had everyone in the room who was currently praying for a lost family member stand, which brought over half of the room to their feet.  We prayed at that moment for those standing, and for the people they represented, and it made me realize that even though we have the best theological education in the world, it is still in God's time that He draws people to Himself.  Might we pray with boldness and long-suffering for those in our families who don't know Christ, and might we celebrate with the angels when God does such a mighty work in their lives!


-Mark Whitaker

Minister of Music and Worship

Interim Minister to Students

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The Impact of the Early Church - Possible for Today

By generous estimates, there are almost 2 billion people in the world today who claim to be Christians of some sort. What amazes me is that it all began with a small group of 120 people in Jerusalem almost 2000 years ago. As we read about this initial group of believers in Acts chapter 1, by comparison we can say that today’s church has more money, education, and resources. While they were able to turn the world upside down for Jesus Christ, the church in America today is facing a steady decline.

How did this group overturn the entire world? What did they do that we could also do to reach our world for Jesus today?

From Acts 1:1-18, there are four observations about this early church group that led to them having the impact on the world that they had. These four things are all available to us today.

1)    They had a faith that produced obedience. (Acts 1:4) Jesus told them to go to Jerusalem and wait. Jerusalem was the scene of the crucifixion of Jesus, and it would have been the last place the disciples would have wanted to go. Jesus commanded them to go there, and without question, they obeyed. Christ has commanded all of us to share the Good News of salvation with everyone. How obedient are we to His commands?
2)      They had a passion that produced unity. (Acts 1:14) “These all with one mind were devoting themselves to prayer” The unifying key that they wrapped their minds around was "The Kingdom." The Kingdom was the one thing that Jesus talked about for 40 days (Acts 1:3). The Kingdom of God is the church that is being established around the world – and it is something that we must be unified in seeing built.
3)      They had a desperation that produced prayer. (Acts 1:9-11) The text says that they returned to Jerusalem and prayed. In verse 14 they were continually devoting themselves to prayer. Vance Havner said it years ago: "The great tragedy of our day is that the situation is desperate but the saints are not." We must return to praying for God’s kingdom to come to our lost friends.
4)      They had the spirit that produced power. (Acts 1:8) The disciples would not leave Jerusalem until they were sure they had the help that Christ promised them. We also have the power of the Holy Spirit, and we must yield to His power in our lives daily. How often do you pray for the Holy Spirit to empower you to do God’s will?

My prayer is that we can see God use us to bring His Kingdom to our neighbors here in Harrodsburg.

May God grow us, and may he grow His kingdom through us!

- Bro. Dave