Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cancer Update and The Van Fleet Wedding

            I want to thank the church for your generous offering to help my family and I pay for my medical bills. As the bills have been numerous and expensive, Ginny and I are thankful for your generosity! We would not have been able to survive this experience financially or emotionally without the help and support of our church family. Thank you!

            As I type this, my leg is bandaged up and is still sore from my surgery last week. I underwent what is called a "margins surgery" for the remainder of the cancer that is in my leg. Last Wednesday, Dr. Charles Scoggins, from the University of Louisville, was able to remove 20 sq. centimeters of surface and 2nd layer skin from my leg. The surgery left an 8 inch incision that runs along the crease between my torso and right leg. To get the skin to bond, the Dr. placed stiches underneath the skin (that will dissolve later), a type of medical superglue on the wound, and nylon surface stitches that will be removed in a few weeks.

            This type of surgery has been reported to bring the return rate of my particular cancer down into the single digits (3-8% chance of return). All of my removed skin is currently being tested for cancer and will determine my future treatment. If the cancer is found throughout the skin sample, I will be looking at further surgeries and treatments. If the cancer is found only in small sections of the sample, I will be monitored with ultrasounds for the next three years.

            In closing, I would ask that we all pray for our youth minister Benji Van Fleet and Anna Allen as they are getting married this Saturday, July 31, in Texas. Benji and Anna will be rejoining us around August 15 to resume serving our students. Pray for safety for them as they travel to Scotland on their honeymoon and as they make their journey from Texas back to Kentucky. We are planning to do something fun for Benji and Anna as they return so stay tuned for the details!


It has been a busy summer, and it has been an awesome summer! May God bless us as we transition into the fall!


-          Bro. Dave   

Monday, July 19, 2010

"In Christ"

One quote that I read recently about God’s love for us in Jesus is, “God has placed us where His love is most potent, in His Son.” The following devotional comes from Baptist pastor Geoff Ashley:
Paul often uses the phrase “in Christ” or “in Christ Jesus” to refer to this reality of union with Christ. Though the phrase is used dozens of times, consider just a few of the more widely known passages that express this essential truth.
  • Romans 8:1–2 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:30–31 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
  • Galatians 3:25–29 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
  • Ephesians 1:3–6 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
  • Ephesians 2:1–10 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Righteousness, holiness, justification, and sanctification, God’s love, grace, and mercy, all pardon and hope and promise and boast wrapped up in Christ Jesus. In order to attain them, we must be in Him.
Are you in Christ? Are you taking seriously the singular privilege of union with Him and deriving joy and peace from knowing that you are loved by God in Christ Jesus the Lord?
May God bless us with the knowledge of our standing in Christ!
-          Bro Dave

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pray for Bryan Turner

Bryan Turner is a high school friend of mine who was hit by a car a few days ago. He was out promoting Vacation bible School for his church when the accident happened. Bryan has had some brain damage and is in critical condition. His wife Joy and his two sons (6 month old and 4 year old) need our prayers. Bryan had a large influence on me when I was a freshman in High School. He was a Senior in our church orchestra, and he was an incredible witness for Jesus wherever he went. I do not know of anyone who was a greater soul winner and witness for Jesus than Bryan Turner. For more information and updates check out the videos and links below:

Bryan's Church: University Christian Baptist Church - updates their site daily with a status on Bryan.

Florida Times Union story on Bryan.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Servant Example of Jesus

As we are in the middle of our Vacation Bible School, I want to thank the over 50 adults who have come out this week to serve in this wonderful outreach!

This past Sunday we looked at John 13:1-20 and observed Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. We talked about service towards others and how we need to follow the example that Jesus set for us.

The Privilege of Serving – “Jesus said to him, "The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you. (vs. 10)"

Unlike people of other faiths, we do not serve to become clean. We serve because we are clean – out of gratitude to the one who has cleaned us. The next time a Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness steps on your porch, remember that their service flows from a need to be saved, which has an underlying motive of fear. Our service flows from our gratitude of our promised salvation, which has an underlying emotion of joy! What a privilege to serve King Jesus! 

The Practice of Serving – “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. (vs. 14)”

We should make serving others a common practice of our lives. Since Christ has served us, we have the honor of serving others in his name. A simple illustration of this is the difference between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. The Sea of Galilee gives fish and fresh water to the region around it, and flows into the Jordan River, which supplies much of Palestine with life. The Dead Sea has no outlet, and is one of the saltiest seas on earth. No fish can survive in its water. The Sea of Galilee is a giver, while the Dead sea is a taker. Which sea best represents your life in service towards others?  Are you a giver or a taker?

The Promise of Serving – “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. (vs. 17)”

Jesus promises a blessing for anyone who follows his example to serve others. I cannot wait to see how Jesus is going to bless the people who are serving Him this week in our Vacation Bible School! While Jesus does not go into any detail as to what this blessing will be, one can be certain that it will be well worth seeking. What amazing motives for service that we see in this passage: A) We have been made clean in Jesus.  B) We will be rewarded. What else do we really need to be motivated to serve our king? Who can you serve this week?  

May God increase our desire to serve His kingdom!

- Bro. Dave

Wearing Our Sunday Best

So, about Isaiah 61:1-11. If you haven’t read it, I would encourage you to take a few moments and read it now. When you read it, don’t skim through – take it in, passage by passage. If you don’t, I am afraid this week’s BlogSpot won’t make much sense to you.

This is a great passage to follow up Brother Dave’s sermon from Sunday- humbly living out salvation. Isaiah takes these verses to describe what a living “church” looks like in the eyes of God. Before we can impact the world around us, we have to start with “Why”. The “why” is in verse 1 – we are anointed, as saved servants!

When you look into verses 4-6, you see what the “church” is doing in action. I like verse 5 because that is the part where we come in. We are not members of the tribes of Israel (as the Jews knew themselves to be), but we are the welcome gentiles… and we will ‘shepherd the flocks, and work the fields and vineyards.’

That means, we as Christians should be about our Father’s business!
The ending passages are a joyful perspective of what God’s children receive. We are not ‘given our shame,’ but we ‘receive a double portion of inheritance,’ (verse 7) and that inheritance is not monetary – it is that we are treasured by God, and we are saved from iniquity and broken-heartedness! We are beautiful to the Lord!

Think about all of that chapter, and the lifestyle of worship those actions produce: that, Chaplains, is our Sunday Best. And we would be wise to wear it everyday.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Serving God through the Church


We are now in the busiest time of our church year. With the block parties this week, VBS next week, we will encounter hundreds of unchurched people in just a few days time. With all that is happening, there is still room for you to join in. If you would like to help us with our VBS, please speak to Amy Riley this Sunday to see where the needs are.


As we meditate on all of the service needs, I would like to share the following devotional from pastor John Butler.


"Their brethren, heads of the house of their fathers, a thousand and seven hundred and threescore; very able men for the work of the service of the house of God." (1 Chronicles 9:13)


This verse is about the priests who settled in Jerusalem during Nehemiah's time after the walls of Jerusalem had been rebuilt. The last part of the verse speaks of the service of priests. It speaks of the power for service, the perspiration in service, and the place of service.

Power for service. "Able men." The word translated "able" basically means power or strength. It can refer to physical strength or mental strength or even virtuous strength. The priests needed all three to serve the Lord. They needed physical strength to take care of the sacrifices, they needed mental strength to read the laws of God and administer the business of the Temple, and they needed virtuous strength to be qualified to do God's work. All of this says serving the Lord is not sissy work as the world often says it is. The world likes to picture Christianity as a weak, effeminate cause. But they are wrong; for if ever strength is required anywhere, it is required for God's service and for living for God. The godly life requires much strength.

Perspiration in service. "Work of the service." The service the priests were to perform is described as work. Serving God is not easy. If you are looking for a soft and easy job, do not look for a job in the service of God. The Bible describes living for God as a warfare (Ephesians 6:10–18), not as a picnic. If you expect to get anything out of your faith, you must be earnest in pursuit of your faith. The devil is doing all he can to oppose your work, so you must be earnest.

Place of service. "House of God." In our verse this refers specifically to the Temple constructed in Jerusalem for the worship of God. Today, we build church buildings for the worship of God, and they become a place of service. Too many folk however do not look at church as a place of service. They come simply to watch, or they do not come at all. But all of God's people need to view the church, the "house of God," as a place of service and roll of their sleeves and get busy for God.


May God strengthen our service!


- Bro. Dave