Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What is “Secret Church”?

During Sunday Nights in October we will be going through “Secret Church” together.

Our focus will be a Survey of the Old Testament. We will be watching Dr. David Platt as he walks us through the Old Testament. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about Secret Church:

What is “Secret Church”?
From David Platt: When we think of "church" in America, we think of going to meet at a building, singing, praying and hearing a message from a Pastor. But in many places around the world, "church" meets in a home, an apartment, even in secret. These small groups of Christ-followers often meet for many hours in study, prayer and fellowship, as it is dangerous to travel to "church" and they want to make the most of their time together.

Secret Church is our "house church," where we meet periodically for an intense time of Bible study--lasting 4-6 hours--and prayer for our persecuted brothers and sisters across the globe. This is not for the uncommitted or faint at heart. But if you desire to know God more deeply through His Word, and know His Church more fully around the world, then please join us for Secret Church.
God will use this focused time of study to enrich our knowledge of His Word as we gain understanding of the state of His Church and our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. The objective of Secret Church is for you to pass along what you learn to others, so that you can make disciples of Christ--both locally and globally.

Who is David Platt?
David Platt is the pastor of the Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, AL. He is best known as the author of the book Radical: Taking Back your Faith from the American Dream. (If you have not read Radical yet, ask Mike Riley how it has impacted his life.)  David has served as the Assistant Professor of Preaching and Apologetics at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

What do I need to do to participate?
Call the church office and tell Jeanne that you want to attend so that we can have your workbook printed and ready for you on Sunday night, October 7 at 7PM.

May we grow in our love for the Bible and for missions as we learn together!

- Bro. Dave

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Take my life and let it be...

I want to thank everyone who showed up Friday night and worked hard during our fall festival. It was a great outreach and I am excited to see what great things God has in store!
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
In this day of self-centered living and pleasure-oriented lifestyle, the total commitment to God of body, mind, and possessions portrayed in this verse is difficult for many Christians to achieve. Even though we realize that we have nothing we have not received and that we are only stewards of the good gifts God has entrusted to us, we often fail to apply this basic truth to our daily lives:
The gold that came from Thee, Lord, to Thee belongeth still;
Oh, may I always faithfully my stewardship fulfill. —Unknown
It was said of Frances Ridley Havergal, author of the Hymn, “Take my Life and Let it Be”, that the beauty of a consecrated life was never more perfectly revealed than in her daily living. She has rightfully been called “The Consecration Poet.”
“These little couplets that chimed in my heart one after another” were for Frances Havergal the result of an evening in 1874 passed in pursuing a deeper consecration of herself to God. “Take my voice and let me sing always only for my King” was personally significant for Frances. She was naturally very musical and had been trained as a concert soloist with an unusually pleasant voice. Her musical talents could have brought her much worldly fame. However, she determined that her life’s mission was to sing and work only for Jesus. The line “Take my silver and my gold” was also sincerely phrased. At one time Frances gathered together her many fine pieces of jewelry and other family heirlooms and shipped them to the church missionary house to be used for evangelizing the lost. Nearly fifty articles were sent with “extreme delight.”
Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee; take my hands and let them move at the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee; take my voice and let me sing always only, for my King.
Take my lips and let them be filled with messages for Thee; take my silver and my gold—not a mite would I withhold.
Take my love—my God, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store; take myself—and I will be ever, only, all for Thee, ever, only, all for thee.
-       May God strengthen us to do everything for His glory!
-       Bro. Dave

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fighting Temptation

1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV) 
13  No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 

After Franklin Graham committed himself to Christ, he was surprised to find his taste for cigarettes was strong as ever. He determined to quit smoking, but three days later, he awoke with an absolutely overwhelming—almost terrifying—desire for a cigarette. I wanted to smoke so bad that I couldn’t think of anything else. It intensified with each passing minute. Throughout the day, the yearning for a cigarette grabbed me like the jaws of a junkyard dog.

He finally shared his struggle with his friend Roy Gustafson. “Roy, I quit smoking, but I don’t think I can hold out. I just don’t think I have the power to say no any longer.”
“Oh, you don’t, huh?” replied Roy, looking up from a hamburger. “Why don’t you just get down on your knees and tell God He’s a liar?”
“What? I can’t do that!”
Roy quoted 1 Corinthians 10:13 to him, then said, “You need to tell God He’s a liar. You claimed that verse and it didn’t work.”
“I’m not going to call God a liar,” said Franklin. “Besides, I haven’t claimed that verse yet!”
“You haven’t?” said Roy, sounding shocked. “Why don’t you, then?”
Returning to his room, Franklin knelt beside his bed and prayed, “Lord, I’ve been wanting a cigarette all day. I don’t want to smoke again, but I don’t know if I can make it through this day. Will you take this overpowering desire from me?”
Though the desire didn’t cease, Franklin’s ability to resist it grew. Only once did he slip, on a flight the next day to Athens. I lit up and took several puffs. Instead of the usual satisfied feeling I would get, the cigarette left a bad taste in my mouth. I snubbed it out, wadded up the pack, and threw it on an empty seat.
It was his last smoke.

May we claim the promises of God this week in our fight against temptation. 

- Bro. Dave

Monday, September 3, 2012

Encouraging Passages for Teachers

As I have been observing our students and teachers returning to class, I am praying for both groups that this would be a fruitful year. I know that all of our teachers work hard to serve their students, and I want to provide some encouraging passages for your labors.
1 Corinthians 15:58 “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not vain in the Lord.” (ASV)
Jeremiah 17:8
“They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.” (NRSV)
Matthew 25:21 “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (KJV)
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (KJV)
Ephesians 3:16-19 “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (NIV)
1 Peter 4:10 “Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.” (NRSV)
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (NKJV)
Romans 12:7 “If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well.” (NLT)

Whether you are a teacher or not, let us all work hard, with the strength God supplies, to bring glory to God through our work!  

-       Bro. Dave