Dear Courteous Reader,
I apologize for going so long without posting. Things have been busy, and I've had to temporarily actually do some church work! I'm sorry that I allowed ministry to interfere with my blogging, and I promise not to let it happen again. :)
Last week, our church had the pleasure of hosting Brother Cliff Cooper of Grace Baptist Church in Van, Texas (a newly-planted church) for a week of revival meetings. We found Cliff to be a very knowledgeable, experienced, capable preacher, and a kind, humble Christian man. He gave us what was basically a six-night mini systematic theology course! It was a great week. Despite the meetings lasting through Friday evening rather than just Wednesday, this is the first time that I wasn't ready for a revival week to be over!
Last night, our association began our first Seminary Extension classes. We have two students, one who is a bi-vocational pastor, and one who is an aspiring youth minister. Rick Shultz, Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Bonham, Texas is teaching them a basic hermeneutics course called, "How to Understand the Bible." I am teaching Old Testament Survey part one. The first night was GREAT! Both students have an excellent attitude toward the courses. The best part of the evening was when they told me that our Seminary Extension program is an answer to prayer for both of them.
We discussed the relationship between these two verses:
(Nehemiah 8:8) They [Ezra and the other teachers] read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read.
(Ezra 7:10) For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.
We all want to be able to give the meaning of the Word to the people; but it requires both study and observance of the Word now to do so effectively in the future.
On a personal note, I am thankful for the double blessing of our most recent trip to Scottish Rite children's orthopedic hospital in Dallas. One of my sons, Andrew, who is 5, has some slight deformity in his legs, which causes him to walk and run awkwardly. This was our third trip to the hospital for exams. This time, the doctor said he is doing much better, and should not need any kind of surgery or therapy. Praise God! While Andrew and my dear wife were seeing the doctor, the rest of the children and I were playing outside at the lovely park next door, enjoying the perfect weather. Angie (7 months) and I had some really good bonding time over Gerber's sweet potatoes! God carried us safely to downtown Dallas and back without incident.
Thanks for coming by to read this update, and thanks to those of you who contacted me, concerned that I had fallen off the edge of the earth!
Love in Christ,