Tuesday, September 26, 2006

 

Revival Meetings, Seminary Extension, and Family Stuff

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,
Jeff

Comments:
It's good to know you have your priorities straight: blogging first, then ministry, family if there's any time left over!

Good news about your son.

(Do write a post every now and then; it's nice to be reminded real life goes on in spite of blogger's debates.)
 
Jeff,

Good to hear from you again. You've been missed. I rejoice with you over the good news about Andrew and also the seminary extension classes. I've been leading a study in Nehemiah on Wednesday evenings and we just looked at Nehemiah 8 last week. What a wonderful passage! Don't stay gone so long next time.
 
Jeff,

Wow, a revival running through a Friday night, in Texas...must have been an away game.

But my real comment is about how our seminaries are taking classes to the people. This is great. Way back when I went to seminary, all classes were on campus. Now, campus and classes to really help God called people to extend their knowledge are better available to many more. And, with experienced pastors teaching, and taking time away from their lives to prepare and teach, I think this is very good. Thank you for being a willing participant in helping others.
 
Glad you are back. You are my favorite bishop. I have been curious how your new SS class has gone. I'm sure it will make a good post. Praises to hear about your son.

Wayne Hatcher
 
Good to have you back. Congratulations on the seminary extension classes. I agree with 10/40 window missionary to say what you are doing is the way seminary should be done. Instead of uprooting people out of their natural environment, it makes a whole lot more sense to take needed training to where they are and apply it to their local situation.
 
Glad to know your doing well.
 
Welcome back!

I just found your site.

In Jesus,
Maria (UK)
www.inhishands.co.uk
 
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