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Preacher on the Run…

Faith, Family, Ministry, and Everything in between

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Ministry

Overwhelming the Overwhelming Feeling

BusyWeekAheadEver have one of those crunch time type of weeks? The kind where you go to work knowing a deadline is looming and it will be a crazy week just to accomplish your goal and get the project done on time? In high school it was the week where you had four tests, a paper and project due, all on top of a rigorous sports schedule. If you are, ever have been, or ever will be, in college, you know exactly the type of week I am referring to: the one where you have two papers, three tests, and a group project all due.  As I left college I remember thinking, “Wow, I am glad I will never have that many deadlines and projects to complete in one week again.” Oh, how young and foolish I was. When we enter the workplace, it seems like every week is another set of deadlines–another set of impossibilities to accomplish.

It is during those types of weeks that panic can set in. We begin to focus on all that is looming ahead of us. The details of the paper we must write seem daunting. The answers to the questions on every test seem to just jump out of our mind as soon as we sit down to take it. The work project is requiring more time than expected. Not to mention the amount of sleep we lose in trying to accomplish our long to do lists. Every morning that we head to school, the classroom, or the office is another reminder of all that is not yet accomplished and still needs to be completed. Life seems as though it is relentless and that we have accomplished little before the cycle starts again. What are we to do?

My answer to that question is the same today as it was before this weekend, but this weekend changed my appreciation of the answer. This past Friday night, at halftime of the BCS Orange Bowl game between Ohio State and Clemson, I was leaving my Senior Pastor’s home. As he followed me out the door, on his way to the dumpster, little did I know my weekend plans would change quickly. A quarter of the way through the parking lot he slipped on ice and fell, tearing his patella tendon in his knee. This meant that my Saturday  became all about preparing a sermon, which I previously was not preparing to give. So what was I to do?The-Unexpected.001

Well, Saturday morning came and I got to work. Digging through many old sermons and lessons that I had prepared and given years prior, I tried to determine what message God would want His people at our church to hear now. Praying through the options and determining which one to do, I began to rework the message. After 8 hours of message prep and retooling, I had completed the sermon preparation. But the question remained…how was I going to do this?

The answer to the question both this past weekend and in other overwhelming experiences was the same…and it was what I had the privilege of preaching yesterday. The answer was that God is sufficient while I am not. The answer is that God is sovereignly in control while I am not. The answer is the gospel. While I am a broken, overwhelmed, insufficient creature, He is the Sovereign, Sufficient, Saving Creator. God is good and I am not. That is the story of Scripture…a just, holy, righteous, and loving God extends grace, mercy, forgiveness, and salvation to unholy, broken, evil, wretched sinners like me. I could not do it on my own, but God provided a way through His Son for me to face overwhelming circumstances victoriously.

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So if you face a hectic, busy, and crazy week ahead, remember, on your own you are not sufficient for every task ahead of you. But also remember that on a hill over 2,000 years ago, a sinless Savior died by crucifixion, was buried, and rose again, so that the wrath of God would be satisfied and that you could come back into a right relationship with Him. Allow the overwhelming feelings throughout the week to remind you of your own sinfulness and insufficiency, yet God’s holiness and sufficiency.

Until Next Time…

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Rediscovering Christmas

christmas_wallpaper_prettyblueThe Christmas season is upon us again. Lights are up, trees are being cut down, and gifts are being bought. But in all the hustle and bustle of Christmas, the real reason for the season is often lost. Now, I don’t mean lost in the sense of “No one ever talks about Jesus”, like a Christian Grinch may verbalize. No, what I mean is that we can quickly and easily lose sight of the awesome event that happened over 2,000 years ago in a little town called Bethlehem. While newly discovered objects and truths are great, it is quite often the rediscovered objects and truths that can bring the greatest joy. So what I would like to do is simply post our church’s most recent outline from our senior pastor’s messages the next three weeks.*** These messages are entitled: Rediscovering Christmas. And the first installment is: Lay Hold of Hope.

Lay Hold of Hope – The Story of Joseph and Mary – Luke 2:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25

The Miracle in BethlehemLuke 2:1-7

  • The Time of Jesus’ birth – Caesar Augustus reigning, Quirinius governing, Herod the Great as ruler
  • The Circumstances of Jesus’ birth – Ancestral homes, Taxes, Swaddling clothes (Jesus cared for), A Common Name for an Uncommon Person

God’s Word to Joseph Matthew 1:18-25 (4 Ways Hope conquers Fear)

  1. Hope conquers fear when we face disappointment.
    • Like Joseph we often come to the wrong conclusions about things.
    • While Joseph was worrying, God was working. – Isaiah 7:14
    • Our fears are unfounded because we forget that God is in control.
  2. Hope conquers fear when we worry about public opinion.
    • Joseph sought to graciously protect Mary from ridicule or worse. – Deuteronomy 22:13-24
    • We must not allow public opinion to shape our future, but must simply obey God. – Proverbs 29:25
    • The angel of the Lord told Joseph not to fear public opinion, for God was at work.
    • Those who are in the center of God’s will need not fear public opinion.
  3. Hope conquers fear when God’s Word is fulfilled.
    • Jesus came to save His people from their sin.
    • Jesus came to fulfill the New Covenant – Jeremiah 31:31-37
  4. Hope conquers fear when we move ahead in obedience.
    • Joseph trusted God and obeyed.
    • Hope is found not in religion or philosophy, but in a Person – Jesus Christ.

So what should we take away from our effort to Lay Hold of Hope?

  1. Identify areas in your life in which you feel hopeless.
  2. Commit to be obedient despite the hopelessness.
  3. Surrender those areas to the One who gives hope.

Rediscovering Christmas series will be continued next week.

Until then…

***Sermon preached by Pastor Rick Wilson at Denbigh Baptist Church December 1st, 2013.***

Feature Friday (11/22/13)

church-clip-art-10This Sunday at our church we will have an installation service for our new pastor. It is at a time like this in the life of a church where I am reminded that each part (member) of the body is important and needed. God has placed each member in the body for the good of the body. This article shares more along this line. So I hope you are encouraged and challenged to fulfill the role God has given you in your local church body.

As always, be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s Day!

Feature Friday (11/8/13)

radio-630x597“If you’re listening to Christian radio in search of new congregational music, we think you should look elsewhere. Here are three reasons why:” Stop listening for new worship songs on the radio!

As always, be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Feature Friday (10/18/13)

Live-stream-slide-for-GTYThis week I have been trying to catch as much of a controversial yet instructional conference. It is the Strange Fire Conference being held at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. This is a local church known best for its leading pastor, John MacArthur. The conference has been addressing the charismatic movement and theology. Feel free to check it out yourself and as always I would love to interact with you about it. If you missed any or all of it you can catch up over at Grace to You!

Be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day.

Special Feature Monday (10/14/13)

the_worlds_greatest_pastor_card-p137263073445483299tdn0_400In light of what was a very busy weekend and a busy start to the week enjoy this “guest” post. This question and the practicality of it seems to be more of an issue everyday given the capabilities the internet has given us. So…”who is your pastor…REALLY?”

Check back next Monday for another original post!

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