A DVD Worth Watching

The plethora of DVDs that are available for viewing that contain not even a moment of redeeming or edifying video requires that when a pastor discovers a movie worth watching he should tell his flock about it. Ultimate Gift
is such a movie.

Sunday evening gave our family a rare opportunity to sit together and relax and enjoy what we hoped would be a good movie. (With "good" being defined as something we would watch if Jesus was in our bonus room with us.)

We were not disappointed in anyway—there were two scenes where we thought we might fast forward but the director stopped short of continuing down an unwanted path.

Jim Stovall, a blind author, created an incredible story in the book The Ultimate Gift. The movie is rated PG and the movie review done by Focus on the Family is a very accurate portrayal the plot and of violence and sexual content—which is absolutely less than what is found on most TV commercials. There is no need for me to spend any time telling you about the movie—pluggedinonline.com does great job. Read the review and get the movie the next time you have two hours to relax and be encouraged, challenged and reminded of how the love of money is the root of all evil.



A God Thing from Start to Finish

There a great line in Max Lucado's book 3:16 The Number of Hope that is worthy of a bit of discussion. Max is talking about being born-again or the new birth of John 3 and he writes, "New born heart are born of heaven. You can't wish, earn, or create one. New birth? Inconceivable. God handles the task, start to finish" (6).

That's it. You didn't miss it…did you? God handles the task, start to finish.

The psalmist said like this over and over—Salvation is of the Lord!

I am completely and fully dependent upon God for every aspect of my salvation. There isn't anything I can do to earn it—it is purely an act of grace of God's behalf—Start to finish. I don't begin it and He finishes it.

God is not dependent upon me to save a soul—clearly he used preaching, but he doesn't have to and when he uses preaching it is him using it from start to finish.

In and of myself I have no ability to say something, play something, or even sing something to get someone to respond to the gospel.

I strongly in the vast majority of the times when someone is responding to an invitation to get said the person walking down that aisle during an invitation is already saved. Those steps are God-initiated, God-ordained, God-strengthened steps and the person taking them is a new creature in Christ.

The natural man doesn't respond to spiritual things—it takes a heart filled with faith from the Holy Spirit to respond and this is why we must confess over and over again—salvation is of the Lord.

Thus there isn't any aspect of man's salvation that competes with the glory of God—both faith and repentance are both presented as gifts in the Acts of the Apostles.

If I have loved one, friend, relative, companion, co-worker or neighbor for which I am concerned that they are not born-again—the most important thing I can do is to pray to the Lord of salvation that He would send the Holy Spirit to give them faith and repentance.

So my prayer will be over and over again, "God the Father draw them to your Son in Jesus' Name!"

Will I witness—YES absolutely—but my witnessing is completely dependent upon God-the Holy Spirit showing up—so my prayer time will be exclusively focused upon my theological perspective that salvation is a God-thing from start to finish.

I must completely and fully rest in the promise of Phil 1.6 that He which has begun a good work will perform and complete that same good work until the day of Jesus Christ.

Conservatives are Increasing their Influence

How encouraged I was today when I learned of a conservative Baptist preacher taking over the leadership of a more liberal SBC. For any independent, fundamental Baptist this is good news story. Many know that Berean Baptist was formed because of a departure from the inerrancy of the Word of God within the SBC. So when independent Baptists hear about conservative pastors leading SBC churches they should be thrilled.

This preacher testified of His firm conviction that the Holy Spirit would take the Word of God and change lives, thoughts, attitudes etc. within the church—now that's faith.

This is a very challenging task; it takes guts to come to a ministry like that.

I wish to embrace and support this endeavor with my whole heart—I shall pray for this brother in Christ and fellow Baptist preacher because I know his firm conviction to preach the whole council will bring with it many, many challenges.

As a Baptist, I know the best thing for my denomination is for more churches to be led by preachers who are committed to the inerrancy of the Bible. God will not bless anything less.


Have you ever been exasperated with being sick before? Have you ever consider what possible purpose illness could have in the life of the believer? Having now been sick for several days I have.

The Bible makes it clear that sometimes God uses sickness to chastise the believer, but Jesus also made it clear that all sickness isn't a result sin. Sometimes God permits illness, disease, etc. as a means to magnify His power to heal.

But that isn't always the case sometimes an antibiotic gets more credit and praise in making a person well than God; yet we know that without God man would have never discovered how antibodies can be used to cure disease.

And sometimes sickness is an early warning device to prevent more significant illnesses from worsening.

But one thing is for sure: sickness always makes us appreciate our God-given health and wellness more than before. When was the last time you thanked God for your health?


Misc. Notes

Yesterday the bookstore ordered six copies of Charles Spurgeon's book entitled "Soul Winner." They should be in the store in a week or so---the cost should be less than $10 and if you are not familiar with the term soul-winner or how to wins souls to the Lord, this would be a great book to read.

Nearly every day we are ordering books and doing our best to create a 1st class resources for the conservative Baptist community in Fayetteville.

Most recently we got another study Bible in that provides alternative words to those archaic words in the KJV Bible. The alternative is provided in the margin and I believe this would be great resource for anyone struggling with some of the Elizabethan English.

We are also trying to expand our section for children and recently ordered some great children's biographies. I will let you know when those are in as well.

I am trying to expand the pastor's webpage at WWW.BBCFNC.ORG. I hope to be putting all my Sunday Sermon PowerPoint slides on that page for viewing in abode acrobat reader.

And Easter Sunday we start the first of many 8:30am early morning preaching services. I hope the turnout is great.

I am so looking forward to Sunday—several new families have committed to return to worship with us Sunday and I believe God has so much in store for BBC—don't you. Many of our most faithful men are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan in the next few months and I really look forward to seeing them back in their places.

Let me know what you think….



Covenant Discussions Continue

Each time I meet with a small group at Berean I receive some very good questions and often a simple but helpful suggestion is presented about the covenant.

Today was no different.

In class we identified how important it was for church members and potential church members to know the church's articles of faith. Our articles of faith are available for viewing and download at http://www.bbcfnc.org/cgi-bin/gx.cgi/AppLogic+FTContentServer?pagename=FaithHighway/10000/3000/914BE/welcome

Simply scroll down until you see the hyperlink to Articles of Faith and Constitution and you can see this .pdf file.

In view of the importance of understanding BBC's Articles of Faith prior to voting on the new covenant, I will spend time reviewing each article from the pulpit on a Sunday night at a time to be determined in the future.

Additionally, I made a minor change in paragraph three. I changed "agree" to "promise" thereby solidifying the relationship between the three "promises" (3, 4, and 5) or commitments the membership makes before the plural "promises" in paragraph 6. See below.

This extended period of review and discussion is extremely healthy and productive. Let me encourage every member to pray and ask God to give us great wisdom to develop a lasting and profitable articulation of the church covenant.

Our goal is to develop a document or statement that will stand the test of time in so much as it is relevant to BBC 50 years from now should the Lord tarry. I know we are well on our way and want to encourage anyone with a question or thought to send me a note.

As a bond of unity among us, Berean Baptist Church
accepts for its members the following covenant:


    1) Having been led by the Holy Spirit to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and upon our profession of our faith in Him, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we do now solemnly and joyfully enter into this covenant with one another as one body in Christ.

    2) We fully realize that the strength to uphold this covenant comes from the grace of God our Father, the shed blood of God the Son, and the power of the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit.

    3) We promise to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church's spiritual growth and unity; to faithfully abide by the doctrines and behaviors outlined in this church's Articles of Faith; and to give cheerfully of our time, talents, and finances for the support of this ministry and its missionaries.

    4) We further commit to maintain personal spiritual disciplines; to teach our children the Word of God; to share the gospel with our kindred and acquaintances; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements; and to avoid all gossip. We promise that we will love and pray for each other and in times of distress help one another.

    5) We promise
to endeavor to obey the commandments of our Lord Jesus and to abstain from anything that would cause our fellow brother or sister in Christ to stumble or that will bring reproach to the name of Jesus Christ.

    6) We further realize that if we should fail to live up to the promises we have made, our brothers and sisters in Christ will always strive for our reconciliation and spiritual restoration. However, if we partake in a sustained and unrepentant violation of an Article of Faith, we will be brought under church discipline in accordance with the Church Constitution.

    7) We make this covenant with each other for the express purpose of glorifying God as the visible representation of the body of Christ.

Covenant Discussion with Single Adults

Last night I spent about an hour answering questions and discussing the covenant with the single adults of Berean.

They are a great group of young adults who love Jesus and have a desire to be an active part of the church; many work in several ministries and contribute on regular and faithful way.

Many questions were asked and based on their suggestions I have made two small changes to add clarity and strength to the covenant.

This Sunday I will be meeting with another class and look forward to answering their questions and further preparing the church for the vote.

I came away with two revisions from the singles:

Minor Revisions

"We promise that we will love and pray for each other and in times of distress help one another."




"and to give cheerfully of our time, talents, and finances for the support of this ministry and its missionaries."