Pastors & Prayer (Reading Notes)

“The inner action of prayer takes precedence over the outer action of proclamation. The implication of this for pastoral work is plain: it begins in prayer. Anything creative, anything powerful, anything biblical, insofar as we are participants in it, originates in prayer. Pastors who imitate the preaching and moral action of the prophets without also imitating the prophets’ deep praying and worship so evident in the Psalms are an embarrassment to the faith and an encumbrance to the church.” (Eugene Peterson in Working the Angles)

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Pastor, Watch Yourself! (Reading Notes)

“Pastoral Ministry is holy, sacred work. We are heralds of a divine message. We are ambassadors for Christ. We are stewards of the gospel. We are shepherds who are charged to oversee the block of God, which He purchased with His own blood (Acts 20:28). We are servant-leaders and must be examples of Christian integrity and maturity. This requires vigilant self-watch. Paul instructs, “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by doing so you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Tim. 4:16). You cannot watch over the congregation if you do not know how to watch yourself. If you do not examine yourself and maintain your spiritual devotion to Christ, your ministry will become mechanical. You will go through the motions of ministry while your heart is hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (H. B. Charles in On Pastoring)

Monday Musings (2-6-17)

Coffee cup on Black

  • Happy Monday friends!
  • I’m not a huge pro football fan but Super Bowl LI was incredible.
  • I would have preferred for my home state Falcons to win but it was not to be.
  • Tom Brady has ice water running through his veins.
  • He is amazing to watch!
  • I think the funniest thing I saw after the game was a meme that said, “The Falcons won the popular vote. #NotMySuperbowl”
  • We had a wonderful morning at North River Church yesterday.
  • I began working through a series on the book of Nehemiah called “Let’s Build!”
  • If you would like to listen you can do so here.
  • We are moving into an exciting phase in the life of North River Church.
  • I’m ready to see God show up and show off as we follow him in obedience.
  • It will take a lot of prayer and a lot of sacrifice for this dream to become a reality.
  • God has great things in store for our church and I am excited to see his hand at work.
  • I have read some great books over the last month that I thought I would share:
    • A Life Intercepted (Charles Martin)
    • A Change of Heart (Thomas Oden)
    • Water to Wine (Brian Zahnd)
    • Transfer of Power (Vince Flynn)
    • God is the Gospel (John Piper)
    • Survive or Thrive: 6 Relationships Every Pastor Needs (Jimmy Dodd)
  • My goal is to read 52 books this year and so far I am right on schedule.
  • There are few things I enjoy more than reading.
  • It helps me grow as a follower of Jesus and as a leader.
  • Reading fiction books also helps give my mind a break.
  • If you are not a big reader of non-fiction books you should pick one up.
  • If all you read is non-fiction grab a good fiction book and get lost in the story.
  • It’s time to get back after it!

What People Need In A Pastor (Reading Notes)

“People do not need to know that pastors are human just like them. They need to know we are godly. They need to know we are Christlike. They need to know we are humble. They need to know we are faithful. People, both within the church and outside of it, need pastors who are men of God. This has nothing to do with your title or the way you dress of how spiritual you are on the platform. Real pastors do not merely act or talk or look a certain way. They live a certain way; they are a certain way. Of course, pastors are not perfect. We are in need of God’s grace just as much as the people we minister to are. But our high calling demands a firm commitment to live godly lives. As pastors, we should live in such a way that people would not only know we are pastors if we told them. Yet once we tell them, they should not be surprised.” (H. B. Charles, Jr. in On Pastoring)

Monday Musings (11-14-16)

Coffee cup on Black

  • Yesterday was a lot of fun as we had our first annual Tailgate Sunday at North River Church.
  • If we can tailgate a football game…plan ahead…get there early…stay late…eat together…then we can do it for a worship service!
  • We also baptized 3 people yesterday.
  • It never gets old seeing people take the step of publicly proclaiming what Jesus has done in their lives.
  • I’m blown away that we are only 2 weeks away from Thanksgiving.
  • How in the world is it already Thanksgiving?
  • I guess it is time for nights by the fire pit and pumpkin spice lattes.
  • Our staff will be heading to the Florida Baptist Convention tomorrow.
  • I’m grateful for the cooperation that exists between our SBC churches in the state of Florida.
  • Sure, things are not always rosy and beaurocracy can be frustrating.
  • But a lot of good is done both in Florida and around the world because our SBC churches are united.
  • This is one of the reasons I am proud to be a Baptist!
  • I’m also proud to be a UGA fan…especially after a surprise win against Auburn this past weekend.
  • It’s going to take a couple of years but I’m convinced Kirby will cultivate a team that contends on a national level once again.
  • Everyone was completely caught off guard with the results of the election this past week.
  • Stay tuned to the blog as I will detail some of my thoughts on the election and what lays ahead for our country and the church.
  • There is a lot to get done this week so I’m going to jump back on it.
  • There is nothing like being productive while Bob Dylan plays in the background!

Monday Musings (10-3-16)

Coffee cup on Black

  • I know, I know it is really Tuesday.
  • But lightning hit the internet box while I was typing Monday Musings so I had to get back to it today.
  • We had an incredible day at North River Church on Sunday!
  • Even though the morning started off a bit rocky (we had no AC for the first 30 minutes of the service and in Florida that means it was HOT), it ended on a wonderful note with our church officially calling a Family Pastor to join the staff at North River Church.
  • The search team has been walking through this process for about 7 months now and I am once again reminded how God’s timing is always perfect!
  • We have a guy coming on board who I would describe as a “unicorn.”
  • He has both children’s ministry experience and student ministry experience and will do an incredible job leading those ministries at NRC.
  • I am incredibly blessed by the team that God is bringing together here at North River Church and I’m convinced we have only seen just a glimpse of what God wants to do!
  • In other news, my Dawgs lost a heartbreaker to Tennessee this past weekend. When I say heartbreaker I mean one of those moments when you feel like your heart is ripped out of your chest.
  • I had no idea my emotions could swing that fast in the span of 10 seconds!
  • I’m proud of them though.
  • They played much better against Tennessee than they did the week before against Ole’ Miss.
  • They are young and I know Kirby will get them where they need to be.
  • Take out a couple of mental errors and it would have been a much different game.
  • I have been working through a couple of books lately that have been really good.
  • I have been reading Andy Andrew’s book The Seven Decisions.
  • He is a phenomenally gifted writer!
  • I have also been reading David Baldacci’s book The Collectors for fun.
  • This is the second book in The Camel Club series.
  • We will be closing on a house October 19th.
  • This is exciting for us to finally be able to sink down roots in Parrish.
  • My folks are coming to town this weekend for our youngest’s birthday.
  • To Orlando we go on Saturday.
  • The American Girl store will never be the same.
  • Stay tuned for next next week!

The Greatest Gift Is God Himself (Reading Notes)

The best and final gift of the gospel is that we gain Christ. “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” (Phil. 3:8). This is the all-encompassing gift of God’s love through the gospel – to see and savor the glory of Christ forever.

In place of this, we have turned the love of God and the gospel of Christ into a divine endorsement of our delight in many lesser things, especially the delight in our being made much of. The acid test of biblical God-centeredness – and faithfulness to the gospel – is this: Do you feel more loved because God makes much of you, or because, at the cost of his Son, he enables you to enjoy making much of him forever? Does your happiness hang on seeing the cross of Christ as a witness to your worth, or as a way to enjoy God’s worth forever? Is God’s glory in Christ the foundation of your gladness?

From the first sin in the Garden of Eden to the final judgment of the great white throne, human beings will continue to embrace the love of God as the gift of everything but himself. Indeed there are ten thousand gifts that flow from the love of God. The gospel of Christ proclaims the news that he has purchased by his death ten thousand blessings for his bride. But none of these gifts will lead to final joy if they have not first led to God. And not one gospel blessing will be enjoyed by anyone for whom the gospel’s greatest gift was not the Lord himself. (John Piper in God Is The Gospel)