Hey guys, I hope you all are having a wonderful and blessed weekend! I am!
First, I went to the doctor this week and he prescribed for me some medication to help me get my sleep back in rhythm. Today, after just two days of back-to-back 8+hours of sleep (the first in literally years) I feel great!
Amazing what sleep can do, right?
But besides that, I want to share this video I just made and posted several other places, particularly Facebook. It’s an invitation to come visit with us for Easter, either in person or online.
If you can’t visit with us in person, yet you want to be a part, check us out live on Facebook both at 7am and 11am Eastern on Facebook at @bethlehembaptistwarthen.
I appreciate all of you. Eventually I will get back to reading all of your posts, too! I miss them.
I think it was in 1984, or maybe it was in ’83 or ’85, but somewhere along that timeframe I went to and competed in the Battle of Atlanta (a major Karate tournament). While there, I had the memorable experience of meeting the undefeated middleweight champion the world in full-contact kickboxing (PKA), Bill “Superfoot” Wallace.
If you are unaware of Bill Wallace, he was the kind of fighter that deserved respect, even from the great Chuck Norris. As a matter of fact, it was Bill Wallace who was tapped to be Norris’ enemy in the 1979 movie “A Force of One.”
Here is Wallace with a young Jackie Chan in the 1985 film “The Protector.”
Now, movies are one thing, but real fighting is something else. As some of you may know, Chuck Norris was a great fighter, but he never competed in full-contact professional matches. Yes, he was the 7x World Champion, but that was in “point” fighting. Jackie Chan is a great martial artist, but not a true fighter. Bill Wallace went 23-0 with half of those wins being by knockouts.
Check out this next video. It is a more recent interview in which Wallace explains his unique fighting style.
So, Bill Wallace was somewhat of a hero of mine back in the day. For a short time I became as flexible as he was, but I never won any fights by knocking out my opponents. Heck, after I had a car wreck back in 1988 and inhaled the horn of my 1967 Mustang, I didn’t want to get punched in the face anymore. That’s when I gave it up.
And that’s when I no longer tried to emulate any of my martial arts heroes.
When I Met Jesus
But it was back in the 1970’s when I met Someone who would literally change my life forever. His name was Jesus.
Unlike the fading effect Bill Wallace had on me, Jesus has been affecting every part of my life ever since I gave my life to Him (I never gave my life to Mr. Wallace). What’s even more awesome is the fact that the longer I’ve known Jesus, the more and more I have become like Him!
Knowing Bill Wallace all these years might have made me a better fighter, but age and injuries would have eventually caught up with me, the end result being lots of conversations about the “glory days” and little opportunity to do any full splits or kick opponents.
But man, having met Jesus, then maintaining a relationship with Him, means that no matter what the future holds I will always be in tip-top shape; the tools of my fighting art will never dull; and there will always be opponents over which to gain victory!
Meeting Bill Wallace had an effect with a limited shelf life. It’s the same with so many other things. But meeting Jesus has – in the present tense – an unlimited and eternal shelf life! It’s better than honey!
Who’s your hero? Has your life been changed forever because of that meeting? If you’d like, I could introduce you to Jesus. He’d love to spend time with you!
If you have the time, here’s one more video you can watch. It’s from this past Sunday morning at Bethlehem Baptist Church where I am the Pastor. The title of the sermon is “Encountering the Living Word.”
Good Sunday evening, everybody! Wow! What a day it has been!
I know, when you come to a blog, you expect to read something, right? I know I do. I mean, if I wanted to watch a video I’d log onto YouTube.
But the message that God gave me to preach this morning was a powerful one. I take no credit, for I was fearful of what to say just minutes before the preaching began.
You see, when I wan in Memphis this last week, a passage of Scripture was mentioned, and that was 1 Samuel chapter 15. Only one verse was talked about, but it was at that moment that the Holy Spirit seemed to nudge me, like He was saying, “Preach from this on Sunday.”
It was only when I started reading through the chapter, a familiar one at that, that I began to feel the heartache that Samuel must have felt. I began to see King Saul and the people of Israel in the faces of congregants to which I’ve ministered over the years. The overwhelming tragedy of the story of Saul and his disobedience began to bleed from the pages.
Before long, I took pen to paper and wrote out a simple outline from which I preached this morning.
“When Meaning Well Doesn’t Cut It”
When we do not fully obey God’s commands, we….
I. Delay Justice
II. Display Disregard
III. Deprive Blessings
IV. Deny Reality
V. Distress Those Who Care
Would you please take a few moments and watch the video below? Yes, I know, it’s longer than the typical YouTube videos we all get used to – or is it just me? But without any editing, without even wasting time uploading it to YouTube, what you have here is the whole morning service as seen on Facebook Live.
The sermon starts at around the 15:30 mark.
I’d love your feedback, especially if God spoke to you in some way.
Dear friends, now, maybe more now than ever, it is time for those who know the Truth to be bold as lions.
I will not argue over perspectives, for each has his own. I will not sit here and pontificate over another’s life experiences and what fears they have, for each has their own.
However, it is my RESPONSIBILITY to speak out when doctrine, theology, especially the doctrines of Jesus Christ are being attacked and polluted without rebuttal. Folks, the words of Paul to Timothy are just as true today as they were 2,000 years ago.
“Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” – 1 Timothy 4:16
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” – 2 Timothy 4:2
So, when the head of the BLM of Greater New York says on national television that Jesus was “…the most famous black radical revolutionary in history…” and uses that false teaching to justify violence, it’s time we say condemn the torpedoes and go full speed ahead.
Bad Theology/Bad Praxeology
Praxeology is the “study of human action and conduct.” What we see being carried out in the streets of America is conduct based on bad theology and fueled by bad Christology (theological interpretation of the person and work of Christ).
I am firmly convinced that our actions as humans, especially how we treat others or respond to their actions towards us, can be traced back to our theological, especially our Christological beliefs – whether we think we have any or not.
As pastors, there can be no greater responsibility than to boldly and unapologetically proclaim the biblical and historical Jesus Christ of Nazareth, His true mission, and our dependency on His atoning work on the Cross.
“Who do men say that I, the Son of man, am?”
That’s the question asked by Jesus of his disciples. The answer Peter gave was, “Thou are the the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
That is what the following sermon I delivered this past Sunday morning was about. I would encourage you to watch and share.
“Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?”
I do apologize for the less-than-HD quality. The internet where we are is so slow that we have to upload at 520p in order to get anything done the same day. We pray for fiber optics!
Below are links to the sermon and music from Sunday morning and the Bible study I did live in the evening.
Both broadcasts were uploaded to YouTube. The morning service was pre-recorded, uploaded to YouTube, scheduled as a premier, and shared to Facebook.
The evening Bible study in Acts 7 was first done live on Facebook, then saved, then uploaded to YouTube. Fortunately, the in-out focus that usually accompanies the live video (because of our area’s SLOW internet) was not there!
If you are blessed, encouraged, or convicted by either, I would love to hear from you!
Yes, it has been a while since my youngest daughter, Haley, has heard me preach. However, this morning she was with my wife as thy watched the service from home.
Even before we left Soddy Daisy and South Soddy Baptist, Haley had started attending another, larger church several miles away. I couldn’t fault her, for she had grown up hearing me preach every Sunday. At least she would now be going to church on her own, not feeling obligated as my child to attend. That’s a good thing, right?
So, yes, it has been a while since Haley has sat in a room when I preached. The closest she’s been in a year was today, and that was a bedroom, not an auditorium. I do miss her.
Notice any difference?
This afternoon, no more than an hour ago, I asked Haley, “Did you notice any difference in the way I preached today compared to at Riverside or South Soddy?”
Have you ever received a comment that you couldn’t quite tell it’s meaning? In other words, have you ever been told something that could be interpreted as either a good thing or a bad thing, and you just didn’t know how to take it? And have you ever received one of those kinds of comments and not wanted to go deeper for fear it might have actually been derogatory and not complimentary?
That’s the kind of feedback I got from my daughter. I didn’t know how to take it.
“Uhh, well, you’re more of a Bible-thumper,” she said with a cool, matter-of-fact tone.
It’s hard to describe the feeling I got when she said that. At one moment I was both hurt and indignant; sad and elated; depressed and emboldened.
“That could be a good thing, I suppose” was my reply.
an evangelist or other person who quotes the Bible frequently, especially as a means of exhortation or rebuke. – Dictionary.com
an aggressively zealous advocate of Christian fundamentalism. – Merriam-Webster
Used as a disparagingtermfor a Christian,especially a fundamentalist or evangelicalChristian,considered to be overlyzealous in haranguing or censuringothers. – TheFreeDictionary.com
Or, maybe it’s not.
I guess it hurts, coming from my little girl. I just hope she can see beyond the delivery of the sermon to the Truth of the message.
Decide for Yourself
Should you want to decide for yourself, feel free to watch the attached video from this morning’s streamed service.
(Please excuse the poor video resolution, but in this part of the country the upload speed is only 3-6 Mbps, so I have to set my iPhone to the lowest setting, which is 720p.)
Hey everybody! Unless you attend drive-in church services, the only alternative is attending worship online. And if that’s what you do, here are four (4) quick tips for making the experience a better one.
1) Let your presence be known! Say hello, or something. If you like something said, do a “like” or “love” thing. Emoji’s are the new “amen!”
2) Try to act like you are actually in church. In other words, try to take this time seriously, because it is. But don’t get me wrong, you can still wear your pajamas and chomp on your Fruit Loops, but don’t get too distracted or else you might miss a word from the Lord for you.
3) Participate as if you’re really there. Worship in such a way that gives God the honor He is due. Don’t worship less at home than you would in front of other people in a fancy building.
4) Pray for those ministering; it’s not easy singing and preaching to a lifeless camera.
And since we’re talking about online church, below are links to the Facebook Live videos I made today.
The first video is from this Sunday morning. It starts off with my mother and me playing some music. Afterwards, my wife and mother and me sing a praise song. Then, as I explain in the video, my mother does something very rare – she sings the melody of a song (I then sing the chorus). . . . And by the way, considering my mother has pancreatic cancer, this was a special moment for me.
Oh, and the white board was a last-minute idea that could have been done better. It’s a learning process.
The second video was from tonight in my office. I start off planning to talk about Stephen’s sermon in Acts chapter 7, yet the Holy Spirit quickly led me in a very different direction. It’s worth watching (and it’s short!).
This morning my prayer for you (and myself) will be the same as what the apostle Paul prayed…
I pray that he may grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with power in your inner being through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. – Ephesians 3:16-19 CSB
Oh, that we might comprehend the width, the length, the height, and the depth of God’s love through Jesus Christ! If we could only even slightly comprehend the vast, expansive spread before us, mercy and grace for every need; the never-ending, eternal, infinite promise of his love and care; the heights to which we are raised, far above the lowly, humble truth of our natural condition and state; and the depths of Christ’s love – humble depths to which the love of God had to reach down in order to pluck us from the pit of sin… If we could only even slightly comprehend them!
Yet, through His strength (v. 16), and being rooted and grounded in His love (v. 17), it is possible! Hallelujah! Because He “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us! (v. 20 NKJV)
This morning, and every morning, to God the Father be all glory in the church by Christ Jesus, to all generations, wherever they may be, forever and ever, “world without end” (v. 20).