Monday, March 21, 2011

The Heat Is On....and It Won't Go Away!

It has been a while since I last posted. I fully intended to keep up with this thing, but when things got hectic in school this had to be put on the back burner. Anyways, things have been altogether busy but I am loving every minute of it, except for those times when I want to rip up my Greek Grammar text-book! I am continually learning new things and I am also being refreshed with truths that I once had known. The most important thing is that I am growing as a Christ-follower because of the constant reminder of his great free grace that he has lavished upon me!

I am ready for our spring break! I am going to go home for about 4-5 days and see most of my family and friends. It will be a much needed time of rest. I am really wanting to see my grandmother, who since I moved up here has begun her battle with lung cancer. I want to spend some time with her and am praying that I point her to Jesus Christ in these tough times.

Also, since my last post I met a girl from Colorado named Sarah, who is pretty stinkin' cool. We have been hanging out for over a month now and I have enjoyed every moment of it. We hung out almost all day yesterday for my birthday and she surprised me with some birthday presents. She some how snuck some cereal and milk (the way to my heart) into the dorms with my friend Ben to give me first thing on my birthday! She also cooked me lunch and dinner and surprised me with O'Henrys coffee from my hometown of Birmingham AL!!!! Huge brownie points for her!

Yesterday was definitely one of Life's Little Roll Tides!!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Grace That is Greater Than All Our Sins!

It has been a great week. I have been meeting a lot new people and establishing friendships with some of those new people. My job has gotten better and the opportunity for mission is great. I am learning new things and I am also meditating so much more on "The Old Old Story" of my Savior. All these things are clear answers to the prayers that were lifted up way before I moved to Louisville. My God is truly Jehovah Jireh (God my provider). He has provided me with new godly friends, who encourage and challenge me. He has provided me with a job that pays well, works with my schedule, is close to school and one that gives me the opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. I can truly testify that God works out all things for the good of those who love Him! I am in the process of finding a church in Louisville to plug in to. Ninth & O Baptist Church was great and Highview Baptist (Fegenbush) was as well. Praying that the Lord will lead me to a place where I can use my gifts for His glory and for the edification of the church. The only bad news that is going on now is that my grandmother, Kathryn Goodwin is suffering with aggressive lung cancer and she is about to start radiation treatment. If you could pray for her healing, both spiritual and physical it would be much appreciated.

I have just recently finished my study of 1 Peter and it was ridiculously about some good stuff. I have moved on to 2 Peter and am expecting the Lord to speak to me greatly through His Inspired Word!

I was reminded of a verse the other day in 1 Timothy, that if I could pick a favorite verse in Scripture at this moment, it would be this one: "The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost." -1 Timothy 1:15

Reading verses like this just remind me of the Unbelievable Grace of God. Here is a chorus of a hymn that expresses what I have been feeling lately.

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

God is not your co-pilot!!!

We will get to my title in a little bit, but I just want to talk about life for a little while. Over the past couple of days I have met several new people at SBTS, a lot of them live near me on my dorm hallway. It is always good to meet and hang out with new people. Last night I visited a church in town called Ninth and O Baptist Church. They were VERY welcoming. I got to meet a couple of professors from SBTS who are at that church, one is the pastor (Dr. Cook) and the other is I believe one of the teaching pastors there (Dr. Betts). They are doing a bible study on Wednesday nights through Genesis and Dr. Betts taught last night on Genesis 4 and it was very encouraging/insightful. Some people from the singles class invited me to hang out with them at Dairy Queen after church, once again very nice and welcoming people. I think a Ben (a guy who lives a few doors down) and myself are going to check them out again this Sunday morning.

On a more serious note, my family and I found out today that my dad's mom (Maw Maw) has an advanced form of lung cancer. She has 5 spots on her lungs and from what I have been told it is inoperable cancer. The only option, unless something changes, is either chemo or just letting it go....either way, not very good. So if you are reading this please pray to God that He would heal her (Kathryn Goodwin).

In continuing with my study through 1 Peter, I focused on the suffering of Jesus in (1 Pet. 2:21-25). Just as the house servant is "called" to submit and even suffer at the hands of his master so that God's glory may be made known. Jesus did the same thing. We are told that he, "committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten." And here is the main reason, "but continued entrusting himself to Him who judges justly" (1 Pet. 2:22-23). This should remind us of the disgusting yet beautiful suffering that he endured during the passion week; where he was spit upon, called names, hit, kicked, and beaten beyond recognition. This lead ultimately to the cross where it says in verse 24 that "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree!" What for??? What was the reason??? "That we might die to sin and live to righteousness! By his wounds we are healed" (1 Pet. 2:24). I love being reminded of the Gospel of Christ and oh how much I constantly need to be reminded of the wrath of men that he endured, but more importantly the wrath of God that he bore on that tree! There is no hope outside of this event in history! The entire Old Testament points to this event: Adam and Eve's Sin and God covering their nakedness (Genesis 3:1-21), Abraham's willingness to offer up his son Isaac (Genesis 22:1-22), The slaughtering of the lambs without blemish during the Passover (Exodus 12), The Tabernacle, the altar, the priests, the ark, the sacrifices (Exodus-Leviticus), etc...I can continue but the point is made. This is the pinnacle of all history, the Spotless Lamb of God was slain for the sins of the world!!! Servant of Christ, we are called to be like him and that involves suffering like him. That does not mean for the sins of the world, but if they hate him they will hate us (1 John 3:13). But let me say this, we are NOT supposed to seek suffering as some of the early Christian's got wrong. We are to pursue Christ and be faithful to him in what he has called us to do and by doing that suffering will come, but do not go seeking out suffering...

To wrap it up there are a few things about this section that I feel I need to address, 1) "By his wounds you have been healed" is not referring to a name it claim it physical healing. It is talking about a spiritual healing. It is a healing of one who has been dead and sick in sin and Christ righteousness has been applied to the one that has faith in his death and resurrection. 2) Pointing to the title of my blog..."God is not your co-pilot!" We have all seen those stupid bumper stickers/car tags that say that
God is my co-pilot". First off some of us give ourselves WAY too much credit and verse 25 along with, in my opinion, the rest of Scripture clear up this ridiculous statement. While we "were straying like sheep" we returned to the "Shepherd and Overseer" of our souls. He is both the creator and the pilot of our souls. Trust in the truth that Christ is both the Shepherd and Overseer over your souls if you are a believer in Christ today!!!

Joke of the Day: I can't stand cheap people. It makes me real mad when someone says something like, "Hey when are you going to pay me that $100 you owe me?" or "Do you have that $50 you borrowed?"  Man, quit being so cheap!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What credit is it???

So I woke up this morning in a freezing cold room to the sound of snow/street sweeper trucks outside of my dorm. Yesterday all the snow melted and this morning it is all back! Gotta love Louisville....

As I continue to move through 1 Peter, very slowly I might add, I was captured by a specific section. 1 Peter 2:13-17 is one of the famous passages about submitting to governmental authority and although this wasn't the point I want to focus on two things that need to be said: 1) As one of my old professors said, no matter what political party you are, God has given us the leader/president that we deserve! 2) For those who are so consumed with political figures, it is interesting the advice that Peter gives, "Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor." We must honor our leaders, but we are to fear (live in awe/reverence of) God alone.

But moving on, the point that stuck out to me the most was the instruction to the servants in (2:18-25). The word "servants" here isn't the same Greek word (doulos) that we translate slave or servant. This word "servant" is more of a domestic/house servant, which probably included freedmen who lived in a master's home. Masters were not commonly Christians, so he mentions only the duties of the servants. It was in this context of unbelieving masters persecuting their servants that Peter encourages them to endure despite suffering unjustly, because this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. There is so much here, but the gist of it is that the believer/servant of God will and should suffer. This suffering should not be sought out, but through a dedicated life to serving God, one will definitely be wrongfully persecuted.

The place I want to focus on is the first part of verse 20, "for what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure?" I just talked about being wrongfully persecuted and enduring, but here is a case of being rightfully persecuted and enduring, something that we seem to neglect talking about. Let me illustrate ... if a Christian teenager is going to his local high school and is being publicly and privately persecuted because of his boldness in his faith in Christ that is a wrongfully persecuted person whom God is calling to endure. But let's say that this same Christian student goes to school and is terribly prideful in his faith to others and he might have even given in to some sexual sin and because of those actions receives some form of persecution. So many of us believers are quick to claim any type of persecution as "I'm suffering for the Lord," but the truth could be that we are being called out on our sin by unbelievers.

So my concluding thoughts are this: 1) Servant of Christ, if you are receiving wrongful persecution/suffering due to your bold faith, then endure, for it is a gracious thing in the sight of God because you are following Jesus' example. 2) Servant of Christ, what credit is it if you endure through some persecution/suffering because of your sin? The answer to that is, there is no credit, no benefit. Let us watch how we live in front of unbelievers. In this instance, when we are suffering it very well may be the discipline of God!

Joke of the Day: I hope if dogs ever take over the world and they choose a king, they don't just go by size, because I bet there are some Chihuahuas with some good ideas!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A New Chapter...

So a new chapter, if you will, is being lived out in my life. This is a chapter that I have been waiting for since this past spring. I can remember the conversations with the godly men in my life concerning the future of my ministry. Conversations about where I would go to seminary, when I would make the move, and how all of this would happen. I can remember the prayers for clarity and direction concerning the will of God for my life. It has been a long but growing process. I had received clear direction as to where the Lord wanted me to spend the next several years of my life to prepare for ministry. That place was The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.

In preparing for seminary, I spent about 7-8 months at home with my family to save up and to finish my degree at Southeastern Bible College. I have completed all my coursework at SEBC and following that time I have been spending a lot of time in 1 Peter. This book even from the beginning has been a fountain of encouragement and conviction; from God's great mercy and power in salvation (1 Pet. 1:3-5) and to the fact that although I can not see Him I love and believe in Him with inexpressible joy (1 Pet. 1:8-9). More than anything God has been calling me to be holy as He is holy (1 Pet. 1:15-16) and that I am to live to the standard that I preach/call others to live (1 Pet. 1:17).

Thankfully, three days ago I moved from my home in Corner, AL to the snow covered city of Louisville, KY. The city is beautiful! I live in a single-dorm on campus in a very cool/historic part of town. This part of town just looks expensive. Yesterday I secured my job at a Neighborhood Market Wal-Mart store 3 miles from campus, which is a huge praise report! I start this Saturday and my boss is an Alabama fan....Can I hear a little Roll Tide???

Anyways, I am settling into my dorm and the school. I have only met a few people, but I'm sure that will change soon. Hopefully I will not have to eat lunch in the cafeteria by myself again :(   I'm praying that I will be a good steward of the tremendous opportunity that I have been given to study here!

Joke of the Day: The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face.

Peace, Love, and Roll Tides!