Sunday, July 6, 2014

Disciplining the Mind

This morning I preached on what we Christians are to think—how we are to order our minds and feed them with proper thought to align our inner life that can meet God's gaze without shame.  We work in synergism (cooperation) with the Holy Spirit's enabling grace to achieve our ongoing maturing and sanctification in this life.  We truly are to take every thought captive in obedience in Christ.  It is an inner battle for the mind that never ends this side of eternity.  If you don't deliberately take control of your mind and consciously ponder clean avenues of thought then evil impressions will fill the void.  Choose what you think about!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I'm Teaching a Spiritual Formation Conference at Rippling Waters Campmeeting 2014

I was very honored to be asked to teach four conference sessions on spiritual formation (discipleship) during the Rippling Waters Church of God Campmeeting next month.  The series will be from a Wesleyan perspective.  Each conference session, August 4-7, will begin at 1 P.M. in the alcove section of the tabernacle (near the bathrooms).  

Directions from I-77 South

1. take exit 116 Sissonville
2. turn left at end of ramp.
3. Drive to the stopsign at the intersection of CR-21
4. turn left at stop sign onto CR-21
5.stay on CR-21 about 1.05 miles
6.turn right onto Middle Fork Road
7. Stay on Middle Fork Road about 3.1 miles
8. Middle Fork Road goes through the campground; you will see the office on the left after you pass some of the camper sites and the pond.

Directions from I-77 North

1. take exit 116 Haines Br. Road
2. at end of ramp turn right
3. drive about 150 feet you will come to a stop sign, there will also be a Rippling Waters Sign, turn left at stop sign onto CR-21
4. stay on CR-21 about 1.05 miles
5. turn right onto Middle Fork Road
6. travel on Middle Fork Road for 3.1 miles
7. Middle Fork Road goes through the campground you will see the office on the left after you pass some of the camper sites and the pond.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Preaching at Browns Creek Church July 6th

This upcoming Sunday, July 6, I'm preaching at the Browns Creek Church of God!  
Morning worship begins at 10:45 A.M.  If you don't have a church family how about joining us?

From U.S. Route 60 (Coal Mountain)

Turn onto Browns Creek Road (CR-1) and drive 2.7 miles.  The church will be on your left.

From Coal River Road

Turn onto Browns Creek Road (CR-1) and drive 2.1 miles.  The church will be on your right.

GPS Coordinates to Browns Creek Church
  N 38°21.950'

2550 Browns Creek Road
St. Albans, WV  25177

Saturday, June 28, 2014

My Recurring Dream

To quote Amos, "I was no prophet, nor a prophet's son" (Amos 7:14a ESV) so I am claiming no prophetic insight.  However, I would like to share with you a recurring dream that I've had.  The dreams aren't identical but they follow a common pattern.  It's hard to describe but I'll try, however imperfectly, to be faithful to the impressions of my dreams.

I am in a church sanctuary but not during a worship service.  The church building once housed a thriving congregation that has dwindled in numbers over the decades.  I go exploring throughout the building because, over time, the congregation has remodeled it, adding rooms, sections and even floors to the original huge sanctuary, cutting it down to size because they had no need for such an enormous sanctuary as they did in their heyday.

In my dream I investigate, walking into different rooms and sections as I mentally trace the outline of the original sanctuary.  Perhaps behind a wall is the former stage of the old sanctuary, complete with stained glass windows that nobody pays attention to anymore.  Perhaps in another section is a divided off room where theater seating has been removed and one can see where the seats were once bolted to the floor.  By climbing floors and going through dividing doorways it becomes clear that it was a breathtaking artifice where throngs of people once gathered.  

It isn't a sad dream for me but one of hope.  I thrill in the possibility of the discovery of the once-used sanctuary.  I thirst for revival so that the building will once again be filled with worshipers.  It is an open-ended dream.

Is it a prophetic dream?  
For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, while they slumber on their beds, (Job 33:14-15 ESV) 
I just don't know.  W. Dale Oldham believed in the prophetic dreams of Church of God evangelist, W. F. Chapel.  Perhaps the best response is for me to quote John Wesley concerning another matter:
Now, he that will account for this by natural causes, has my free leave: But I choose to say, This is the power of God. [i.406]
In any event, it makes me hunger and thirst for revival.

Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? 
(Psalms 85:6)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

William C. Neace and The Place of Blessing

Bill Neace was in revival at Dunbar First Church of God when he delivered a sermon illustration on October 24, 2007 that affected me more than any other.  It begins at 4:43 in the message.  After he told the story of the old sign I was hooked.  Listen to Bill's sermon and ask yourself if your church could become The Place of Blessing.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Carson and Keller on Revival

Tim Keller and Don Carson have experienced revival firsthand. Watch them share their experiences in a brand-new roundtable video.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Learn Biblical Hebrew & Greek...for Free

With the global internet learning opportunities are greater than at any other time in human history.  I'd like to share one example with you.

Did you know that you can learn the basics of biblical Hebrew and Greek online for free?  While many free resources abound I'll highlight two examples.  All are YouTube videos.

Biblical Hebrew

The Master's Seminary hosts two graduate study years of Old Testament Hebrew.  The teacher is William Barrick.

Hebrew Grammar I (semester one, 22 lessons)
Hebrew Grammar II (semester two, 26 lessons)
Hebrew Exegesis I (semester three, 11 lessons)
Hebrew Exegesis II (semester four, 13 lessons)

Biblical Greek

John Moore of World Video Bible School teaches the basics of koine (Hellenistic) New Testament Greek.

Learning to Use the Greek New Testament (36 lessons)

To say this is generous and gracious is an understatement.  You've just been saved hundreds of dollars in instruction.  You can learn a workable knowledge of the two major biblical languages (not Aramaic, which just comprises a sliver of the Old Testament) for free.


I have watched very little of the above material.  I think it helpful to remind us that all Bible teachers have biases.  I certainly do.  I am a Wesleyan-Holiness Christian.  That affects how I interpret (and, perhaps in places, would translate, Scripture.)  It happens.  We all have biases/viewpoints that affect our objectivity.

William Barrick is a teacher at John MacArthur's Master's Seminary.  I assume Barrick is a pre-trib dispensational Calvinist.  John Moore pastors Dripping Springs Church of Christ.  I assume he holds to baptismal regeneration and other perspectives of the Church of Christ.  Therefore, you may find instruction colored by theological belief.  If it happens don't be surprised.  That's life.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Other Online Video Sermons

I preached this sermon before the Fifth Avenue Church of God.  (Please forgive the audio.)

I delivered the next three sermons at my teenage home church (Meade Station Church of God in Cannonsburg, Kentucky) when Pastor Rob was on extended sick leave.

Jesus: The Way, The Truth and The Life

I preached this sermon a while back at Ash Avenue Church of God in Moundsville, WV, a sister congregation to New Martinsville First Church of God where my father pastored years ago.  This sermon lies at the center of my thought.  

In our pluralistic and postmodern society many who profess Christianity nevertheless claim that there are many ways to God and that truth is relative. Can this be supported by the plain statements of the Bible?

(Yes, one side of my shirt collar is sticking out of my Geneva gown.  It STILL bugs me!)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Revival Sermons from Meade Station Church of God

Several years ago I held a revival for Meade Station Church of God in Cannonsburg, Kentucky, a congregation my father pastored.  It was during my life in Ashland that I accepted the call to the ministry.  The video quality is not great but it is passable.  (I was 34 at the taping of these messages and I was sporting a beard for a Last Supper play.)