Monday, July 30, 2007

GC Ladies Night

The ladies of GC celebrated a sister's birthday together on Sunday evening at one of Memphis' finest: The Happy Mexican. If my addition serves me correctly there were 31 children who went mom-less while these ladies tore up the town!

Seriously, ladies, we thank God for you and pray that the Lord will use you to show our world what Proverbs 31 looks like. Blessings to you all in Jesus!

Thank You!

...All for praying for me during last week's church planting conference.

After condensing, I have 15 pages of "impacting thoughts" that stood out from my notes that now need to be prayed over, processed, and as the Lord sees fit, applied. Thank you for praying for that too.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Wedding Tonight

Tonight, Lord willing, my little brother will wed Kathleen. It is a joy to see this day arrive and to rejoice in God's kindness in their lives by first drawing them to Christ and loving them with His very own life; and then by leading them to one another. It is a uniquely special occasion in that I have been asked to 'officiate' the wedding.

All GCer's are invited to come and if you are unable, then please pray that tonight would be a time of Worship honoring Christ in the marriage uniting Kathleen and Brent.

Time: 7p
Location: Lucy Baptist Church
4005 Lucy Rd.
Millington, TN 38053

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Stump The Mike

ESPN has "Stump the Schwab," Grace has Stump the Mike. Mike Rusten, that is.

Since our Q&A sessions at the Revelation seminar would still be going today if we didn't cut them off at some point, I've asked Mike Rusten if we could do one final Q&A session here on SC. Gladly, he agreed. So, here's your chance (even if you didn't attend) to ask any question you want to ask related (obviously or less obviously) to the book of Revelation.

Just ask your question in the comment section at the bottom of this post. My hope is that we'll have quite a few questions, then I'll try to consolidate them into a list of 10 that most represent our submissions. After that, I'll send them to Mike, and post his responses here for all to see.

Question cutoff deadline = Saturday at noon.

I'll begin the query in the comments section below (Click "interaction" to see all the questions).

A Cause for Rejoicing

Here's part of an email from Bryan Smith:

"And for those who don't know, number three is on the
way (sometime next March/April)."


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Jesus, I have a few questions

A snippet I thought I'd share from my (not so daily) journal:
Jesus, I have a few questions:

Why have You been pleased to drop a potentially long-term relationship with Nigeria in Grace's lap? Why Ethiopia? Why now? Why before our "launch?" Why us? Why not when we are more "ready?" Why did You send Vijay Sastry to visit Grace last Sunday and lay another (happy) burden on Grace to care about the joy of India (and the 10-40 window) being found in Jesus? How are we to respond to each of these things?

And, what about those neighborhood kids showing up each Sunday night for the BYBC's? Who's praying for name? Anyone? Will they ever be grafted into the life of Grace? What about their parents? Will the gospel transform (former) Hurt Village (now) Uptown, and downtown, and beyond in such a way that lost people tremble? You know, I mean tremble with what Edwards saw in the Northeast in the 1730's and 40's when he described Your Spirit's reviving work as a "deep and penetrating conviction of sin."

Will the vision for a multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-generational, multi-socioeconomic church be realized in the membership of Grace? Beyond that will the walls of racial division, marginalization, paternalism, monocultural pride, and ethnic bigotry be trumped by the gospel (noticeably, even by unregenerate people) in Memphis, TN in our lifetime? If not, why not? Will we live to see the day when biblical churches are easy to find in every corner of America?

How is Grace to avoid "retreat-ism," and "creature-comfort" but instead, keep pushing forward and "hastening the day of the Lord?" Will we be the church that preaches against a the prosperity gospel but lives like we are in favor of it? What will the sting of persecution feel like at its worst? How will the You be pleased to manifest Your grace in such a way that You get all of the glory from our involvement in all that You have called us to be for (1) You, (2) each other, (3) our city, and (4) our world?

What will Grace's first daughter church look like? Where will she be located? What will her 43rd daughter church look like? Will our generation live to see it? Who will be the first covenant member of Grace to go home?
Psalm 27:14

Global Church Advancement - National Church Planting Seminar

I'm in Minneapolis this week enjoying the GCA's National Church Planting Seminar. The training is Christ-centered, practical, and goo.., er, convicting. Thank you for your prayers for the Lord enable me to both process and apply the things He desires for me to take away.

Biblical Theology

Thanks to Justin Taylor for pointing this out.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Directions to Enjoying Jesus in Revelation

For those who are unfamiliar with how to get to FBC West Memphis, simply click the church's address below for directions.

200 N. Missouri St
West Memphis, AR 72364

Check in: 6:30p
Session 1: 7p

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Worship Prep

  1. Prayerfully meditate on the truth of Galatians 4:8-11.
  2. Sing, "Jesus knows me, this I love." (Yes, the word order is changed on purpose: "Yes, Jesus knows me...Yes, Jesus knows me." - See verse 9).
  3. Attend corporate prayer at 9a.
  4. More than anything, walk with God right now.

If, Then

If our preference is God, then our ambition will be to please Him (2 Cor. 5:8-9).

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

BYBC Week 2 Pix

The Missionary Church

"No church is anything more than a pathetic pietistic backwater unless it is first and fundamentally and all the time a world missionary church."
- James Stewart, Heralds of God

(HT: Ray Van Neste, via Anthony Mathenia)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Revelation Worship Prep

The response to Grace's upcoming Enjoying Jesus in the Book of Revelation seminar this coming Friday and Saturday with Mike Rusten has been very encouraging.

Registration will still be available up to the start of the seminar, but listening-guide style notebooks (195 pages!) are only guaranteed for those who have already registered. Mike suggested that I pass along two ways to prepare well for the seminar
  1. Read and reread the book of Revelation
  2. As much as you are able, look up the cross-references to other places in Scripture

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Prayer For Today & Tomorrow

I will appreciate your prayers this evening (Sat) and tomorrow morning as I will be preaching at Grace's mother church.

Nate, praying for you, and all of GC tomorrow morning as ya'll worship through Deuteronomy 6.

GC, praying for you all and the Uptown community as you seek to impact the neighborhood with the gospel at BYBC #2.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

2 Ways 2 Live (For Kids)

I'd guess it was about 2 years ago when I was first pointed to Matthais Media's helpful discipleship and evangelistic material.

As a parent I'm always wanting to find helpful ways to point my children to Christ. This simple version of "2-ways-2-live" for kids is great.

(HT: Steve McCoy...who would appreciate your prayers for his wife, Molly).

A Prayer

"Lord, we pray that You would make Yourself the exclusive object or our ultimate devotion."
- Mark Dever, Promises Made: The Message of The Old Testament, 587.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Cup? The Handle? The What?

After today's pastor's meeting, I realized that I began an illustration on Sunday that I never finished. How's that for helpful preaching!?!

Toward the beginning of Sunday's sermon, I intended to emphasize that we would not be thinking of novel ideas in the morning sermon, but maybe, the Lord would be pleased to use our thinking on Paul's use of (1) Law & Gospel; (2) Baptism; and (3) God's adopting love for us as His sons, to "hand the coffee mug to us with the handle facing toward us." I think I said something kind of like that. The coffee cup picture was intended to convey the idea to some of who were already familiar with the sermon's concepts, that, "Oh, I knew that already, but now it is an easier concept to grasp," or something like that.

Instead, (ha!), I was made aware today by my brothers that I didn't communicate anything of the sort...or really anything at all...except maybe a confusing moment for anyone trying to follow what I was saying.

Are there bonus points for unhelpful sermon illustrations? If so, I'm set!

GC--Summer of Spreading Christ--Week 1 Pix

Monday, July 09, 2007


Although our experience is merely three months removed, to me it seems ages ago that the GC Vision Team was in Nigeria. The burden in our hearts for Christ to be exalted throughout the country remains, though the task seems overwhelming.

Pray with us that our hearts would be discerning to know how GC can most please the Lord in Nigeria long-term, and exactly where to go from here!

Adopted by God

In light of yesterday's theme in Galatians 3:26, 29; 4:4-7 of being adopted as sons by God:

“Do I know my own real identity? I am a child of God. God is my Father; heaven is my home; every day is one day nearer. My Savior is my brother; every Christian is my brother too. Say it over and over to yourself first thing in the morning, last thing at night, as you wait for the bus, any time when your mind is free, and ask that you may be enabled to live as one who knows it is all utterly and completely true.”
- J.I. Packer, in Knowing God, p. 228.

(HT: Matthew Molesky, fellow TCT church planter)

Friday, July 06, 2007


Grace is praying for the Lord's guidance to engage in long-term ministry in Nigeria. Though the region of the country we visited in April felt especially safe, our prayers for long-term influence may be fulfilled at great cost.
The abduction has heightened a foreign hostage crisis in the Niger Delta region, Nigeria's main oil producing region, where about 200 foreigners have been seized since the start of 2006.
200 since 2006? Let's join the many in praying for three-year-old Margaret Hill's safe release.

Are You 3-D?

From the Grace website:


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Coming Soon...

This coming Sunday, July 8: Summer of Spreading Christ
  • 9a-prayer
  • 10a-worship
  • 3p-meet at Uptown Circle / canvassing
  • 5p-neighborhood gathering / "dog-dinner"
  • 5:30p-BYBC
July 13-14: Foundations of Grace: Pastor B's Pad
  • Fri. 6:30-8:30p
  • Sat. 9a-noon
Anyone is welcome...even current members who would like to rekindle their vision for life in GC! Sign up at resource table or through website.

July 20-21: Enjoying Jesus in the book of Revelation

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Enjoying Jesus In the Book of Revelation--Open to All

The Enjoying Jesus in the Book of Revelation seminar sponsored by Grace, and led by Bethlehem elder Mike Rusten, will be offered Friday evening & Saturday morning July 20-21.

We are pleased to announce that this seminar will be open not only to Grace Church, but also to everyone who is interested. Other church leaders have inquired if groups are welcome...and the answer is YES! So, if you (or a group from your church) have an interest in this excellent seminar, you may register using the following three simple steps. After registering online, you will receive an email with the details concerning the seminar.

1. Click here (scroll down to the email contact form)

2. Title your comment: "Revelation Seminar," then provide the first and last name(s) of everyone who will be attending the seminar with you
3. Provide the total # of workbooks you (or your group) desire(s).
4. Bring to the seminar with you $15 for each workbook ordered (couples are welcome to share a book if they desire. Mike suggested that each person or couple have their own book in order to maximize the study).


Childcare will be provided at no cost (names and ages of children are required at the time of your registration).

Early Registration Note:

Walk-ups are welcome (details will be posted here on SC later), but those registering later than Monday, July 9 might not receive a seminar notebook.