A great first week of classes and a great opportunity tomorrow!

It has been a great first week of class!
The students have been challenged and so have I.
One of the students came up to me after one of the sessions and
said "I don't know if I am going to survive this class."
I told him he could get the work done.
Then, he told me he was not talking about the class load.
He was talking about conviction.
If you have done any of the Biblical counseling tracks,
you know exactly what he was talking about.

Looking forward to a great opportunity to preach on Romans 1 tomorrow.
I will be at Pastor Thompson's church, which is about 1/2 hour from the college.
He teaches a couple of classes at the college.
If you are reading this tonight pray for me as I preach tomorrow morning.
If you are reading this after the morning service,
pray that the people who heard the message will apply the truth to their lives.


Bible College Never Made a Man a Pastor

This is the message I preached in chapel today.

"No theological education ever made a man a minister."
"A degree without a divine calling is not a God given ministry."
These are quotes from Alistair Begg I believe.

This school is designed to sharpen your skills so you can do what God has called you to do.

Now let's open our Bible to Colossians 1:28, 29

Who is the "whom" referring to?
Jesus Christ
Paul's message JESUS CHRIST.

It is not Biblical counseling.  It is what Christ can do in you and in others.
It is not church history.  It is what Christ has done for God's glory throughout time in His church.
It is not theological information.  It is about what God has done, is doing and will do through Jesus Christ.

Paul's message was not information or action.  It was a person.


So how does Paul communicate this message?  What methods does he use?

Why warning?
Because sin is serious.  We need to warn people about the effects and the result of sin.
Matthew 5 and 18 talk about the serious of sin.

Why teaching?
Because we need to know the truth.
Because we need to know the way.
Because we need to know what real life is.

Why everyone?
Romans 3:23.  All have sinned.

Now look at Colossians 1:29.

I work, other translations say "toil."
I work
according to his working
which works in me

God is the one working in me.
God is the one who provides the strength and power for me to do what He wants me to do.

Remember this Hudson Taylor quote:
"God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply."

Today: Basics of Biblical Counseling

Today we are beginning the basics of how to do Biblical Counseling.

I would very much appreciate your prayers today.
End of the week.
Four hours of class.

Pray the students, who have been doing a great job, would stay focused throughout today's class.
Pray that I would have the strength to finish the week well.

This weekend I will be preaching at a nearby church on Sunday.


Great Conversation under the big tree on campus.

After chapel today I had the chance to sit and talk with Pastor Black, the president of the college, and Pastor Dwayne, the pastor of Hillview Baptist Church in Montego Bay.

Two things about the conversation were great...

  1. Pastor Dwayne had great memories of the BBS students who visited in 2007 (http://bbsjam07.blogspot.com/).  While it was a great trip for those of us who went, it was an encouragement to hear that he and other pastors were encouraged by our coming down and sharing with them.
  2. Pastor Black and Pastor Dwayne were very appreciative of Emmanuel sending me down to teach a class on Biblical counseling.  They both shared how Biblical counseling has impacted their lives and ministries.  
Please pray for these two pastor and the ministries in the churches and the college.

Pastor Black is working on his doctorate through Baptist Bible College and is coming to the end the program.  Pray for endurance and wisdom so he can finish his final class and his thesis well.  Pray for wisdom as he applies the things he is learning to his life and ministry.

Recently, a long time member of Hillview Baptist Church passed away.  The funeral is on November 23.  Pray for Pastor Dwayne and others as they minister to the friends and families in the area who have been impacted by this death.

The Role of the Local Church in Biblical Counseling

Thank you for your prayers.

Yesterday I didn't post because I was, and still am, working through a couple of technology issues.
The class time has been great.
There are 11 students  in the class.
About half of them are taking the class for credit and the other half are auditing the course.

Yesterday our lesson focused on who is the Holy Spirit and what is the Bible.
We finished the day out with a 25 minutes overview of the whole Bible.
Their first assignments were also due.

Today's class is going to look at the role of the church in Biblical counseling.
We have been stressing over and over and over again that...
Biblical Counseling is disciple making.
And that will be the emphasis of our discussion today.
One of the quotes from today's lesson is...
"Is your church an audience of spectators or fellowship of disciple-makers?"  David Platt

I mentioned earlier in the week to be praying for my health, especially as it relates to my diabetes.
I am happy to report that my numbers have been great.
There is something to be said for walking everywhere in 79 degree weather.

Thank you so much for your prayers.


Today: A Study of the Human Heart

Each day we are beginning each class with a 20 to 30 minute devotional.
Today's devotional is one of my favorite Psalms.
Psalm 42.

This quote from Paul Tripp goes well with what we will be talking about today.

FBBC's projector was not here.
Came up with an alternate plan using paper copies.
Printer was out of ink.  Copies not possible.
Student found another projector I could borrow.
Set up projector up.
Electricity went out 15 minutes before class (1:45) and was out until 45 minutes after class was finished (6:45).
Begins getting dark around 5:00.
During the last half hour students were using cell phones and flashlights to take notes.

BUT, do you know what?
it was an AWESOME class.  Great time of interaction in the Word of God with students.
I am so thankful that the point of the class was not powerpoint.
I am so thankful that the point of the class was the power of God's in every circumstance.

about Fairview Baptist Bible College

Here is FBBC's website:  www.fairviewbbc.com


1st day of class and pics from yesterday

Earlier today, I posted the class description, textbook and schedule.
In this post I want to share a little bit on why I am excited to teach this class to some of the students at Fairview Baptist Bible College.

I am trying the first stage of an online experiment today with the students.
You can view the powerpoint presentation as live, click by click, with the students here in Jamaica.  At least, I am planning on that.  Click on this very long link below:

I am going to try to add audio to it on Wednesday or Thursday.
I really would appreciate it if someone could see if this link works.  Here is what would be very helpful.
  1. Click on the link at between 2:05 and 4:00 and see if the presentation changes over the next ten minutes or so.  There will be no audio.  That is the next step.
  2. Post a reply below or email me.
In thinking about the disciple making mission of Biblical counseling I am very excited about the possibility of helping pastors and the churches here in Jamaica grow in their disciple making.
As I teach this first day, I really want the students to see that everyone should be doing Biblical counseling.
The pastor and certified Biblical counselor do it scheduled times an in a structured way.
Every believer has the opportunity to counsel people from the Bible when they are asked to share their thoughts or opinions about an issue.
This week the students are going to need to know 2 Timothy 3:16, 17, a common verse, for their end of the week quiz.

It is my prayer that the class would be informational and very practical.

It is my prayer that the students and I would be reminded of the truth Milton Vincent writes about in the Gospel Primer under the section My Inheritance in the Saints.
The Gospel is not just a message of reconciliation with God, but it also heralds the reconciliation of all believers to one another in Christ....
The more I comprehend the full scope of the gospel, the more I value the church for which Christ died (Eph. 5:25), the more I value the role that I play in the lives of my fellow Christians, and the more I appreciate the role that they must be allowed to play in mine.

Here are some pictures from yesterday

Here is the one lane road to Bird Mountain Church yesterday.

The pastor, several members of the church and I went to visit a senior saint in the church yesterday.
The woman, her daughter and baby granddaughter live in this two room house. 
She didn't want us to leave.  
We sang songs with her, Pastor Wright read scripture and we prayed for her.

Here is the class description, textbook and schedule.

Here is the class description. 
"This class will assist the student in understanding and developing a Biblical counseling ministry in the church.  General Biblical principles along with specific tools to be used in counseling depression, anger, addiction and other problems will be studied."

Here is the class textbook.
Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling:  Changing Lives with God’s Changeless Truth by James MacDonald, Bob Kelleman and Steve Viars (2013).   Harvest House Publishers.  

Here is the class schedule.
Monday, 11/10:  Clarification and Philosophy of Biblical CounselingTuesday, 11/11:  The Role of the Human Heart in CounselingWednesday, 11/12:  The Role of the Holy Spirit and Scripture in CounselingThursday, 11/13:  The Role of the Local Church in CounselingFriday, 11/14:  Basics of Biblical CounselingMonday, 11/17:  Four Main Heart Issues, Part 1Tuesday, 11/18:  Four Main Heart Issues, Part 2Wednesday, 11/19:  Specific Issues in CounselingThursday, 11/20:  The Role of Homework in CounselingFriday, 11/21:  Exam and Final Thoughts.


first sunday in jamaica

This morning I had the opportunity to teach at a nearby church.
Taught from 1 Thessalonians 5:11 - 15.  Unexpected and exciting opportunity.

Would appreciate your prayer as I visit another church this evening and look over tomorrow's lesson.