A Hard Day!

Over the years I have kept a prayer journal.  

I decided to share and expand what I wrote yesterday in my prayer journal.

LORD, yesterday was a had day - 13 year anniversary of my dad's death.  As I shared on Facebook, I remember this day like it just happened.  I am so thankful, in your providence, I was able to be there that night with my family in New Brighton.

I miss him sooo much.
Josiah and Jadyn never met him.
Joel only know him through stories and pictures.

As I think back not only on that day but also the weeks, months and years leading up to dad's death, there are so many things to thank God for.

  • my friends, who became like family, in the Dominican Republic.  There are so many I could list so I will not even try to list them all.  But I want to especially thank two people David and Michelle Stanley.  They were so helpful when I received that first phone call in the Dominican Republic that I needed to get home.  Thye helped with the ticket, with transportation to the airport, with helping Krista while I was gone, with being the friends and help we needed at just the right time.
  • ECS staff and Bob Flamm for their flexibility with several opened trips from Toledo to Pittsburgh.
  • Friends and family at Rochester Free Methodist Church, especially for Pastor Bob, who was with our family that night and many other times at the hospital and for Aunt Mar who has been such a help and encouragement.
  • Krista has been awesome.  There are so many things I can share about how she has been an encouragement but one directly related to my dad and his health is my first night in the hospital as a married man.  For those that don't know, nine days after we were married I was in the hospital for a deflated lung.  There are a lot of crazy details about my deflated lung and my dad's history of lung problems.  But at the hospital that night Krista asked me if there was anything I needed and my first, quick response was "I want my mom."  I know that didn't instill in her a lot of confidence.  I am so thankful for how God grow in me and my dad a love for Krista.
  • Most importantly, I am thankful that God saved my dad by grace through Jesus Christ.  I remember over and over again people telling me how helpful he was to them and I remember thinking and saying I know he was all those things and I am so thankful that he trusted in Jesus Christ to be his Savior.  
God and His providence also provided an infographic and an inexpensive book to remind me of His goodness.  

Comfort the Greiving: Ministering God's Grace in Times of Loss, which is $1.99 on Kindle as of 10/28/17.
 "Although death is a result of the curse of sin (Genesis 2, 3) and is our final enemy (1 Cor. 15:26), God does not ultimately view the death of a believer as a bad thing (Ps. 116:15)."


Genesis Deuteronomy

Some Deuteronomy verse graphics
More can be found HERE

To find out more about what the Genesis Class at West Cannon Baptist Church
is studying, www.drodgersjr.com/p/genesis-class.html

Here is the 1st of the Reformation videos


Reformation 500 years

The Reformation is still very important.  Here are some resources to help realize and/or reflect on this truth.

To commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Crossway is giving away free electronic copies the book Why the Reformation Still Matters by Michael Reeves and Tim Chester.  
This is a limited time offer and you do need to fill out a survey to get the free copy.  Here is the link for a brief description of the book and directions on how to get the book - www.crossway.org/articles/free-ebook-why-the-reformation-still-matters/

Here are two quotes from the Introduction of the book.

"At its heart the Reformation was a dispute about how we know God and we can be right with him."
"The Reformation still matters because eternal life still matters."


Limitless Opportunities

Tonight is a business meeting at West Cannon Baptist Church.  I continually want to remind the church that no business meeting or ministry program saves people from sin.

Jesus Christ is the only one who saves. 
Business meetings should be opportunities to help the church focus on the work of the ministry. 

The following quote from The Trellis and the Vine has impacted my thoughts about ministry programs.  
Imagine a reasonably solid Christian said to you after church one Sunday morning, “Look, I’d like to get more involved here and make a contribution, but I just feel like there’s nothing for me to do. I’m not on the ‘inside’; I don’t get asked to be on committees or lead Bible studies. What can I do?” 
What would you immediately think or say? Would you start thinking of some event or program about to start that they could help with? Some job that needed doing? Some ministry that they could join or support? 
This is how we are used to thinking about the involvement of church members in congregational life—in terms of jobs and roles: usher, Bible study leader, Sunday School teacher, treasurer, elder, musician, song leader, money counter, and so on. The implication of this way of thinking for congregation members is clear: if all the jobs and roles are taken, then there’s really nothing for me to do in this church. I’m reduced to being a passenger. I’ll just wait until I’m asked to ‘do something’. The implication for the pastoral staff is similar: getting people involved and active means finding a job for them to do. In fact, the church growth gurus say that giving someone a job to do within the first six months of their joining your church is vital for them to feel like they belong. 
However, if the real work of God is people work—the prayerful speaking of his word by one person to another—then the jobs are never all taken. The opportunities for Christians to minister personally to others are limitless. 
So you could pause, and reply to your friend, “See that guy sitting over there on his own? That’s Julie’s husband. He’s on the fringe of things here; in fact, I’m not really sure whether he’s crossed the line yet and become a Christian. How about I introduce you to him, and you arrange to have breakfast with him once a fortnight and read the Bible together? Or see that couple over there? They are both fairly recently converted, and really in need of encouragement and mentoring. Why don’t you and your wife have them over, get to know them, and read and pray together once a month? And if you still have time, and want to contribute some more, start praying for the people in your street, and then invite them all to a barbeque at your place. That’s the first step towards talking with them about the gospel, or inviting them along to something.” 
Of course, there’s every chance that the person will then say, “But I don’t know how to do those things! I’m not sure I’d know what to say or where to start.” 
To which you reply, “Oh that’s okay. Let’s start meeting together, and I can train you.”
The goal of ministry programs is not maintaining the ministry or making a name for a church.
The goal of ministry programs should be connecting people with one another for the glory of God.