My church family has honored me in my 20 years of service at the church for the past four weeks by having four of my friends in to preach for me. On August 9, 2020, the guest was Jared Wilson. He preached on 1 John 1:5-7 a sermon entitled Hope For Those Who Hide. This sermon dug into all the ways we tend to hide and encouraged us to come to the light and find the liberation and freedom the Gospel provides for us. I hope it encourages you.
This weekend was the 2nd of 4 weeks of guest speakers at Crestview Bible Church to celebrate my 20 years of service at the church. The thought was that I’d get time out of the pulpit and good time with friends of mine. On Sunday, July 26, we showed a sermon that Ray Ortlund recorded for us, as he was unable to travel due to COVID concerns. The sermon was Joy of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13), which Ray described as… “the sacred joy that sets a church apart as truly Christian, the spiritual joy that the gospel itself continually inspires.”
Also, this weekend the church continued working through 10 Days of Praise to God for me and my family. I don’t have the words to say what these devotionals mean to me and us. I link to them here in this place so that I can have a record of these gracious encouragements.
Have a good week wrapping up July. We have every reason to be encouraged these days because of God’s love for us.
This weekend, Crestview began celebrating my 20 years of serving here as a pastor. I was grateful to get some time with Dale Baker, a former student of mine, who currently pastors in Maryville, MO. Dale gave our body a great charge to be Investing (2 Timothy 2:1-2) in the lives of others.
It’s very humbling to see how God’s allowed me to be here for 20 years. And, the celebration has just begun as this will continue for a few weeks. Hope you’ve had a great weekend and ready for this Monday.
My 7/12/20 sermon at Crestview, Out of the Depths (Psalm 130), is now online. This was my first sermon in a few weeks. And, it was an encouraging word to my heart: that God is the One who can bring us out of the depths into a relationship with Him, which gives us rest in this world. I hope it encourages you.
So, where have I been? I had a major rotator cuff tear repair and shoulder surgery about 4 weeks ago. We threw in some family vacation (meeting my brother and sister) and now are prepping for a few weeks celebrating 20 years at Crestview. I hope you’re doing well.
I thought I’d get a post up on an upcoming event in my life. On May 23, I was working in the yard and tore 3 tendons and a bicep tendon in my shoulder, which is getting me a rotator cuff surgery this Thursday, June 11. This means, among other things, that I’ll be one-armed for the next 6 weeks. I’ve heard from lots of people who have had this procedure and I guess the recovery is a rough one. So, there’s that.
Many of you also know that in late April, Meg was out teaching our youngest how to ride a bike and hopped on to show him how it was done only to have a freak accident that got her a concussion and quite a few weeks of bedrest, trying to recover from this.
While you’re keeping track, you know that with everyone else we were under stay at home orders due to COVID concerns in late March/April. So, this has been one crazy spring for us.
Some things I’ve noticed through these days already:
- We are surrounded by amazing friends and family who have supported us in these days. They continue to be there no matter what we need.
- I’m indispensable. I think that’s the way to word this. I’ve done some work to plan the upcoming weeks but the church has been served well as I’ve needed to back off from my public ministry. My friends have stepped in to serve in so many ways. I won’t be at VBS for the first time in a long while, but it will still be a great week. Even at home, my OCD tendencies are on pause (and Meg’s probably breathing a sigh of relief).
- I have a new appreciation for those who are battling long term illnesses or issues of pain. I can better imagine what your lives are like, and I’ll be praying God gives you mercy as you endure this.
- I’ve been humbled and reminded just how needy I am. We humans tend to do independence well. But, in this season, I’ve been forced to be dependent on others: God, my family, my friends, and others. This isn’t bad. In fact, it’s encouraging to be reminded that I’m created in the image of God and need Him.
Those are some quick thoughts. I’ll probably be in a different level of understanding about all of this soon. You can pray for a successful procedure, recovery, and support for my family in these days. I appreciate each of you.
2 Corinthians 4:7–11
 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.  We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;  always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.  For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. (ESV)
My 6/7/2020 sermon at Crestview (in the Psalms of Ascent series) is now online. The sermon was from Psalm 125, entitled Trusting in Our Surrounding God. The sermon got at how those who trust in the Lord have all kinds of security from Him and pointed to relying on Him. These chapters have been timely for our body and we continue to find encouragement in them. I hope this sermon encourages you.
My 5/31/2020 sermon at Crestview entitled Our Blessed, Helping God from Psalm 124 is now online. It was a big day for us as we re-opened after the COVID closings. I was happy to continue our series in the Psalms of Ascent and preach on Psalm 124 and how God helps His people. Specifically, my outline asked us to suppose if God didn’t help His people, and then to answer the call to praise God He did. I did try to bring an application to all the goings-on in our world these days. I hope the sermon encourages you.
My 5/3/2020 sermon, Direction for Life’s Frustrations (Psalm 120), which also served to introduce Crestview’s new series on the Psalms of Ascent, is now online. Many of us are looking for hope in the midst of these frustrating days. God’s Word is up to the challenge of giving us a firm footing these days. Specifically, this sermon dealt with how we can have direction when life is overwhelming to us. I hope this sermon encourages you.
In a short turn around, John Piper wrote and published a book to address the current worldwide pandemic. The book is Coronavirus and Christ, which is translated into many languages and available for free. I hope you’ll consider some of the truths he points to and weigh it Scripturally. Let’s keep navigating these days together.
Austin Stone Worship is releasing a new album soon (called Within). Crestview’s students had a chance to learn this song at camp in 2019, as part of the Austin Stone team led musical worship for us that week. This song really encourages my heart to center all my hope on Christ. What a refreshing reminder for the midweek! Have a good week.