Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Is it based on scriptural truth?
It springs directly from the teachings of Jesus in what we call “The Great Commandments”:
Jesus said to him, " 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' "This is the first and great commandment. "And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)
and “The Great Commission”:
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20)
The three categories involve Worship, Ministry, and Discipleship. Each is distinct characteristic, but as the diagram indicates, they do not stand alone. Each category overlaps with the other two, creating an interesting dynamic. All are interconnected. Worship of our God naturally flows from the life of a believer. As we worship the Father, we are reminded of His commandments to us. We are called upon to minister to others. As we reach out to serve the needs of others through missions, we do it in the name of Jesus, which automatically leads to sharing our faith in Him with those to whom we minister. Evangelism and missions lead to teaching new believers all of the things Jesus commanded us. As we build disciples, they grow in their relationship with the Father. Worship becomes a reality to them, as does the natural desire to tell other about Christ. Ministry ensues, and evangelism continues. And so on and so on.
How are we doing in the task?
I will be sharing my heart regarding this in the 10:45 worship service on Sunday morning. I hope you will make a special effort to be there.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
June 20, 2007
It’s been 50 years ago, or so, but I remember it like it was yesterday. It generally happened early on Saturday mornings. My little brothers and I would be on the living room couch watching black and white cartoons on TV when the big voice would boom out of Mom and Dad’s bedroom. “I’m the giant and this is my island!” That is all we needed to hear. We would make a mad dash for the bed where Dad had been sleeping and immediately upon jumping in the bed, we would find ourselves flipping off the other side. That was the nature of the game.
It was sort of a horizontal “King of the Hill” contest. Dad was the giant and the bed was his island. The challenge for us was to dislodge him from the island. It was a futile effort on our part, but was tremendous fun to wrestle with and team up on the big guy in the family. I’m not sure that we ever were able to move the giant from his island, but I wouldn’t trade the memories for anything.
Quality time with Dad then was precious and rare. He worked a 40 hour week at International Nickel Company, preached twice every Sunday, and held as many as 19 revival meetings a year. As a normal routine, Dad would rush home after work each day, jump in and out of the tub, eat a quick dinner, jump in the car and drive as far as Portsmouth, OH; Logan, Charleston, Point Pleasant, WV; or Wurtland, KY; preach to a packed house, drive back home, climb in bed and get up early the next morning and do it all over again. Back in those days, revival meetings always lasted two weeks, and often times went three or four. It was not uncommon to see from 25 – 40 people make professions of faith during those services. I remember one stretch when Dad was in church somewhere every night, for 100 straight evenings. I think it is safe to say that he burned the candle at both ends.
Busy as he was, he was always careful to spend quality time with his boys. Whether it be “I’m the Giant and This is My Island”, a game of catch in the back yard, the occasional trip to see the Reds at Crosley Field, or just the time we spent together in church (or on the way to or from) those times were very special to us. Many of you know Dad as the old guy in the McDonalds breakfast gang, or that fellow that never met a stranger, or the guy with a corny joke for every occasion, or the character on Row 9 at Edwards Stadium with a funny hat and silly glasses on to celebrate each Herd touchdown. He is all of those fellows, but Bruce and Carl and I remember him as the hard charging, fiery preacher, who was one of the busiest evangelists in the Tri State area. We know him as the orator that could paint a picture in a sermon so vivid that you could almost feel ground shake when Goliath fell hard from the blow of David’s stone, or see Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walking around loose in the fiery furnace. In fact one guy once yelled out during Dad’s message, “I can see them in there!”, but that is another story for another time.
Caudle Adkins, Jr. was born at Dehue in Logan Co, WV in 1927. He was often fond of saying that Charles Lindbergh flew solo across the Atlantic and Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs that year to celebrate his birth. Like many other young men, he quit school to join the military in World War II, and although a Sailor through and through, he never learned to swim! He had the good sense to marry Patsy Stidham, the best girl in Logan County, and to get out of the coal mines while he was young enough to move to Huntington and get a new career started at INCO.
Dad celebrated his 80th birthday last month. During his nearly 6 decades in ministry he has preached countless messages, married lots of couples, buried many friends, comforted the grieving, eaten lots of fried chicken, encouraged thousands of Christians, and won hundreds of people to Jesus. Aside from one aunt (who is only a few years older than him), Dad is the last surviving member of his family and has lived to see his grandchildren and great grandchildren, who all love and respect him. He has more friends than anyone I have ever known.
My younger brother, Bruce, has the Adkins looks and inherited many of Dad’s qualities, and keeps links with both sides of Dad’s family. Youngest brother, Carl, inherited his tireless work ethic and his easygoing manner and his ability to schmooze with anyone.
I am thankful that I got his name, although at times it has been hard to live up to all that goes with it! That name was passed on to his oldest grandson and great grandson as well. My son, Jay and I have followed Dad in ministry. Much of our family went down to New Orleans a couple of weeks ago for Jay’s graduation from Seminary. Dad seemed to be pretty proud that day.
Later, Jay told me something that really touched me. He said that during the graduation ceremony, while the congregation was standing and singing, he looked over and saw Dad standing there at the end of our family’s row. Jay said, “I looked over there and thought, If it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t be here now. That’s my Heritage. It brought tears to my eyes”, he said.
Physically, Dad doesn’t seem as big to me as he did on those Saturday mornings, way back when, but even now, to me – he is still “The Giant”.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
More than 11,000 messengers were here in Orlando for a historic meeting, now we all begin heading back to our respective homes and places of ministry. Issues that were hot topics of discussion for the past three days now slowly begin to fade back into the reality of normal Southern Baptist life. If there is to be a Great Commission Resurgence among Baptists, it will begin in the pulpits and pews of our 40,000 + local congregations. No amount of restructure, programs, or catchy buzz words will avail any results apart from the working of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christ Followers.
I am thankful that we Baptists can come together for worship, prayer, preaching, and fellowship, and to handle the business issues that are necessary to operate the various aspects of the world's largest organized group of evangelical Christians. Technically Southern Baptists are a Convention, not a denomination. There is a difference. A denomination generally is operated on a hierarchical model, with decisions coming from the top down. A Convention is, on the other hand, a voluntary group of autonomous churches, working together for a common mission. The Convention meets two days per year. Each local church is entitled to send messengers to speak for their congregation. They set budgets, enact policies, and elect Convention officers, and trustees to manage the various entities and boards of the Convention.
Do the messengers always see eye to eye?
Does every member of your church see eye to eye?
Of course not!
The good news is that the wrangling is not about theology. The Battle for the Bible was won through the "Conservative Resurgence" process several years ago. Now, the hot button issues are more over methodology, and one can expect opinions on "how to do it" to vary from person to person. There are sometimes heated debates on various issues. Passions burn high, and opinions vary. Votes are taken and results may not always be what you hope they will be, but when the smoke clears, we are still brothers and sisters in Christ, with His mission to fulfil.
So now we enter the era of the "Great Commission Resurgence". There is not a born again Southern Baptist in the Convention Center (or ANYWHERE else) who is against the Great Commission. We may have different opinions as to how we may accomplish it, but there is no debate on the question of "Why?" The command is clear. Our marching orders from Christ are to be His witnesses in the world - from right here at home, to the ends of the earth. That task is not accomplished by messengers in huge convention halls, but by our local congregations, as we go about our daily lives, seeking to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, and through cooperative intentional mission efforts to reach every people group on the face of the planet. It is a God sized task, and we'd best ramp up our efforts and follow His lead, because the time to accomplish it is quickly passing.
That is what we are working toward at Westmoreland Baptist Church. May God help us redouble our efforts to do as Jesus commanded - "making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you."
No debate on that issue.
Time to get to work!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
The Beatitudes 5:1-12
Salt and Light 5:13-14
Christ Came to Fulfill the Law 5:15-20
Love Your Enemies 5:43-48
Giving to the Needy 6:1-4
How to Pray 6:5-15
How to Fast 6:16-18
Lay Up Treasures in Heaven 6:19-24
Do Not Be Anxious 6:25-34
Judging Others 7:1-6
Ask and It Shall Be Given 7:7-11
The Golden Rule 7:12-14
A Tree and Its Fruit 7:15-20
I Never Knew You 7:21-23
Build Your House on the Rock 7:24-27
I have recommitted myself to the teachings of Jesus. That may sound strange coming from a guy who has been in ministry for nearly four decades, but I have determined that my focus in my remaining ministry will be to follow Jesus and to teach what Jesus taught. The whole Bible revolves around Him. His teaching ties it all together. "Churchianity" cannot change the lives and destinies of men - but Jesus can, and does!