October 2017

Dear Pastor and Brethren: Another New Visitor! Mrs. Alta Simpson began coming on the fifth of October and has visited with us since then two more times. She is an elderly lady and lives near the church building, so she has walked to each of the services. Roxanne and I gave her rides home after the services and have let her know that we are willing to give her a ride to the services as well. Billie Barzee also walks to the services and we have offered her the same opportunity to call us when she needs a ride. Please remember these two ladies in your prayers. Both seem to be religious, but so far we know nothing about their testimony of salvation. Outreach Started! The Lord blessed us with a good start to our door-to-door outreach service. We had five of the eight regular attendees come to the service. Some twenty houses were covered with some encouraging conversations with the people living therein. At the close of the hour, we highlighted the streets of the Stillwater city map that had been covered and prayed that the Lord might bless our new efforts. Latino Outreach We gave gospel tracts to Yessenia and Luis, Jorge Dominguez, Antonio, Eladio, Julio, Elmer, and Rolando. Elmer was arrested while speeding on the way to pick up his three little daughters who are in the custody of DHS because his wife is on drugs. He had no driver’s license and is illegally in the United States from Honduras. We worked with him and the authorities for about three hours in the area of the...

November 19

This is more of a lesson than a point of history, yet it begins in our usual way. Barnstaple, England was without a Baptist witness until 1815. A year earlier, a nineteen-year-old man, Charles Veysey came under conviction and was born-again by the grace of God. Following his baptism in the river Taw, a Bible study began in the community. Then, on this day (November 19) in 1817 the Barnstaple Baptist Church was formed with twelve members. During the first sixty-five years of its existence, the prosperity of the church fluctuated, and twenty-two pastors came and left. As often is the case, the longer the ministry of one pastor, the more the church prospered. During the leadership of Bro. S. Newman the congregation was so blessed that a new building became necessary, but then that pastor’s health broke and he was forced to resign. At that point, in 1880, the church sought a new under-shepherd, but they handled the situation poorly. More than one candidate presented himself, and the church then put them on a list and voted to accept one. Brother J.N. Rootham won the majority vote and was installed as pastor, but from that moment on, despite God’s blessings on his ministry, the dissenting voters refused to give him their respect or confidence. To them every little mistake or mis-spoken word was a reason to a call for his resignation. Pastor Rootham hoped to win over his detractors, but it was not possible, and eventually both the church and the pastor suffered serious damage. In seeking a pastor, candidates should be invited, considered and voted upon –...

The Proverbs of Solomon – Proverbs 5:15-23

  Two weeks ago, I was thinking that I would simply expound these verses, as I did the first part of the chapter. But as I was looking at it, it became obvious that an exposition might be more problematic than an outline. So, once again, we have a brief, devotional sermon. I haven’t been giving these messages titles, but I probably should have. If this was to have a title, I would call it “Arguments for a Godly Morality,” or something along that line. Leaning away from what I hope are obvious lessons, let’s think about the Lord and His will. First, consider God’s omniscience. Verse 21 – “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.” Obviously there is a corollary to this thought, “the ways of women are also before the eyes of the Lord.” Even though Solomon may have been thinking about wayward leaning sons of his, there are lessons here for the “strange woman” who was introduced to us last week. As foolish as it is, fathers often think it is impossible for their daughters to fall into sinful immorality. But knowing their own hearts, they can picture their sons. It’s always other man’s daughters who tempt our sons into sin. But, as I say, it’s foolishness on the father’s part. Both sons and daughter must remember “the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.” The “ways” and “goings” of God’s creatures are as clear to the Lord as the sun shining above the clouds. “Neither...

Our Lord’s Sample Prayer – Matthew 6:9-13

  For a couple of weeks, I have been thinking about this sample prayer. I thought I might incorporate it into the service last Tuesday, but it wasn’t the Lord’s will. However it was the Lord’s will that I spend some time meditating on it. As an example and guideline for prayer, it must be important. Just because the majority of Christianity abuse these words, that is no reason for us to avoid them. I don’t know how many times, I heard these or similar words, uttered in the Protestant church of my youth. And I have to admit that I am tempted to quote them in prayer from time to time. I don’t think the Lord would be upset with me if I did, because it would not be the vain repetition. But they weren’t meant to be memorized and recited. They were meant to be used instructionally – they are at the very least a framework for prayer. And for that reason, I’ve sought a word or two which could summarize each of the pieces of this model. We are probably better off memorizing and implementing the framework than we are the precise words. The Lord started with a call for FOCUS. “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven…” There are a couple of things to keep in mind at this point. First, to think of God as the Heavenly Father was an utterly new concept. Did Abraham or David, Daniel or Elisha ever call upon Jehovah as their Father? Not to my recollection. Why? Was it a matter of their neglect...

Moving to our Long Home – Ecclesiastes 12:1-8

  The older I get, the more closely death creeps in around me. By that I don’t mean that I am sick and approaching death myself. While that is undoubtedly true, death isn’t near enough to me personally to be an immediate concern. Rather, more and more people near me and around me are dying. Lately, for me, most of those who have passed away have been children of God. This is not true for all of us – for you perhaps. But for me, their passing, although sad, has not been bitter. There has been a relief knowing that their suffering is finished. And there is a joy, knowing they are with the Lord, their Saviour. Having been asked to participate in more than one funeral, I have been forced to consider the fact of death, the necessity of death and the inevitability of death. No, I didn’t preach from this scripture at Bro. Ken Johnson’s service last Tuesday. My message came from a much more obscure passage – Jeremiah 23. But, generally speaking, for several weeks my thoughts have been pushed toward this solemn subject. And I believe the Lord would have you to consider it as well. If you are as old as I am, you need to consider death, simply because it may be coming up. But even more, if you are still “in the days of thy youth” you should think about your death. Isn’t this what Ecclesiastes tells us? Solomon uses an interesting phrase in verse 5 to speak about this subject. Eventually “man goeth to his long home.” Death is a move...

November 12

Three years after his first wife died, John Bunyan married Elizabeth. This was 1659. Elizabeth was an outstanding Christian lady. She immediate took Bunyan’s four children from his first marriage and raised them as her own. And then just a year later, on this day (November 12) in 1660, her husband was imprisoned in the Bedford Jail for 12 years. Three times Elizabeth traveled the 60 miles from Bedford to London to plead her husband’s cause. On one occasion according to Bunyan’s account, the courtroom conversation went like this:. Elizabeth: My Lord, I make bold to come again to your lordship to know what may be done with my husband. Judge: Woman, I told thee before I could do thee no good…. Elizabeth: My Lord, he is kept unlawfully in prison. They clapped him up before there was any proclamation against the meetings… Another judge: Will your husband leave preaching? If he will do so, then send for him. Elizabeth: My, Lord, he dares not leave preaching so long as he can speak …. He desires to live peaceably and to follow his calling that his family may be maintained. Moreover, my lord, I have four small children that cannot help themselves, one of which is blind, and we have nothing to live upon but the charity of good people. I am but a stepmother to them, having not been married to my husband yet two full years. Being young and unaccustomed to such things, I became dismayed at the news of his imprisonment and fell into labor, and so continued for eight days, and then was delivered, but...

The Proverbs of Solomon – Proverbs 4:23-27

  What is the Biblical definition of sin? I John 3:4 – “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” So sin makes itself known in outward ways. We might say that specific sins originate in the heart, but isn’t it true that we can sin with our eyes? Don’t our lips sin when we utter a lie or we spread gossip? If we pull a grape off a vine in the grocery store, popping it into our mouths haven’t our hands sinned by stealing? This may be a silly question, but is there any part of our body which CANNOT sin? Can our belly button sin? What if we expose our belly button to the eyes of strangers? Can our ear lobes sin? We know our ears can sin by willing listening to wicked words. But can our ear lobes sin? What if there are 1″ tall swastika stuck in each of them? Is it possible for our shoulders to sin? What if they are leaning on a tree when they should be swinging an ax or raising a shovel? And what about our bottoms? Isn’t it a sin when we should be working, we are sitting – especially sitting on our hands? I don’t think we have to stretch our imaginations very far to come up with sins that just about any external part of our body might commit. Of course, from time to time, the Bible refers to some of the more prominent aspects body parts. And that is what we find here at the conclusion of Proverbs 4....

November 5

Under Britain’s Toleration Act of 1649, which also applied to all her colonies, officials of neither the State nor the Church could prosecute Baptists for merely preaching the gospel. But our Baptist brethren in Virginia were so hated that the State trumped up other kinds of charges in order to silence them. For example, the Order Book of Orange County, Virginia, for July 28, 1768, states that John Corbley, Allen Wiley, Elijah Craig and Thomas Chambers were found guilty of a Breach of Good Behaviour and were ordered into Bond. The document said that they were charged as “Vagrant and Itinerant Persons” who “assembled themselves unlawfully at Sundry Times and Places under the Denomination of Anabaptists for Teaching and Preaching Schismatick Doctrines.” They were accused of being vagrants. Despite being arrested on several occasions they consistently went back to their preaching ministries. John Corbley was one of those pioneer Baptists in Virginia who struggled against religious persecution. His trials were many and varied, including the slaughter of his wife and family by Indians, but he continued faithful to the end. On this day (November 5) in 1775, at the age of 42, he constituted a Baptist Church at Forks-of-Cheat in West Virginia with 12...

November 5

Under Britain’s Toleration Act of 1649, which also applied to all her colonies, officials of neither the State nor the Church could prosecute Baptists for merely preaching the gospel. But our Baptist brethren in Virginia were so hated that the State trumped up other kinds of charges in order to silence them. For example, the Order Book of Orange County, Virginia, for July 28, 1768, states that John Corbley, Allen Wiley, Elijah Craig and Thomas Chambers were found guilty of a Breach of Good Behaviour and were ordered into Bond. The document said that they were charged as “Vagrant and Itinerant Persons” who “assembled themselves unlawfully at Sundry Times and Places under the Denomination of Anabaptists for Teaching and Preaching Schismatick Doctrines.” They were accused of being vagrants. Despite being arrested on several occasions they consistently went back to their preaching ministries. John Corbley was one of those pioneer Baptists in Virginia who struggled against religious persecution. His trials were many and varied, including the slaughter of his wife and family by Indians, but he continued faithful to the end. On this day (November 5) in 1775, at the age of 42, he constituted a Baptist Church at Forks-of-Cheat in West Virginia with 12...

Three Ears – Acts 7:54-58

  This is not the first time that I have preached on the subject of the human ear. I’ve done that in two sermons before, but the last time was many years ago. I thought about starting with an object lessons for tonight, but I think that we’re familiar enough with ears that it won’t be unnecessary. I was thinking about bringing an ear of sweet corn, an ear of Indian corn, and perhaps some feed corn. There are a great variety of ears in this world. The human ear is one of the most faithful and least appreciated parts of our bodies. Most of us don’t give our ears the least little thought until we get water in them. The exceptions, of course, are those who are losing their hearing for one reason or another, and then when we get either an infection or a tickle in them. So there they are, and speaking for myself, I actually look directly at them at least once a year. Of course I don’t wear earrings, and I don’t have to see if my ears match my tie or shoes. To further make my point, I have a little book in my library called “God’s Masterpiece, Man’s Body.” It has forty-four chapters on forty-four parts of the body, but there isn’t one chapter on the ear. And that is a shame because, it really is another of the great marvels of God’s creation. Whether or not man gives a lot of thought to ears, the Lord certainly does. Would you be surprised to learn that the words “ear” and “ears” are...