Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Speaking @ Macedonia Baptist Church, Trenton, NJ

Today I was blessed to preach @ the great and historical Macedonia Baptist Church, Trenton, NJ where my good friend and brother Rev. Keith A. Marshall is the pastor, for their Hour of Power noon-day service. Pastor Marshall is a nationally known revivalist who preaches at various venues across this country as well as at the National Baptist Convention, USA Inc.

Pastor Marshall has been, throughout the years, one of my best friends and mentors who has opened his pulpit to me before I began pastoring, while I was in between churches, and when I was in dire financial situations. I do not preach for money, but the Word of the Lord tells us in I Corinthians 9:14...even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel, so whenever I have been in trouble, Keith Marshall has been there to be a blessing to my family and my ministry.

I am forever grateful for the Spirit of God that permeates out of the lifestyle of Pastor Keith A. Marshall and I praise God for his ministry. Please pray for both Pastor Marshall & the Macedonia Church Family.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Hattie L. Mann

Today, the woman who the Lord allowed to give birth to bring me into this world, was born in 1933, in Aliquippa, PA, she would have been 75 years old. It was two years ago on March 21, that the Lord took my mother home to be with him in eternity, and my life has had a deep void in it ever since.

My mother was born during the height of the Jim Crow days while being raised in Americus, GA, and she had to endure her share of heartaches. At the age of 10, she witnessed the sensless death of both of her parents to the gunfire of an intruder into their home. At the age of 17, she was forced to leave Americus by her maternal grandfather and come to live with her older brother in Newark, NJ.

My mother was a short-order cook by trade, and she was known all throughout the city of Newark for her barbeque and her peach cobbler. As a charter member of the New Eden Baptist Church of Newark, Mommy served as the only usher of the church for the first 8 years of its existence. She was a faithful member of that church under the leadership of the late Rev. Dr. John H. Shorter. By the time I came along as the youngest child of five, my mother's health was beginning to fail, and from the time I was five years of age, I had the charge of being her caregiver along with my oldest sister, until her demise. I truly missed the opportunity to put her memories on paper because I believe that what she could say, would be a jewel for other young people to read.

Rest on Mommy, I will see you in eternity!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Get Well My Friend!!!

This past week, I received a distressing phone call from a man who has quickly become one of my best friends, Pastor Romell Williams, Lilydale Progressive Missionary Baptist Church, Chicago, IL, to inform me that he had to have an emergency surgery procedure done one week ago.

Romell is without question, one of the best expositors of our day and one of my favorite personalites in this country. I am a fan of Romell Williams, not because he can "shut it down" with the best of them, not because of the size of his church, but because of his total commitment to true biblical exposition. I like to believe that I have matured to a point in my own ministry that I am drawn to preachers who make every attempt at exposition every time they stand before the people of God, and Romell is one such man.

I am eagerly awaiting his arrival at our church in July for our first tent revival in our history and I look forward with great anticipation being poured into with the pure milk of God's Word. Please keep my friend and the Lilydale Church in your prayers.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Do The Right Thing

On the last Lord's Day, we continued our series on overcoming the sin nature in our lives entitled Proper Conduct For An Excellent People, with an exposition on a wonderful text housed in I Thessalonians 5:22 which says in the ESV abstain from every form of evil, which I entitled Do the Right Thing. I used for an introduction the main controversy found at the end of the film. Spike brought up the argument of two different ideals regarding the violence in the movie's conclusion. One ideal is that violence is never justifiable under any circumstances, and the other ideal was that violence is intelligent when done under the action of self-defense. Many scholars could not agree as to which ideal they would consider to be the correct one, so they basically decided to agree to disagree.

While that may work for movies, that is never tolerated when it comes our conduct as the people of God toward our Father in Heaven. I Thessalonians tells us that we must abstain from every form of evil. Why? Because our Heavenly Father wants to sanctify us for his good purpose, which means that he desires to set us apart for his use, but he can't do it while the wickedness of our lives is at the forefront of our desires. Here is the sermon outline:

Thesis: our ability to be set apart for the express purpose of God's exclusive use, hinges totally on our willingness to turn away from our wickedness and do the right thing.

I. Positional Sanctification

-verse 24

II. Practical Sanctification

-verse 24

III. Perfect Sanctification

-verse 24

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Proper Conduct For An Excellent People

This year 2008, the year of new beginnings, the emphasis for our church is "A Spirit of Excellence"...Proclaiming God's Word For His Glory, Protecting The Weak From His Judgment & Preparing the World For His Return. So in this season of excellence, the Lord has led me to deal with our congregation about overcoming the sin problem in our lives, and if we are truly going to live an excellent life for God then we must get rid of our inability to sincerely strive to live a life absent of sin.

So the Lord has led me to begin a short expositional series on overcoming sin entitled Proper Conduct For An Excellent People, and the first in the series is out of that familiar text out of Hebrews 12:1-2 which I called Stay in the Race. The anoynomous Hebrew writer began in verse 1 by saying therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

The writer uses athletic imagery when penning this chapter, for he paints a picture that we are inside a great arena with the cloud of witnesses who make up the faith hall of fame in chapter 11, sitting in the stands as spectators watching us as we run this Christian race called life. But in actuality, they are not being witnesses but rather they are bearing witness to the fact they faced adversity in their lives yet they never gave up because they had great faith in Jesus Christ. We can stay in the race because we look to Jesus who is the founder and perfecter of our faith. Here is the sermon outline:

Title: Stay in the Race

Thesis: our complete trust in the flawless example of Jesus Christ, will release his power in our lives to provide us the endurance and encouragement we need to stay in the race

I. Relinquished His Position
-verse 2...who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross

II. Rejected His Pain
-despising the shame

III. Reward Was Perfected
-and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

God's Return on His Investment

As our church has entered into our season of excellence, the Lord has led me to consider that our church cannot walk into the blessings that the Lord has for us in 2008, until we deal with and remove some issues of our character that has plagued us for many years. So for the next few weeks until we take ownership of our new location, I will be preaching messages that deal with our actions towards God and one another in order to bring us to the level that God desires for us to walk into our destiny.

With that in mind, I was led to deliver an attempt of biblical exposition on Psalms 116:12-17 that I called God's Return on His Investment. This text has been attributed by most biblical scholars to King Hezekiah due to his sickness found compariably in Isaiah 38. For God told the Prophet Isaiah to tell Hezekiah to get his house in order because he will surely die. Hezekiah turns his face to the wall and prays to the Lord and God responded by adding 15 more years to his life. In his joy for the Lord's healing him from his sickness and granting him more time on his life, he pens this great Psalm 116 by telling Judah exactly how he feels about his God in verse 1, he says I love the Lord because he has heard my pleas for mercy. In verse 3 he talks of God's delivering him from his physical death and in verse 8 he talks of God's delivering him from his spiritual death. But in verse 12, he asks a great interrogative that each and every one of us should ask, what shall I render to the Lord for all that he has done for me. And the truth of the matter is that many of us should wonder what shall we give to the Lord for all that he has done in our oves. God is looking for a return on his investment in our lives. Here is the sermon outline...I pray that it will bless you as it has done for the First Mount Zion Church.

Thesis: we must be willing to give God all that we have as a proper response to him giving us all that he has.

I. Prayer of Salvation
-verse 13...I will lift up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord
-when we are saved it should inspire us to make a contribution to the Lord

a. contribution of restitution - v. 14...I will pay my vows to the Lord
b. contribution of respect - v. in the presence of all his people
c. contribution of relief - v.15...precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints

II. Promise of Service
-verse 16...O Lord, I am your servant...I am your servant, the son of your have loosed my bonds
-why would we make this promise of service to the Lord

a. Family - v. 16...I am your servant, the son of your maidservant
b. Freedom - v. have loosed my bonds

III. Praise of Sacrifice
-verse 17...I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving...and call on the name of the Lord