Monday, July 5, 2010

Sunday Stuff-July 4, 2010

To quote LL Cool J, "DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK"!!!

With all of the first semester of seminary out of the way, I can finally get back to writing more consistently as a means of simply putting on paper (computer screen) my thoughts and visions about ministry and my life. This blog has always been a source of therapy for me and I need to get back to it.

Well we are thisclose to beginning the heavy lifting on the renovations for our new location, with an anticipated move in date for the first Sunday in September. GOD BE PRAISED!!!!

Our contractor has begun some preliminary removal of things on the inside of the building, but it appears that this week construction will begin full speed ahead, and I for one cannot wait.

Our church has been in this transitional stage for at least 2 years and we need to get this building up and running so that we can begin to make a greater impact on the kingdom in Newark, NJ.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of preaching for my good friend and adopted Godfather Pastor Aaron N. Gibson and the Second Baptist Church, Long Branch, NJ for their 7:30 service and the Lord really blessed the worship.

Please keep Pastor Gibson in your prayers for God to heal his health issues.

I made it back, albeit a little late, for our 10 AM worship at First Mount Zion and I had no idea what to expect from the attendance. While the attendance was wayyyyy down, those who showed up exhibited a great participation in worshipping the Lord.

Jamaal Goodley blessed us in praise & worship, and our Minister of Music, Kadeem Turner, was in tuned to what the Spirit was doing in worship, which was exemplified in his selection of songs throughout the service, in spite of the logistical issues with the people we share our building with and their equipment. God be praised for commitment to excellence no matter the difficulties.

I began a new summer series entitled the Parables of Jesus, in which we began with the parable in Matthew 20:1-16 on the laborers in the vineyard. I labeled the message "Is God Unfair?" I plan on posting the outline in tomorrow's post.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Powerful Week

Hello Blog Family!

It has indeed been a real long time since we have shared with you. My first semester at Drew Theological Seminary has been a real big adjustment with regards to the workload and time constraints, so I have not been able to adequately put the proper time to my blog. I pray that you all would understand.

This past week was one of the most powerful and refreshing weeks I have spent away from home in a very long time.

I began the week traveling to Corpus Christi, Texas to preach once again for my brother and fellow blogger Kevin Pullam at the Friendship Baptist Church, for their April Word Experience Revival held every Tuesday thru the month of April. Kevin was once again a great host and brother.

The Lord really blessed the service! Got a chance to hang out with our blog Momma and Pops Pullam, who have been a real blessing to me both in person and with their prayers, and I am extremely grateful for being accepted in the Pullam Family.

Pastor Arthur Lane of the St. Matthew's Baptist Church who has continued to be a brother beloved and I appreciate his friendship for hosting when Pastor Pullam was unavailable. Pastor Eric Tarver also extended a friendship to me and I anticipate that growing.

I left Corpus on Wednesday, spent a few hours with Penny, and then Thursday afternoon, I boarded another plane headed to Los Angeles to preach for my brother and fellow blogger, Pastor Barry Severe at the Cathedral of Praise Community Church, for their first Anniversary Revival.

Barry Severe started this work 1 year ago Easter Sunday morning and I am proud of the hard work he is putting in to reach his community for Jesus and attempting to make a difference. Pastor Charles Harris of the Village Baptist Church was kind enough to pick me up from the airport and take me directly to church, to hear Pastors Elton Johnson and Xavier Thompson, because I wanted to be a part of the entire revival and not just on the day I preached.

My good friend Pastor George Hurtt, who succeeded Pastor HB Charles Jr. as Pastor of Mt. Sinai gave the lecture before I preached on Friday and he was not kind at all to his friend (LOL). He gave a powerful lecture on The Parable of Jesus on the Rich Fool found in Luke 12:13-21. George Hurtt is a BEAST in the pulpit.

Saturday Barry took me over to my brother Pastor Clinton Smith's house to have a cook-in with his family (my family too) Tracey, Kari, Aysia and Jimmy. (Miles would rather spend his time at the skating rink chasing girls than hang out with his uncle Lance LOL). I had a great time helping my niece Aysia fix her phone because her daddy don't know how.

Sunday morning the Lord really blessed us at Cathedral of Praise, which was amazing to me since Barry took me church hopping to hear George Hurtt @ 8 and Pastor Reginald Payne @ 9:30 and they both really blessed me with their expositions. God be praised for brothers who are committed to exposition.

Clinton Smith preached his face off @ 3:30 for Barry Severe! and he sang Oh How I Love Jesus and killed that too!

We topped off the night with a trip to my favorite LA eating spot....Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles!!!! Barry and his wife Myssee; Clint, Tracey, Aysia & Miles (he finally decided to show up); me and Rev. Anthony Thompson (another brother beloved). Thank God for chicken, waffles, eggs and potatoes smothered in gravy (Shondo!!!!!!!)

The best news of the entire trip was that while I was flying to LA on Thursday, our church's Trustee Chairman was signing the closing documents on our new building in the city of Newark, NJ.

This has been a long and tedious journey but God is faithful to those who trust in Him! We still have to renovate the building, but it belongs to the First Mount Zion Baptist Church! Hey Glory!!!!!!

Please keep us in your prayers as we attempt to build God a Kingdom in the South Ward!!!!!

I am happy to be back home to Penny after a long week. God be Praised!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sunday Stuff

Happy New Year to all of you my "blogging family," God has certainly been real good to each of us over the last 12 months. The reality is that we may not be where we want to be, may not have the type of church or ministry that we want to have, may not affect the lives that we desire to, but the truth is that God has kept us through this past year and we all ought to be grateful for the keeping power of the Almighty.

There have been a lot of things going on in my life since the last time we shared together in November, too numerous to mention today, but I will refer to a couple of them in this post. Our church is finally standing on the precipice of realizing our dream of securing a new location for us to worship in. This has been a two-year journey, filled with ups and downs, peaks and valleys, promises made to us, only to discover they were lies all the time. I wanted to give up, but the Lord led me to guide his people to this point, so I couldn't let it go. We stand today, approximately one month away from owning the building and roughly two months away from moving in and having our first worship service. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!!

I have been inundated with schoolwork as I am two weeks away from completing my credits to receive my Bachelor's of Arts degree in Humanities from Thomas Edison State College, Trenton, NJ. Taking online courses have been a humbling and great experience, but I have decided to never, ever take classes online again, it is too much work!

The best part of that story is this; I have also been accepted into the Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies program at Drew University Theological School that begins on January 25th. This is a 44 credit program that will take about two years and allow me to apply for the PhD program in Philosophy by 2011. Please pray for me as I attempt to keep pressing with my education. I will be attending class so now I have to get used to fixing my schedule accordingly.

Yesterday we had a great time in worship at the First Mount Zion Church. The music ministry was off the chain, Jamaal really led us in praise and worship yesterday. Kadeem and Dayshawn were on their games as well.

This year as our church prepares to relocate, our focus has to be on the growth of our ministry. So our thematic emphasis for this year is "Just Jesus." Jesus provides us with the key to growing the church when he stated, "and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." If we do our part and lift up Jesus, he will do his part to draw people to himself and to the church.

So on yesterday, we began a new series entitled "The Supremacy of Jesus," which is a study through the book of Colossians. This book focuses on the central theme that Jesus is sufficient and superior to any other being ever created. The Lord allowed us to preach Col. 1:3-8 which I labeled "An Appreciation For the Gospel", in which Paul is celebrating and thanking God that this church remained faithful to Jesus because of what they heard and believed through the preaching of the Gospel. There were false teachers in that church who were preaching a message of gnosticism, which was a combination of Eastern philosophy and Jewish legalism. Paul says that I am thanking God through my celebration for your continued commitment to Jesus based totally on your faithful to the Gospel.

Please keep our church, their Pastor and the new series in your prayers. I will be posting the outline from yesterday's exposition tomorrow.