Jul 29, 2007

A Tale of Two Churches

Hey guys, just a quick one this time. As I have mentioned before, I attend (when I’m in Louisville) and am a member of, 9th and O Baptist Church. Someone has created and posted a fantastic, and fair, video on U-tube. I thought I’d share the link if anyone is interested.

I have been attending Ninth and O from the very first Sunday I was in Louisville (July of 2005). I took my time and visited plenty of others before joining in October of 2005, but even while visiting other churches, I always came back to Ninth and O. There I have found a place of fellowship, refuge, encouragement, and challenge (much more about that aspect is sure to come later). I LOVE my church and my church family dearly and jealously. I have found the teaching to be among the most solid anywhere and the fellowship unrivaled. Further, I have never been in a church where I have felt more genuinely loved and cared for.

I am as involved as I am able to be, constantly trying to hold the balance of being properly vs. too involved (as I always have a tendency to do). I am the most heavily involved in the music ministry there, assisting wherever I can. My mentor and close personal friend is Jim Parsons, the Worship Pastor, and I do mean Pastor in the proper sense. There are many preachers and so-called “music ministers,” but few Pastors (John 10). If you are in Louisville, or just like solid, Bible-based sermons, check us out!

Here is Ninth and O’s webpage:


Here is the video link:


Also, lest I leave it out, I am privileged to attend Old Fort Baptist when I’m home. Due to circumstances I may or may not write about at another point (though of course I would protect identities), my mother and I had to leave the church we attended (which I still call my home-church sometimes) two weeks before I left for seminary. We had visited Old Fort before, but it was not previously the Lord’s will for us to be there. Upon leaving this previous church, I felt sure Old Fort was the one. Though I knew it was pointless for me to join with only two weeks until I left, I attended services there until it was time to go. Later after prayerful consideration, mom joined and has been there ever since.

I have, for the first time since being in Seminary, been able to spend more than just a week or two at Old Fort. In fact, I was blessed to spend the entire summer with this wonderful family. I must admit that the few times I have been home in the past, I basically hid, knowing that I was only there for a day or two (I even “missed” a few times when I was home to avoid the uncomfortable feeling). That is to my shame. To make a feeble explanation, it is very hard for me to open up to new people. Not in the sense of being bold when I need to be, getting a job done, or speaking for my Lord. I am not the slightest bit timid in these settings. But in the sense of social settings, it usually takes me a while to be comfortable and be myself (and I usually drive a few people crazy because of over-analyzing). Then, once I am comfortable, I basically stop with the over-analyzing, relax, and am able to be myself (which definitely scares people ;) I have meditated long and hard, trying to figure myself out with this. I have gone from one idea to another and I still don’t understand it, but on I digress and further off topic I go… the bottom line, is that it takes me a while to “loosen up” with new people. Thus (finally getting back to my main point), I did not think it worth the effort of “putting myself out” for literally one Sunday (or two at most) every six-months. The beauty of the body of Christ, is that no matter who you are, or where you come from, we are all IN Him, if indeed we are His. This is a lesson that I knew, but that I learned once again, at Old Fort. I was immediately taken in and treated as if I had been there all along. I have grown to love this family, and I do say family, and it is to my sinful shame that I denied myself the pleasure of getting to know them; that I denied them the burden of getting to know me; and, most importantly, that I denied Christ the honor He is due in and through my life, by seeing His children relish His presence together! It is a discredit to me, and a testimony to this church (insert Jim, mentioned above, shaking his head at me ;).

One last thing that I must mention about this church: The preaching ministry in this church is perhaps the greatest I have ever had the privilege of sitting under. I am not saying this to down-play, or discredit any of the other wonderful men of God that I’ve heard and sat under (in fact, I’ve been spoiled between NGU and Southern), but this one, at least to me, stands above all (also, lest he be lifted too high, note that I said “sat under”). I realize that a decent part of my love of this teaching has to do with it being a style that I like, but, beyond this, the messages are SOLIDLY founded on the Holy Scriptures and are delivered with the conviction, power, and passion of a true Pastor (despite using this term twice in this post, I do not use it liberally or lightly in life). The teaching ministry is a challenge to me of the type of preaching I desire to do. The messages are presented, with deep thought, yet in a manner that anyone “who has an ear” can hear. Though the wording is prayerfully and carefully chosen, it is also preached from the heart and not simply memorized, allowing for the perfect “fit” and “flex” in each of the three services. Lest I go on and on, I will simply say, I was blessed to sit under Pastor Eric this summer and plan to continue to listen online in all of the spare time we all know I will not have ;)

Here is Old Fort’s webpage:


Well, I guess so much for “just a quick one” and “just sharing a link,” but any that know me, know better than that anyway ;) All-in-all, I once-again (enough hyphens for you?), find myself so blessed, as to have to leave one blessing, in order to receive another. I must say farewell to Old Fort (for now), and hello to Ninth and O (yet again). I love you both!

Jul 24, 2007

Lord Jesus

Once again folks, I know it is a little rough (some of you are coughing at the word “little”), but it is a sincere prayer from my heart. I actually started it while driving home from work about a week ago and then forgot about it. I found it tonight and decided to finish it.

Lord Jesus,

Please cut me while I am exposed,
Please break me while I am broken.
Speak to me while I am listening,
And feed me while I am hungry.

Capture my heart while it is waiting,
Before it takes flight, in the evil of night.
Steadfast it will not stand,
Without power from your hand.

Bind my wounds while they yet bleed,
Set straight the bones which you have broken.
Heal me Lord, and help me stand,
Lest I die, desolately disfigured.

In you let me be sated, and not in this world;
Yet not to contentment, lest I lose sight:
Of how my nakedness you’ve clothed,
Though it cost you your life.

For forgetful am I, once I am full,
So leave me in hunger, if it is needed
To keep me humble, and in love with you.
For only in you, can I find my way.

Cast me not out from your presence and take not your Holy Spirit from me,
For I have seen the forsaken wastelands and the whitewashed tombs;
In fear and trembling, I would stand before you pleading, Lord let it not be so… let it not be so!

Proverbs 30:2-3

2 Surely I am more stupid than any man, And I do not have the understanding of a man. 3 Neither have I learned wisdom, Nor do I have the knowledge of the Holy One.

Jul 22, 2007

Oops, I lied

Well folks, I have unintentionally lied to all of you. I’m not sure anyone really reads this anyway, but, for any that do… I lied. I posted a little while back that my summer blogging would not fall below once per week, and it has. I would have had to post by last night in order to keep this promise. I am sorry.

Have no fear (or fear greatly, depending on your take on this blog), I have LOTS of posts just waiting to be written, I simply haven’t had the time to write them. I will be doing so very shortly, with the next one probably being posted tomorrow (or later tonight).

May the Lord richly bless you all as you fellowship with his body today!

Jul 14, 2007

Times of Transition

Well, I have about a week left of work and about a week after that of being home. My last day at work (this time :) will be this coming Friday. After that, I will take the next week to do many of the things that I’ve been intending to do, but haven’t had the time (visit friends, take some Charleston pictures, get my passport – yay!, do some reading and writing, etc).

Times of transition are always bittersweet for me. I love people and places and always feel torn when it is time to leave one place and go to another. I have had “double residency” since 2001 and routinely have to leave one life, to temporarily pick up another, only to return later. I desire to stay here, be with family, discover this new church, and continue working at a job I love and for a boss that I love (and of course, make decent money); yet, at the same time, I desire to be back in school, with my friends, and with my church family.

Now, I must here clarify, I do realize that I am in a blessed position. I do not say that I have to leave where I desire to stay, in order to go where I do not wish to go (or the inverse). No, quite the contrary; I am so blessed by Christ, that I constantly GET to go from one blessing to the other. I am truly so blessed that I’m torn between blessings.

Though I realize my torn feeling is the result of being too blessed, I truly look forward to the day when I am no longer torn between two goods, but have one good. The good I am referring to is a family and one place in which to minister. Now sure, I realize that my ministry will probably change from time to time, and I sincerely look forward to that as well, but, here, I am talking about looking forward to the day when my family, my ministry, and my source of income are no longer many hours and many miles apart. A time wherein I can be involved in my ministry and come home to family instead of an empty apartment and wherein I can have both family and friends, and not have to choose between them. Now, please don’t misunderstand me, I love my life and am quite confident that I am in the Lord’s will. He is continually teaching me contentment and I believe that I am learning this lesson (note the on-going present tense). However, contentment doesn’t necessarily mean that we don’t look forward to better days.

Even in this longing, the Spirit testifies to a deeper, and far greater, longing. I sincerely look forward to that day. That day, wherein we are no longer “double residents,” being in the flesh residents of earth, and in the Spirit, residents of Christ’s Kingdom. I look forward, with great eagerness, to that day, wherein I no longer feel torn, desiring to be with Christ, yet needing to be fruitful for my savior (Phil 1.22-24). I deeply and sincerely long for that day, when my heart is no longer breaking and torn apart over those that reject Christ; when I no longer bear the burden of the lost, but only rejoice in and with the redeemed!!! My heart cries out, desiring that day, when I no longer have to say, “come Lord Jesus, yet tarry a little while longer!”

Jul 7, 2007

A Tirade

Originally posted 5:00am Tuesday, Oct 17, 2006 on Facebook

I am frustrated…

When a standard is created, when it should be abated
From nothing it came, yet to all it casts blame
When the Bible is silent, and yet it is cited
No order or ought, yet judgment is wrought
When I discover derision, from a previous vision
A mirage uncovered, before undiscovered
When I would interact, they refuse to transact
First I’m disbanded, then power’s demanded.
When I desire to make music, in their hearing they refuse it
This song from the heart, they haply tear apart
When beauty is around, and vultures swoop down
The first sign of life, is cut with a knife
When my bow is drawn, yet I can’t see the dawn
When no target is in sight, yet I’m stuck in the plight

Above and beyond, when evil is spawned
The most frustrating thing of all, is when I let myself to fall
When I allow my frustration to prevent supplication
To Christ, my God and my Lord, before whom I should be floored!


Jul 3, 2007

Urgent Prayer Needed

Well, I find myself asking you guys for prayer once again. Some of you may remember my Facebook post about my dad a while back and some of you may already know the situation. However, for most of you, this will be new. I will provide minimal background as to post the details would probably harm a number of people, including family. Different people heal differently and some things just can’t be discussed in such an open manner. Though I myself have zero problems discussing the most detailed and dirty aspects of my life, in this case, it involves the private and close-to-the-heart issues of other people’s lives. Thus, wisdom demands that I keep silent on those things; though I would much rather share the full gloriousness of what Christ has done in my life.

The minimal background is that my dad has done some of the most despicable things imaginable. He lives in a world of self-deception so dark and twisted that he no longer has a point of reference for reality. As he once advised me, the only way to be a successful liar is to, at least partially, believe the lie yourself. The problem is that when these lines are crossed, “North” no longer exists. For him, it is a coping mechanism to deal with guilt.

Unfortunately for him, he grew up around the church, rejecting and becoming numb to the Gospel. He knows the text of the Bible better than many Christians and has enough intellect left (after much alcohol) to debate fairly well. My point is that he has convinced himself that he is a Christian. Well-meaning, but spineless Christians have catered to him. Others are simply ignorant of the scriptures, which declare that if we claim to have fellowship with Christ, yet walk in darkness, we are liars (1 John 1.6); for what fellowship hath light with darkness?! Anyway, I do not mean to go on about that, but some of you are bound say to yourself, “man, this guy is claiming to know the condition of another man’s heart… how arrogant!” Yet, in that, you judge me and discount many of the New Testament teachings. Thus, I have included this info.

My point is that I have been witnessing to my dad for about five years now, VERY strongly for the last year or so. He called me for (I believe) the first time since eighth grade a while back, in the middle of a crisis (this is major!). Since then, he and I have spoken several times. In our last conversation, he requested that I visit him this summer (I can’t tell you how odd this is). With my schedule, that would mean that I would make the visit the week of July 30. It also means that I would be missing about a week of work, which means losing around $800-$1000, which is not something I can afford; yet what is that compared to the value of a person’s soul?! Thus, my bank account may demand the work, but Forever demands a faithful witness to a truly lost sheep. If not then, perhaps on the first break from school.
I am asking that you guys would please pray for wisdom, discernment, and ultimately a move of the Spirit of Christ. My dad could have one of the most incredible testimonies I’ve ever heard, if only he would come to Christ instead of falsely trusting in fire-insurance.