Men’s Campout 2014: Pictures and Video

Last weekend was our 6th annual men’s campout – and it was a fantastic time of fun and fellowship!  Men gathered together for cornhole, go-cart/yard-cart racing, a canoe trip, great food, riffle and handgun shooting, and challenging messages from Pastor Dennis Lankford.

Dennis’ notes can be downloaded by clicking on the link: 1Discipleship-men’s campout master.

Scott Huber also took the time to introduce us us to Viking Chess (or “Kubb” which You can get the game online now, though Scott made his own).

The Go-Carts were probably the biggest hit of the weekend and, thanks to Parris’ video skills, we have included Ben Frank’s winning yard-cart time trial (below). Also, below are some pictures from the event.  Thank you to all who participated and who helped setup and tear down – especially to our two hosts Dan and Resa Lynn, and Rick and Jen Shugert.

PJW

 

 

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Final Four watching party!

Thanks to Ben Frank for hosting a great party this past Saturday. We all had a wonderful time and great fellowship and food had us all smiling thoroughly by evenings end!

We even had some rounds of Bible trivia, Loaded questions, and amazing buffalo chicken and cheese dip! Prizes were distributed, and friendships strengthened. Pics below!

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Speaking at the Ligonier Partner Dinner 2014

Last night I had the privilege of giving a brief testimony of how God has used Dr. R.C. Sproul and Ligonier Ministries in my life. Below is the video from the dinner – I hope you enjoy, and are edified by the content.  It was an extremely encouraging evening.  Katie and I went together and are in the midst of attending the Ligonier National Conference here in Orlando as I type this. For more information about Ligonier you can visit them here. I can’t say enough about this fantastic ministry.  They really do a lot to train people and bridge that gap between sunday school and seminary.

A Godly Shepherd Retiring

Over the past seven years I have had the privilege of serving and attending at Dublin Baptist in Dublin Ohio. Yesterday morning our senior pastor, Darrel Gabbard, announced he will be retiring in September.

Pastor Gabbard is one of the most sincere and loving shepherds I have known in my life, and he will be greatly missed. He has been a faithful man, and his faith has flowed from his love of Jesus – a supernatural love that only our God can create and supply.

During my deepest valleys, and as I surveyed the landscape from the highest peaks, Darrel has faithfully counseled and encouraged me. As I took ordination as a deacon I had the privilege of seeing how he served up close and personal – what a Godly example! His love for God overflowed in His love for others.

The church of our Lord Jesus needs more men like Pastor Gabbard who love the truth, and don’t compromise the message of the gospel. I know he will continue to preach and teach the word because of something he told me as he confirmed my own calling to ministry, here is a paraphrase of that quote: “You know you’re called to preach if you can’t help but share the gospel. If you can never imagine holding in the wonderful truth of the good news – it burns within you and you have to share it!”

For the members of our congregation I have posted his farewell announcement below:

Dear Church Family,

Yesterday, I announced at the end of the second service that I will be retiring from full-time pastoral ministry at the end of September of this year, 2013. I will be age 68 this month and I am convinced that I no longer have the physical and emotional stamina needed to fulfill the responsibilities I believe being the senior pastor of Dublin Baptist Church requires. To be honest, I am exhausted and I have had to face my limitations due to age and and health concerns.

I have spent much time in prayer about this decision and I truly believe this is God’s will. It has been a difficult process for me, but He has confirmed this decision with His peace.

I also believe the Lord is leading me to spend more time with my family. Brenda especially has supported me selflessly and without complaint, as I have given my all in pastoral ministry for forty five years.

I want it to be clear that I am not retiring from proclaiming God’s Word and serving the Lord. My call as a minister of the Gospel has not ceased. I hope to continue to have opportunities to preach, teach and serve, but no longer as a full-time pastor. I also want to make it clear that neither my family nor church leadership has pressured me to make this decision. It has come from the Spirit’s prompting within my heart.

It has been an incredible privilege and blessing to pastor Dublin Baptist these past 24 years. This is a great church filled with godly leaders and genuine followers of Christ who have shown Brenda and me, as well as our children, so much love and support. If I thought I was able to continue in full-time ministry, there is no other church I would rather serve than Dublin Baptist Church. Brenda and I truly love you and are grateful to you from the depths of our souls. I wish I could have spoken to each one of you personally to share this decision, but that was not possible.

The ministry of Dublin Baptist Church is not about one man. Christ is the Head of this church, not me nor any other person or group. Until He returns, I believe Christ plans for Dublin Baptist Church to have a greater impact than ever before in building the Kingdom. I am convinced that the greatest days of ministry are still ahead for this wonderful church. I believe God has already chosen His servant who will be your next senior pastor. A Pastor Search Team will be formed in the near future to begin the process of finding that man. The church Constitution and By Laws describe that process. Until a new pastor is called, we have a great ministerial staff who are deeply committed and very capable of shepherding the flock.

In the meantime, I look forward to continuing to serve as your pastor for the next four months and will do my best through God’s grace to prepare the church for this time of transition. Words cannot express the gratitude I feel in my heart for the privilege God has given me to serve as your pastor. I love you!

Yours in Christ

Pastor Darrel Gabbard

Superman – the Ministry

 

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In the coming weeks there will be a new Superman movie released by Warner Bros, and I will be the first to admit up front that because I am a lover of fantasy and sci-fi I was excited to catch the movie when it comes out (although being a father of three kiddos I’ll likely see it in the home theatre and not the iMax).

However, I had actually quite forgotten about the upcoming movie release until this afternoon when I received an interesting (if not disturbing) email from StudyLight.org. I subscribe to StudyLight’s email feed so that I can receive Charles Spurgeon’s ‘Morning and Evening’ devotions sent to my email everyday. But this email was nothing even closely related to Spurgeon, devotionals, or Scripture for that matter. Instead it was an email promoting the upcoming Superman movie.

“What is this?” I wondered. The email subject line was entitled: MAN OF STEEL – Free Pastor Screenings and Resources. Okay, you probably know that by this time I was already in a state of confusion. Were these guys promoting resources to help the church correct any misnomers about Scripture that the movie contains? Has there been some public uproar about the movie and its religious overtones that I have missed?

As I dug deeper, it became obvious that the promotion was not only for the movie itself, but for pastoral resources designed to engage congregants using the themes and plot of the Superman movie. In other words, using the movie as the central text and make parallel inferences from scripture to show how Jesus was a “superman.”

To that point, there are even sermon outlines! “Superman’s mythical origins are rooted in the timeless reality of a spiritual superhero who also lived a modest life until extraordinary times required a supernatural response.”

As if Christ was waiting in the wings until things got so bad that as a grown up man he had to do something about it! Thank you Lord for thinking up a Plan B!

But it doesn’t stop there, there are also free resources! From the website: “Welcome to the Pastor Resource Site for the upcoming film, “Man of Steel”. Here you’ll find everything you need to educate and uplift your congregation: Including Free Videos, Sermon Outlines and Images.”

Pastors are being encouraged to use the movie not simply as an analogy, but as the text and background against which entire sermon series will be based – and of course ‘Ministry Resources’ Inc. is ready to provide pastors with trailers, pictures, and all kinds of cool add ons to attract maximum attendance!

Who is Ministry Resources? I’m glad you asked. Once you dig deeper, you’ll find that they are actually a privately held business that caters to the Catholic Church. But it is their slogan that really best explains who they are and their driving motivation: The Stuff You Use – To Fill the Pews!

These days it seems that many churches will do whatever it takes to “get butts in the seats”- and that often means looking more and more like the world. In fact, evangelical leaders are attending and speaking at so-called Christian-leadership conferences with men like best selling author Malcolm Gladwell who see this same thing…and celebrate it. Listen to what Gladwell said in a recent pannel discussion about intelligent design and the evangelical church:

This is part of an ongoing transformation. We will not continue to have this kind of divide between Evangelicals and the rest of society. I just went to an interesting evangelical conference, and throughout, rock bands were playing. The rock-’n’-roll culture within the evangelical world is indistinguishable in terms of the sound of the music from the rock culture that came out of a very different, irreligious secular tradition, except that the words are about Jesus–love and all that. They’re not resisting outside culture, they’re embracing it and kind of making it their own. I think intelligent design and Christian rock are similar. It’s about taking up form from the outside and trying to Christianize it. Does the debate over evolution matter? Isn’t it really a nondebate?

The church is becoming more and more like the world – and the world sees it and celebrates it! If there ever was a time for a generation of leaders in the church who will fight for Sola Scriptura, now is that time.

Of course this is nothing new. Listen to what Paul said to Timothy in a letter written near the end of his life:

…preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. (2 Timothy 4:2-4, ESV)

2000 years ago Paul knew there would soon be people who didn’t want to sit under the authority of preaching, or study and submit to scripture. When you sit under the authority of true expository preaching where the Word of God is proclaimed the result will be exposed sin – that’s what these people-pleasing pastors and para-church ministries are afraid of, and its what human beings flee from naturally (John 3:19-21).

Any pastor who thinks using Man of Steel Ministry Resources is a good Sunday morning strategy must have no concept of how high the stakes are, or very little confidence in the power of God’s Word and God’s Spirit. As they entertain their congregants with material pumped out from Hollywood’s sewers, lives are kept in bondage, and people’s souls are neglected. In short, the gospel of Jesus Christ is kept hidden despite the fact that life and death are in the balance. Changed lives, changed hearts, and love for God and others (in short: personal and societal transformation and salvation) only comes through the Word of God by the power of the Holy Spirit.

StudyLight.org seems to be neglecting the advice of the man whose devotions they send me every morning:

I would rather speak five words out of this book than 50,000 words of the philosophers. If we want revivals, we must revive our reverence for the Word of God. If we want conversions, we must put more of God’s Word into our sermons. – C.H. Spurgeon

10,000 Reasons to Celebrate this Morning

Tomorrow we celebrate Good Friday, the day God appointed before creation that His beloved Son would pay the price for a humanity He hadn’t even created yet.  From all eternity He had this plan in mind.  It pleased Him to crush His Son on our behalf. The depths of this really can’t be fully understood, but I’m glad with all my soul it is the truth.

Listen to the glorious words of Paul as you meditate on His goodness this morning:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:3-14)

For that reason we have 10,000 reasons to worship our great God and Savior. Enjoy some worship time with Matt Redman’s song today as you contemplate with awe and reverence the lengths to which He went to pluck you from the grave.