About Me

My photo

I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio


Frame It!

Jay E

Betty (my loving wife) paints. I’m not talking about refurbishing the exterior of the house but about the kind of painting that eventuates in pictures hanging on the wall. She’s good at it, so I like to listen to what she
says about it. Recently, she told me, “A picture isn’t a picture until it’s framed.” Profound! She’s right. Putting a frame around a painting makes all the difference. It defines, delimits, focuses and sets off the thrust of the
painting. Truly, it makes a picture out of a painting.

While there is much more to a painting than the frame—try hanging an empty one on the wall—the frame enhances the painting. It is a shame to see good work diminished by either no frame or a poor one that fails to complement the painting. A picture becomes a picture when it has a frame!

The same is true of a sermon. Many preachers never take the time required to frame their sermons. And even when they do, some choose frames that clash rather than blend with the sermon itself. What is a good sermon frame? It is one that directs the listener’s attention to the focal point of a biblical message. This may be done in any number of ways, but let me list just two.

First, a good sermon frame is one that limits. A painting with a frame is bordered on all sides. That is also true of a good sermon. It does not extend out in every direction covering all sorts of topics and ideas thrown together in some haphazard fashion. Rather, it confines the sermon to those elements that are central to the Scripture portion from which the preacher is speaking. A good frame holds one’s attention upon what is inside of it. Likewise, a good sermon frame restricts a preacher to the topic at hand. In that way a preacher helps his listeners to concentrate on the one thought of the passage rather than distracting them by extraneous ideas.

There are a number of ways in which preachers may fail to limit their messages. The may wander off onto tangents. Usually, these are chunks of thought that interest the preacher, but have little direct bearing on the main point of the passage. They are bits of information that have caught his attention, about which he thinks (usually wrongly) that the congregation will be as interested as he is. Better to jot them down and file them for future use when they do pertain to the truth of another message. Take it as an axiom that whatever doesn’t directly contribute to the message of the hour will detract from it.

Some preachers fail to frame messages when—unlike the writers of Scripture—they think that they must say everything about every subject. It can’t be done. The attempt is futile. Biblical writers don’t do it, so why would you think that you need to? What am I talking about? The idea that unless you treat every aspect of any subject you have failed to preach the truth. It took Paul years to preach “the whole counsel of God” at Ephesus; how do you think that you can do so in less time?

Jesus, for instance, told His disciples that when they would ask anything in His Name the Father would give it to them (John 16: 23). Now, apart from the fact that this promise was made to them in the context their future ministry, even if the passage can be applied to us in a secondary way, it fails to tell us everything about how to pray. Elsewhere, James says that we must pray rightly (not to satisfy our desires), that to be “effectual” it must be uttered by a “righteous” person, and that we must pray without doubting—in faith believing. We would have to refer to numerous passages about prayer in order to gather the entire scriptural doctrine of prayer.

But neither Jesus nor James did any such thing. Nor do you have to do so. What you do need to do, instead,
is to know and hold all aspects of prayer in the back of your mind when preaching about any one of them so that, some day, when you preach about the next aspect, you won’t contradict what you said in a previous message. In each biblical passage the writer (or speaker) has a particular point to make, so he didn’t go into all aspects of his subject. Nor should you!

Secondly, as an appropriate picture frame pulls the eye inward toward the object that the painter wants to emphasize, so too a good sermon frame helps to attract ear to the focal point of a message. A common thread running throughout the message may accomplish this. Like a ribbon tying up a package (to change the simile) a sermon frame packages truth. A word, phrase or example repeatedly referred to throughout the sermon will often accomplish the same thing. Or a matching introduction and conclusion-a match that keeps the main subject before the listener and summarizes it in the conclusion—is another way to appropriately frame truth. A question asked in the introduction, then raised again and again within the message, and answered only at the end also tends to frame things well.

In short, we may say that the scriptural message stands out most vividly in a sermon when it has been properly framed. Good preachers always do it. Go thou
and do likewise!

Personally I have met Jay Adams several times, and have many of his books.



  1. Where do you place the importance of preaching in the grand scheme of church life?

  2. In a paragraph, how did you discover your gifts in preaching?

  3. How long (on average) does it take you to prepare a sermon?

  4. Is it important to you that a sermon contain one major theme or idea? If so, how do you crystallize it?

  5. What is the most important aspect of a preacher’s style and what should he avoid?

  6. What notes, if any, do you use?

  7. What are the greatest perils that preacher must avoid?

  8. How do you fight to balance preparation for preaching with other important responsibilities (e.g., pastoral care, leadership responsibilities)?

  9. What books on preaching, or exemplars of it, have you found most influential in your own preaching?

  10. What steps do you take to nurture or encourage developing or future preachers?

As I ponder this matter of delivering a message, which I have done since 1963, what has changed about the way I deliver and prepare a message.

In those early years, as a teen, I learn by viewing my Dad and the men who came and preached for Dad, and the many preachers who I heard preach when Dad went to Fellowship meetings. I never had a lesson specific on how to preach or even to deliver a sermon.

My view of preaching was skewered, that is I had no clue. Preaching was not viewed as an academic exercise. This was the feeling I had anyway about preaching.

Getting a sermon on your own was the way to go in those days. Of course Dad had a great library of sermons. Also Dad had received a lot of church papers, and the Sword of the Lord listed some great preachers of the past and current preachers which I looked read.

But most of all I would, even in those teen years, take a chapter and see if I could understand the meaning of the chapter. Dad had the John R. Rice, Oliver B Greene commentaries and H.A. Ironside commentaries, which I believed were good. Dad had the American Commentaries set as well, which I still use today. And they were all good.

My first series of study was Galatians, I still have the material that I wrote down in 1965. But as for someone telling me how to deliver a message or even study for a message, that was by viewing others method.

My strength was in teaching. That I could do. Revelation and Psalms were the first two books I taught in 1963-1966 (27 months as teacher of the Teens/Young Adults in the Roanoke Baptist Temple, Roanoke Virginia). I still have those notes by the way. Spurgeon was great on the Psalms.

The idea was not to come up with my own interpretation of the verses, at 16 I didn't have any training in that area. So I learned early to study from those who did have an idea what the passages was saying. I didn't want to give my opinion on the text that I didn't have any idea what the text was saying. That happens a lot I found out later.

So preaching for me was more about teaching what the Bible was saying, within the context of the passage rather than coming up with an idea and then talking about it. Which seemed to be the trend of preaching.

You to need to understand the field of preachers around me in those days, were fundamental independent baptist, not reformed, covenant pres preachers. Who were those men anyway. John Calvin and Martin Luther? If there were not IFB they were not to be trusted or read.

I have said in other articles, seminary was not the place to learn to preach. Most all the teachers were good preachers, nevertheless they did not teach preaching skills. They did teach the Scriptures, but they did not teach the skills necessary to gain understanding of the scripture. The techniques I guest was to be caught rather than to be learned or taught.

John Wesley was sarcastically dubbed a “methodist” when he began to promote an organized approach to the communication of the Gospel. His commitment to method implies that there is a disorganized way to communicate the truth as well as an organized way. Wesley’s success, demonstrated by his place in history, is a strong argument for the latter.

To study the scripture in a manner of learning was considered by many as "nonspiritual." That is you do not need to study, God and the Holy Spirit will give you understanding. Even the method of learning to "teach" or "preach" was not taught, it was more caught.

What we considered good teaching, and good preaching was by the sound rather than the content. And the content was at times more important than the actual understanding the text.

Even today in many of the IBC circles this method holds true, "you are on your own." Or you are trained by those who hold to this method.

There is a method and an organized way to teach the Word of God, and a method whereby you learn the meaning of the Word of God.

Next time. Stay tune.....



This weekend, Grace Church will celebrate the 40th anniversary of John MacArthur's ministry at our church. It was February, 1969 when John started as the pastor-teacher at Grace. Now, forty years later, our congregation has the opportunity to rejoice in God's goodness to us over the last four decades. We do so with grateful hearts, thanking the Lord for the gift our pastor has been to us.

Personally, since 1973 I have followed the ministry of John MacArthur and the Grace Community Church. My first sermon I heard John preach was from Ephesians 4:12. And that message set the plan in my mind about the biblical means of doing ministry and preaching and leading a church.

I have no apologies about my love for the work that John MacArthur accomplished and those who have come alone side him and helped him in the ministry of Grace Community Church and Grace To You. I know he could not have done any of this without the blessings of the Lord, and the work of many people who work for the church, the gty ministry.

John always said, "I preach and teach, others have accomplished all the books, and tapes, etc."
IN 1983 and again in 1990 while pastor of First Baptist Church, Altoona, Kansas, I attended the Shcpherd Conference and there I bought the Video Library on Expository Preaching by John. The rest is history as far as my teaching and preaching the Word of God. I have never said otherwise that John has influence my style of ministry and preaching.
While I have a biblical library of over 400 books specifically about preaching the Word of God, and understanding the text of Scripture, it has being through the Shepherd's Conference that I have gain the knowledge of ministry as a pastor and teacher.
I could write a volumn more about this experience, and I will over time.


Should preachers/teachers use commentaries to learn what a passage of scripture means?

For some reason we believe that we should as preachers be able to read a text from scripture and have a understanding of the passage. Is this correct thinking?

The group of preachers who were in my life the last sixty years, have pride themselves on the idea that they don't need commentaries to understand the meaning of the Word of God. They simply use the KJV 1611. And in most cases that is all they use. You can tell.

So should we use commentaries and use what we call technical resources books?

Quoting Charles Spurgeon:

  • "The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains, proves that he has no brains of his own."


  • "Speaking of exegesis, how do you do it? Do you cobble together bits and pieces from various commentaries into some explanation of the preaching portion? Or do you do the hard work of figuring out for yourself what the passage says, using various commentaries to help you? Between these two approaches to the text, there is a large difference. That for which you have worked will come through in your preaching as authentic. That which has been cribbed from some commentator who did the work, will come through as inauthentic (unless, of course, you are an astute actor). Hard work requires using a goodly number of sources to help you come to valid decisions about a passage. But it doesn’t mean abusing them by mere copying. Are you guilty of this sin, preacher? If so, repent, and begin to do the right thing that you know, down deep, you ought to be doing. Rightly handling the Word of God is not only work, but a great responsibility."

So what do you do? Is it cheating to read what Charles Spurgeon says about a text? Is it cheating what John MacArthur says? It is cheating to read what Lloyd-Jones says about a text? No.

I was so shock in 1983 after going to the Shepherd's Conference and learning there were commentaries and technical books. (example: Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament). I believed Oliver B. Greene and John R. Rice were the best men to understand the text. I didn't know there were any other men, except Charles Spurgeon.

I was so dump founded to learn that the KJV was a translation from the Greek and Hebrew. And that the KJV that I had was not really a 1611 edition, that knowledge really floored me, really, dumb isn't it.? I was always taught that the KJV was self explanatory, and you didn't need anything else, except maybe a Webster dictionary.

Jay says "How do you do exegesis?" I didn't know what that meant? I didn't know you were to understand what a verse really meant, that was not how preaching was done. Preaching was never about the verses you read. You were not preaching or teaching the verses, you were preaching what you wanted to say. It really didn't occur in thought that you were to explain what the verses were saying. Really.

So should one who believes he has been called, or he desires to preach the Word of God, learn how to preach and learn the Word of God?

How should one learn how to preach? How should one learn what the Bible is saying? Should one do exegesis? Should one even study at all?

What I didn't know until 1983, (that it would be okay to believe them) there was another whole group of men who had another whole approach to preaching and teaching the Bible. I was so shock that John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, Martin Luther, John Gill, John Bunyan, John Owen, and many others were okay to read and study.


Charles E. Whisnant


This article was written at GoogleDoc. Then saved, and then sent to my blogger. Isn't that amazing. Its not 11:20 p.m. Google published the document here.



Charity said, "Charles come down and look at the large snow fakes outside." And I took video about 11:30 a.m. I am telling you they are large. Snow, Rain, Snow, Ice, Snow..... what a day.

I am also working on another site, like I need another one.

I have added another page over on GROWBYLEARNING WEBSITE


A ten minute video of the message I preached Sunday Evening from Philippians 1:19 -21. tHIS MESSAGE IS ADDRESSING Philippians 1:20 .This is the series from Philippians I am preaching/teaching on Sunday Evening.



In whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.( Ephesians 2:21)– ESV)

Solidarity is defined as common interest and active loyalty within a group. They go together: not just doing activity, and not just being within. Not on the outside and not stationary, inside and involved. Not simply showing up once in a while and perhaps participating when we want to, but staying within the group and in an active way. To both be present and to participate regularly. You can’t do that on TV, folks. Tuned in to TV doesn’t mean turned on to God.

One reason we have to go to church is that we cannot do self-evaluation properly. When you pray like David in Psalms 19:12-14 or Psalms 139:23-24 for the Lord to reveal sins to you, God often answers you through other people. For David it was the prophets like Gad or Nathan. For us it will be through the loving, caring, body of believers of the local church.

We can complain all we want about that certain local church not being a “loving, caring community”, but consider this. In Matthew 7:3-5, Jesus talks about having a beam in our eye.
Now consider how having a beam makes us see everything as having a beam in it. Sometimes we don’t notice a certain type of car all over the road until you own one yourself. You see a problem because you ARE a problem, we all are, but God uses the means of each other to help us all out. If you think that you don’t need church you are wrong, but even if you didn’t, even if you did have it all together well then you should come help the rest of us.
That which you have the ability to accomplish, do it, don't expect others to do what you are yourself not willing to do, or you yourselfe are able to do with a little effort and work.







Charity is on the right second row.
A few of the kids that were coming that Sunday

Charity and I were in Minford and I visited with the Pastor Kevin at Madison. They church today is doing rather well. Randy Barkley is still going to the church, and is still working with the kids and the Bus Ministry.
I do believe the success of ministry is to see the ministry of the church continue to be successful 35 years after you leave. To see people who were in the church in 1973 and some kids, who are still serving the Lord in 2009.


Extrabiblical Jewish Literature

Gene Veith recommends the book, Abortion and the Early Church: Christian, Jewish and Pagan Attitudes in the Greco-Roman World: by Michael J. Gorman. It turns out that, far from being a modern medical procedure, abortion was rampant in the ancient world. Especially in Rome. And Christians, as well as Jews, consistently opposed it, standing up for life from the very earliest days of the church.

The noncanonical Jewish wisdom literature further clarifies first-century Judaism's view of abortion. For example, the Sentences of Pseudo-Phocylides 184–186 (c. 50 B.C.–A.D. 50) says that “a woman should not destroy the unborn in her belly, nor after its birth throw it before the dogs and vultures as a prey.” Included among those who do evil in the apocalyptic Sibylline Oracles were women who “aborted what they carried in the womb” (2.281–282). Similarly, the apocryphal book 1 Enoch (2nd or 1st century B.C.) declares that an evil angel taught humans how to “smash the embryo in the womb” (69.12). Finally, the first-century Jewish historian Josephus wrote that “the law orders all the offspring to be brought up, and forbids women either to cause abortion or to make away with the fetus” (Against Apion 2.202).

Contrast these injunctions with the barbarism of Roman culture. Cicero (106–43 B.C.) records that according to the Twelve Tables of Roman Law, “deformed infants shall be killed” (De Legibus 3.8). Plutarch (c. a.d. 46–120) spoke of those who he said “offered up their own children, and those who had no children would buy little ones from poor people and cut their throats as if they were so many lambs or young birds; meanwhile the mother stood by without a tear or moan” (Moralia 2.171D).

Early Christian Literature

Against the bleak backdrop of Roman culture, the Hebrew “sanctity of human life” ethic provided the moral framework for early Christian condemnation of abortion and infanticide. For instance, the Didache 2.2 (c. A.D. 85–110) commands, “thou shalt not murder a child by abortion nor kill them when born.” Another noncanonical early Christian text, the Letter of Barnabas 19.5 (c. A.D. 130), said: “You shall not abort a child nor, again, commit infanticide.” There are numerous other examples of Christian condemnation of both infanticide and abortion. In fact, some biblical scholars have argued that the silence of the NT on abortion per se is due to the fact that it was simply assumed to be beyond the pale of early Christian practice. Nevertheless, Luke (a physician) points to fetal personhood when he observes that the unborn John the Baptist “leaped for joy” in his mother's womb when Elizabeth came into the presence of Mary, who was pregnant with Jesus at the time (Luke 1:44).


  • More than merely condemning abortion and infanticide, however, early Christians provided alternatives by rescuing and adopting children who were abandoned. For instance, Callistus (d. c. A.D. 223) provided refuge to abandoned children by placing them in Christian homes, and Benignus of Dijon (3rd century) offered nourishment and protection to abandoned children, including some with disabilities caused by unsuccessful abortions.

Bill Gothard's All Day Ministers Seminars that I went to for over 15 years. The teaching was, give solutions to abortions rather than fight abortions. We are not called to put up signs in front of a abortion doctors office, we are called to teaching the Word of God to the lost.

We need to start with our own field of influnece. Protest in front of the doctor's office is not the way to cut down on abortions.


SO MANY pastors out there want a formula to make their church grow…and so they hop from conference to conference trying to figure out what might work rather than BEGGING God for a white hot vision that will change the community that they are in.

Here’s the deal… lets be faithful to pray and seek God's vision for our church.

My job as a pastor is NOT to find the latest, greatest church growth methods…but rather to be completely faithful and obedient to the vision God has poured inside of me.

As I have said up front, this is God's Ministry, and its God's Business to Bless as He desires, Its my job and joy to be faithful in the teaching and preaching of the Word of God. And be faithful in living the life that God has called me to do.

One more thing…yes, we SHOULD go to conferences…we should learn as much as we can from others…however, our leadership should be DOMINATED by REVELATION from God rather than INSPIRATION from others. Quote from an unlikly preacher.



One of the most profound books I have read, and continue to read, and often quote from is J.I.Packer's Rediscovering Holiness. I first read the book in December 1992, and even today read and quote from this book.

I believe today we are current losing the biblical truth about holiness. Today, we are ever losing the reality of biblical truth. There was a time when all Christians put great emphasis on the reality of God's call to Holiness.

I am amaze today to see many who say they are "Christians" yet their lives and talk and behavior often don't picture or mirror the reality of Christ's holiness in their live.

Take time today to ask God to get your attention off self and others, and back on Christ.



What most affects my opinion on my spiritual behavior?

Is it God’s Word, Preaching/Teaching, Dr. Phil, Oprah, or my own personal self-wisdom? You might say I don't listen to talk TV or radio, I do my on self wisdom thing? That is what I mean.


'When I go home tonight and I look into the mirror, I'm not going to regret what I see.' GEORGE W. BUSH, speaking to a crowd of supporters in Midland, Texas following President Obama's inauguration


Also a great article on what the Presidents do after their term is over here.


A Prayer for President Obama

Our Father, Lord of all creation, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: We pray today with a sense of special urgency and responsibility. We come before you to pray for our new President, Barack Obama, and for all those in this new administration who now assume roles of such high responsibility. (read the rest of Al Mohler's web)

As Americans, I suspect that none of us can fully appreciate the far-reaching significance of this event, though our nation and much of the rest of the world are electric with the inauguration of Barack Obama as the new President of the United States of America. To say that this is historic, is a gross understatement. (read the rest of this pastor's idea, great)



I am not going to debate this issue, Obama is our President of the country that I am a member. Remember we had Clinton as President too. Nevertheless, we as Christians are called to pray for this nation.
If I am not mistaken, God is sovereign, and God is in control. I will leave the history of America to Him. What He has called us to do, is to be the Christian that He calls us to be in the next four years.
America is made up of all people, the Christian believer and the unbeliever. And we can not believe that unbelievers are going to Christians. We are not a Christian nation. We are it seems a mixed of people with all kinds of faith in all kinds of beliefs.
Those who call themselves Christians are not together in that they believe. I am more concern with those who call themselves Christians than I am with the secular world.
God called us (Matthew 28:18-20) to be the light in a lost world. God did not call the Presdent to speak for him.


The meteoric rise of Barack Obama has been nothing less than astounding. To think that five years ago the now President of the United States was an Illinois state senator is the political story of my generation. The fact that a black man has been sworn in as the President of the United States during the lifetimes of people who endured segregation is even more amazing and far more important. It was only 43 years ago that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood at the Lincoln Memorial and gave his "I Have a Dream" speech to an overflowing Washington Mall crowd. Today a black American stood on the opposite end of the Mall and repeated the oath that only 43 men in history have uttered. This inauguration, the 56th in our nation's history, is a historical moment unlike any other in our nation's history.
Some good thoughts on this Inauguration Day check here. Dan Philips and Phil Johnson and the team are great. You will get some interesting perspectives on the day.


Christians or Pragmatists?

WE ARE CONFUSED WHAT IT MEANS TO BE "BORN AGAIN" because Americal is a melting pot of belief and mostly pragmatists.

How we understand incidents and events in our lives depends on how we view the world we live in. It depends on whether we think God is sovereign over life or if we think nobody is home in heaven.

Most of us are inconsistent about these things. Our viewpoint comes from the melting pot. We get mixed up. Our pot has a dash of faith and a dash of skepticism. We are at once Christian or religious and secular. We believe in God, He is in control, or He is sometimes. Our faith or belief has elements of superstition at some times and is tempered by sober science at other times.

We are at the same time Christians and card-carrying pragmatists. On Sunday we read our Bible. On Monday we are fatalists. We try to separate our Christian or church life from the rest of our life. We live by holding contradictory beliefs.

Living in contradictions can be exciting. Life is surely more than logic. But the contradictory life is a confusing life, a life of inconsistency and incoherence. Its bottom line is chaos.

We are inconsistent and confused because we fail to understand where Christianity ends and paganism begins. We do not know where the boundary lines are. Consequently we move back and forth across the lines, making an attempt at some new occupation or activity between darkness and light.

We are lost in our own culture, swirling around in the melting pot .

We're not sure whether we are the witnesses or the ones being witnessed to. We don't know if we are the missionaries or the mission field.

While we believe we are "Christians", what we don't know how that "faith" works out in the culture.


John MacArthur has being my role model for thirty years.

Preaching and teaching the Word

My personal desire is to have a church where people love the Word of God.

  • I desire that the Lord would give us people who truly love to know HIM, and know His Will, and desire to SERVE Him, and to desire to hear the teaching and preaching of the Word of God.

The center of our ministry at Rivers of Joy Baptist Church, is going to be the teaching of the Word of God. My hope is this: Christians are going to be hunger to know the Word, and will desire to learn what God is saying to us about Him and Jesus Christ His Son. How He wants us to love Him, and praise Him and to give Him glory and worship. And that is why we have three times on Sunday and once on Wednesday to hear the teaching of the Word, and that is why I have a Blogger and a Website.




Sunday I recorded the message THE SECOND COMING IS COMING. The message was 45 minutes. But as I have learned, YouTube only takes ten minutes. I am learning this process slowly as you will see. I was using myKodak, which does great. I just need to get better. Which I will. I have been able to upload five minutes of the message. I was in the Fellowship Bible Study room on Sunday.
Also I downloaded the message, and put the mesage on a DVD. This is my very first DVD.


What is interesting, about this Christian life, your prespectives can change. In the years 1947 thru 1996 going to church on Sunday and Wednesday was never a question with me. Going to church generally was the joy of my life. The reason I guess was that I was deeply involved in ministry of the local church. Being involved in a local ministry, keeps you enjoying going to the local church.

In the years 1997 thru the middle of 2008, church ministry was not as a pastor/teacher, but as a staff member, or member of the church with little responsibility. There were times in the last four years, that my desire to even go to a local church was getting a test of my enjoyment.

Just been honest. My love for the Lord has not decreased, but have learned more about the Word in these last four years than I have in the previous 10 years or twenty years.

My element is preaching/teaching and pastoring a local church. Herein is the real joy of my life.


  • Psalms 32:11 Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.

  • Psalms 42:4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.

When I remember these things, these things that the Lord has allowed me to experience for these many years, I look back with a voice of joy and praise.

When you filter out all the stuff that has distracted you in doing ministry, and focus on the ministry itself, and you focus on your great salvation, and you focus on our great God and Jesus Christ, your voice is of joy and praise.





If you are a "Christian" a believer, and a Baptist, you know attending a local church is what Christians who love the Lord do. We all know that. On the positive side, many will go to church on Sunday, (some on Saturday) some will go Sunday Evening, and some on Wednesday. Many really love to attend their church services. Many enjoy singing in the choir, singing special, teaching a children's class, teach the teens, and adult classes. Some even like hearing the preaching/teaching from the Pastor/Teacher.
To really love getting up in the morning, and getting ready, and being ready for worship, fellowship and encouraging others, is really a joy. Many experience that each week.
To walk in to the church building and experience and know and believe there is going to be worship, and fellowship is joyfulness at its best. You find yourself glad you are their, before you even pull up on the parking lot. You have your Bible, note book, and you are ready, and you are thirty minutes early.

You sing in the choir, you sing with the other folks, you talk to others, you witness the joy of others that have joined you to worship, and have fellowship, read the scripture and pray, and listen to the preaching and teaching, and you are filled with the joy of the Lord.

You are excited to teach your Bible class, you are excited to give an offering to the Lord, you are excited that you have Christians friends who join you in this wonderful joy of the Lord.

NOW THAT IS WHAT CHURCH EXPERIENCE SHOULD BE LIKE. And for a lot of people that is what really happens. And you know how that happens? YOU MAKE IT HAPPEN.



“Legalistic remorse says, ‘I broke God’s rules,’ while real repentance says, ‘I broke God’s heart.’ Legalistic repentance takes sin to Mt. Sinai, gospel repentance to Mt. Calvary. Legalistic repentance is convicted by punishment, gospel repentance becomes convicted by mercy.”
- Timothy Keller,





Several topics I would like to view tonight:

1A How does the preaching and teaching of the Word help you in your daily life? What is your life scriptural verse that you live by, and how?

2A Do you believe the Gospel that we preached a generation ago has the same affect on lost people today?

3A There is one gospel. Yes, the Roman Road was effective in my youth, but is that same form affective today as it was?

4A Why are we not seeing the unsaved coming to church as we used to?

5A Another topic: Does it seem in the culture that we live in today, seems fewer and fewer people being raised with a Judeo/Christian ethic. Increasing numbers are growing up without understanding of sin as being a violation of God's moral law, which will result in our approach to sin and forgiveness of sin.

6A Many Christians are finding resources for living other than the preaching and teaching of the Word of God in the Church.

What most affects my opinion on my spiritual behavior?
  • Is it God’s Word, Preaching/Teaching, Dr. Phil, Oprah, or my own personal self-wisdom? You might say I don't listen to talk TV or radio, I do my on self wisdom thing? That is what I mean.
"You have your own spiritual path you are taking, and it’s a little this and a little that." A spiritual teacher on Oprah, Elizabeth Lesser.

Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.(Ephesians 5:17 – ESV)

In light of viewing Oprah yesterday, she interviewed a spiritualist teacher. She, along with a number of other spiritualist teachers, has offered their opinion and subjective feelings and impressions about how to achieve spirituality with the inner self. I want to address this issue of the godly spiritually.

While you might say, I don’t listen to Oprah, or you don’t buy into her spirituality talk, many buy into a host of other spiritualist teaching from our culture. Secular spiritualists have been around since Solomon. Those who try to connect the body life with the spirit being of a person have driven the culture for ever. “The activating or essential principle influencing a person,” known as a spirit, one of many definitions of the term as noted below.

All spiritualist teaching even in the secular culture are striving to help people have a productive life, the question being, productive for whom? We all desire an industrious life, that gives meaning to our living on planet earth.

In the midst of our normal life, we constantly live surrounded by a number of factors that alter our thinking, behavior and affect our acts, and affect our temper or disposition of mind or outlook. Thus
There are a number of cultural, secular spiritualists, who offer advice as to how to gain spiritual health. I personally like this one:

  • Rejuvenation of body, mind and soul along with spiritual expansion and exploration is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself! And, what better place to experience this than the beautiful paradise island of Kauai whose panoramic lush views and heart energy embrace you lovingly.· http://www.customizedspiritualjourneys.com/

The number of “Christians” who encounter major distractions in their life, death of a family member, financial difficultly, marriage-related stress, family members’ worries, fears of actual threats and danger, sickness in the family, the workplace environment. Then there is the related emotional state of anxiety which typically occurs without any external threat, those who just can’t handle living their life due to personal mental stress. Some have certain kinds of phobia (from Greek: "fear"), which is an irrational, intense, persistent fear of certain situations, activities, things, or people which drive their emotion. And in many cases, leads the “Christian” to be distracted, unfocused, troubled, agitated and ready for the death bed of living life productive for Christ.

Part three later today. hopefully\\\



pt 1

Faith, of whatever variety, is increasingly viral rather than pedagogical.

Viral: (an e-mail message, usually in the form of advertising, that contains elements that makes recipients want to forward it to others. It's contagious and spreads like a virus on the internet. Sometimes funny, shallow, awful or scary

Among the first to write about viral marketing on the Internet was media critic Douglas Rushkoff in his 1994 book Media Virus. The assumption is that if such an advertisement reaches a "susceptible" user, that user will become "infected" (i.e., sign up for an account) and can then go on to infect other susceptible users. As long as each infected user sends mail to more than one susceptible user on average (i.e., the basic reproductive rate is greater than one), standard in epidemiology imply that the number of infected users will grow according to a logistic curve, whose initial segment appears exponential.

Ped-a-gog-i-cal: teaching: the science or profession of teaching (educational, academic, instructive, tutorial, didactic.

  • With people spending less time reading the Bible, and becoming less engaged in activities that deepen their biblical literacy, faith views are more often adopted on the basis of dialogue, self-reflection, and observation than teaching. Feelings and emotions now play a significant role in the development of people’s faith views - in many cases, much more significant than information-based exercises such as listening to preaching and participating in Bible study.

    later today part two...... with pictures.... and a example of faith........


The Bible Translation That Rocked the World
Luther's Bible introduced mass media, unified a nation, and set the standard for future translations.
Martin Luther was many things: preacher, teacher, orator, translator, theologian, composer, and family man. He came to symbolize everything the Protestant Reformation stood for.
But perhaps Luther's greatest achievement was the German Bible. No other work has had as strong an impact on a nation's development and heritage as has this Book.
In Luther's time, the German language consisted of several regional dialects (all similar to the tongue spoken in the courts of the Hapsburg and Luxemburg emperors). How were these scattered dialects united into one modern language? The rise of the middle class, the growth of trade, and the invention of the printing press all played a part. But the key factor was Luther's Bible.

The Wartburg Wonder
Following the Diet of Worms in 1521, Luther's territorial ruler, Frederick the Wise, had Luther hidden away for safekeeping in the castle at Wartburg. Luther settled down and translated Erasmus's Greek New Testament in only eleven weeks. This is a phenomenal feat under any circumstances, but Luther contended with darkened days, poor lighting, and his own generally poor health.
Das Newe Testament Deutzsch was published in September 1522. A typographical masterpiece, containing woodcuts from Lucas Cranach's workshop and selections from Albrecht Durer's famous Apocalypse series, the September Bibel sold an estimated five thousand copies in the first two months alone.

Luther then turned his attention to the Old Testament. Though well taught in both Greek and Hebrew, he would not attempt it alone. "Translators must never work by themselves," he wrote. "When one is alone, the best and most suitable words do not always occur to him." Luther thus formed a translation committee, which he dubbed his "Sanhedrin." If the notion of a translation committee seems obvious today, it is because such scholars as Philipp Melanchthon, Justus Jonas, John Bugenhagen, and Caspar Cruciger joined Luther in setting the precedent. Never before, and not for many years after, was the scholarship of this body equaled.
Forcing Prophets to Speak German
Luther remained the principal translator, however. His spirit motivated and guided the Sanhedrin in producing a translation that was not literal in the truest sense of the word. He wanted this Bible to be in spoken rather than bookish or written German. Before any word or phrase could be put on paper, it had to pass the test of Luther's ear, not his eye. It had to sound right. This was the German Bible's greatest asset, but it meant Luther had to straddle the fence between the free and the literal.

"It is not possible to reproduce a foreign idiom in one's native tongue," he wrote. "The proper method of translation is to select the most fitting terms according to the usage of the language adopted. To translate properly is to render the spirit of a foreign language into our own idiom. I try to speak as men do in the market place. In rendering Moses, I make him so German that no one would suspect he was a Jew."

The translators used the court tongue as their base language but flavored it with the best of all the dialects they could find in the empire. Luther, a relentless perfectionist who might spend a month searching out a single word, talked at length with old Germans in the different regions. To better understand the sacrificial rituals in the Mosaic law, he had the town butcher cut up sheep so he could study their entrails. When he ran into the precious stones in the "new Jerusalem" that were unfamiliar to him, he had similar gems from the elector's collection brought for him to study.

Luther longed to express the original Hebrew in the best possible German, but the task was not without its difficulties. "We are now sweating over a German translation of the Prophets," he wrote. "O God, what a hard and difficult task it is to force these writers, quite against their wills, to speak German. They have no desire to give up their native Hebrew in order to imitate our barbaric German. It is as though one were to force a nightingale to imitate a cuckoo, to give up his own glorious melody for a monotonous song he must certainly hate. The translation of Job gives us immense trouble on account of its exalted language, which seems to suffer even more, under our attempts to translate it, than Job did under the consolation of his friends, and seems to prefer to lie among the ashes."

In spite of this, the Sanhedrin worked rapidly but accurately, translating in a tone more apologetic than scientific. The result was a German Bible of such literary quality that those competent to say so consider it superior even to the King James Version that followed it. And because it sounded natural when spoken as well as read, its cadence and readability have made it a popular Bible in Germany to this day.

The Book Must Be in German Homes
Germans everywhere bought Luther's Bible, not only for the salvation of their souls (if such was their concern), but also for the new middleclass prestige it conferred. It was the must book to have in their homes, and many Germans had no choice but to read it: it was likely to be one of the few books they could afford to buy.

It was the first time a mass medium had ever penetrated everyday life. Everyone read Luther's new Bible or listened to it being read. Its phrasing became the people's phrasing, its speech patterns their speech patterns. So universal was its appeal, and so thoroughly did it embrace the entire range of the German tongue, that it formed a linguistic rallying point for the formation of the modern German language. It helped formally restructure German literature and the German performing arts. Its impact, and Luther's in general, were so awesome that Frederick the Great later called Luther the personification of the German national spirit. Many scholars still consider him the most influential German who ever lived.
Uncle of the English Bible
As might be expected, the German Bible's impact reached well beyond the borders of the empire. It was the direct source for Bibles in Holland, Sweden, Iceland, and Denmark, and its influence was felt in many other countries as well.
Most important, the Bible left a permanent impression on a great translator of the English Bible. William Tyndale, one of the Reformation's champions, had fled from England to the Continent about the time Luther was publishing his German New Testament. He, too, was translating from the original manuscripts, and possibly he and Luther met in Wittenberg.

One strong point of Luther's work that impressed Tyndale was the order given to the books of the New Testament. In previous Bibles, there had been no uniform arrangement; translators placed them in whatever order suited them.

Luther, however, ranked them by the yardstick of was treibt Christus—how Christ was taught: the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John); the Acts of the Apostles; the Epistles, in descending order of the Savior's prominence in each; and, finally, the Revelation of John. Tyndale followed Luther's lead, as have virtually all Bible translators since.

Many phrases we know today came from Luther, through Tyndale. From the German's natürlich, Tyndale wrote natural, and the phrase natural man appeared in 1 Corinthians 2:14. Luther's auf dem gebirge became was a voice heard in Matthew 2:18. Tyndale translated from Luther the place of dead men's skulls in John 19:17, Ye vex yourselves off a true meaning in 2 Corinthians 6:12, Doctors in the Scripture in 1 Timothy 1:7, and hosianna in Matthew 21:15.
Like Luther, Tyndale eschewed the Latinized ecclesiastical terms in favor of those applicable to his readers: repent instead of do penance; congregation rather than church; Savior or elder in the place of priest; and love over charity for the Greek agape.

Both translations flowed freely in a rhythm and happy fluency of narration; and, wherever he could, Tyndale upheld Luther's doctrine of justification by faith. While in many instances the two translators must have reached the same conclusions independently, Luther's strong influence on the father of the English Bible is unmistakable. Since Tyndale's English translation makes up more than 90 percent of the King James New Testament and more than 75 percent of the Revised Standard Version, Luther's legacy is still plain to see.

Luther was exceptionally gifted in many areas. But the aspect of his genius perhaps most responsible for his impact is the one least heralded: his skill and power as a translator and writer. Had it not been for that, the Protestant Reformation and the growth of a united German nation might have taken an entirely different course.

Henry Zecher is a personnel specialist at the U. S. Department of Health & Human Resources. Formerly, he wrote for the Delaware State News.
Copyright © 1992 by the author or Christianity Today International/Christian History magazine.


"Faith cannot be without a settled peace of mind, from which proceeds the bold confidence of rejoicing," John Calvin wrote in his commentary on Hebrews in the mid-sixteenth century.

This point is most striking, and mostly underplayed by many exegetes. How could Calvin write something so...insensitive? And again: "We hence conclude that those who assent to the gospel doubtfully and like those who vacillate, do not truly and really believe.

"Just as faith is the assurance of things hoped for, so, too, is faith the constant and confident hope of the believer (Heb. 11:1; cf. 3:6). For Calvin, then, faith necessarily includes a firm confidence in that which has been believed: "Besides, what firmness of confidence can there be when men know not what they ought to believe?"

But again we must ask, did not Calvin see how unsympathetic this doctrinal point would be to the one who has doubt in his or her interest in the heavenly Jerusalem? How might Calvin respond to such an inquiry? Whether he anticipated this question or not, the truth is that the reader will not be able to simply skim his writings for an answer. It is there, but it is not all laid out in plain view, so to speak.

One lyrical gem comes to mind that falls in line with his understanding that faith cannot be without a firm persuasion of the promises of God. Writing on predestination, Calvin quipped that if someone were to ask him how he is to know that he is elect, his answer would be "Christ is more than a thousand testimonies to me." That is, being persuaded of the veracity of the promises of God made certain in the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus provide a more substantial ground of assurance than a thousand outward attestations of faith (both in personal good deeds and in verbal compliments paid by our peers).

In other words, man's praise should be cast at the foot of the cross. What we see here is a bold affirmation of the supernatural gracious gift of faith over against a worked-for faith.

But this confidence of which Calvin spoke is not brazen; it is Spirit-filled meekness, and "meekness" here does not mean "timid" but "unpretentious." As one version of the Bible translates it: "Happy are those who are humble; they will receive what God has promised!" (Matt. 5:5, TEV).

It is no coincidence that Saint Matthew's gospel and the letter to the Hebrews agree that receiving what God has promised comes as a result of being meek (or put differently, of having saving faith).

Thus, the settled peace of mind attached to the faith of which Calvin spoke does not declare, "I'm so saved, I couldn't go to hell if I tried." Rather, it cries along with the tax collector: "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!" (cf. Luke 18:9-14; see also 15:1-7).

To be sure, Calvin granted that absolute certainty in this life is unthinkable, given that one anxiety or another always assails assurance. But saving faith is not stagnant, nor does it endlessly embrace gross doctrinal errors (the two points against which Calvin's argument is directed). This, then, is the context within which we must view Calvin's statements about faith above. The Genevan reformer was a committed preacher and churchman, as the records of his persistent preaching and congregational and missional ministries show. He was not insensitive to his parishioner's needs. And the need that he was meeting was the dispensing of all false notions of security. His opponents had posited the idea that a person could fail to grasp the content of the gospel and yet have faith. This had the unfortunate effect of sending many people through life wrapped in a false blanket of assurance.

But passages like Hebrews 3:6 remind us, according to Calvin, that "we are always to make progress even unto death; for our whole life is as it were a race."

In like manner, we must be equally concerned today with, for example, such mistaken conceptions as "carnal Christianity." This is why we say that the believer's sanctification necessarily flows from his or her justification. That is, good works in Christ Jesus follow from being saved by grace alone through faith alone. Such works are done in gratitude for salvation -- not as prerequisites for salvation.

Knowing this also helps us to understand what is happening when we see those who have but a transitory faith yield no lasting fruit. They are like the third seed in our Savior's parable, the one that was sown among the thorns and eventually strangled by the cares of this world (Matt. 13; Mark 4).

The only certain ground of assurance, which the letter to the Hebrews makes clear time and time again, is the finished work of the risen Christ. A confidence based on anything less can only lead to a baseless faith. For this reason, let us "lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb. 12:1b-2).

*****This article originally appeared in Tabletalk magazine (February 2004).

I am ask, "Do you think someone was a Christian?" My confidence of my salvation is only based upon the finished work of Christ at the Cross. My salvation, my confidence of my salvation is not based upon the idea that I am a preacher or teacher, or pastor of a church, or forty years of ministry. By confidence rest upon Christ, who has given me this inner peace of His work for me. Therefore for me to speak of others without knowing their mind, I can't really say.





The Pastor's Office includes the church pastoral leadership, as well as the directors of our ministry divisions.

The meaning of the Greek word we translate as pastor is shepherd. The job title pastor therefore refers to a spiritual shepherd. (See Ephesians 4:11)
In this way, Jesus is referred to as the great Shepherd of the sheep. (Hebrews 13:20) He is the role model for all of God's pastors. Jesus is the great Shepherd and all of His pastors are the lesser shepherds.

By looking at how Jesus shepherds the sheep we can see how a pastor should shepherd the flock of God - God's people.

In Paul's letter to the Ephesians we learn that the office of pastor (spiritual shepherd) is one of the offices that contributes to the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry for the building up of the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11) In the same letter, we learn some important aspects of how Jesus Christ carries out his role as the great Shepherd.
Paul writes,
"Husbands love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of the water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church."
Ephesians 5:27-29 - NKJV

This exhortation, although it is directly applied to husbands, also applies to pastors and exhorts them to follow the model Christ provides.
Christ is the great Shepherd of the Church, the husband is the shepherd for his wife and, likewise, the pastor is the shepherd for his flock in the church. The pastor is to give his life for the flock in ministering the Holy Spirit and the Word to them. He is to nourish and cherish (that is, tenderly look after) his church.

The role of pastor - it is important to recognise - is not peculiar to the New Testament church. We see it also in the Old Testament church of God. God had high expectations, even back then, of His pastors and He upbraided them when they did not fulfil those expectations.
As the mouth piece of God Jeremiah declares,
"For the shepherds [of the people] have become like brutes, irrational and stupid, and have not sought the Lord or inquired of Him or required Him [by necessity and by right of His word]. Therefore they have not dealt prudently and have not prospered, and all their flocks are scattered."
Jeremiah 10:21 -

From this we see God expects His pastors to -
seek Him
inquire of Him
require Him - which is to petition Him in prayer.

We also see that He expects, as a consequence of doing this, that they will -
conduct themselves wisely
ensure that the flock stays together in unity

Ezekiel also provides us with a similar understanding of God's expectation for His pastors. He writes,
"Thus says the Lord God to the shepherds: 'Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?'"
Ezekiel 34:2 - NKJV

What does God expect from His shepherds, His pastors? He expects them to spiritually feed (that is, nourish) God's people.
Ezekiel continues,
"The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them."
Ezekiel 34:4 - NKJV


The Lord’s Chosen Servant
Isaiah 42:1-25

42:1 Behold my Servant, (Christ) whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon Him; (Christ)
He will bring forth justice to the nations.
2 He will not cry aloud or lift up His voice,
or make it heard in the street;
3 a bruised reed He will not break,
and a faintly burning wick He will not quench;
He will faithfully bring forth justice.
4 He will not grow faint or be discouraged
till He has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for His law.
5 Thus says God, the Lord,
who created the heavens
mand stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people on it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
6 “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
a light for the nations,
7 to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
8 I am the Lord; that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to carved idols.
9 Behold, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth
I tell you of them.”
Sing to the Lord a New Song
10 Sing to the Lord a new song,
His praise from the end of the earth,
you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it,
coastlands and their inhabitants.
11 Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice,
the villages that Kedar inhabits;
let the habitants of Sela sing for joy,
let them shout from the top of the mountains.
12 Let them give glory to the Lord,
and declare His praise in the coastlands.
13 The Lord goes out like a mighty man,
like a man of war He stirs up His zeal;
He cries out, He shouts aloud,
He shows himself mighty against His foes.
14 For a long time I have held my peace;
I have kept still and restrained myself;
now I will cry out like a woman in labor;
I will gasp and pant.
15 I will lay waste mountains and hills,
and dry up all their vegetation;
I will turn the rivers into islands,
and dry up the pools.
16 And I will lead the blind
in a way that they do not know,
in paths that they have not known
I will guide them.
I will turn the darkness before them into light,
the rough places into level ground.
These are the things I do,
and I do not forsake them.
17 They are turned back and utterly put to shame,
who trust in carved idols,
who say to metal images,
“You are our gods.”
Israel’s Failure to Hear and See
18 Hear, you deaf,
and look, you blind, that you may see!
19 Who is blind but my servant,
or deaf as my messenger whom I send?
Who is blind as my dedicated one,
or blind as the servant of the Lord?
20 He sees many things, but does not observe them;
his ears are open, but he does not her.
21 The Lord was pleased, for his righteousness’ sake,
to magnify his law and make it glorious.
22 But this is a people plundered and looted;
they are all of them trapped in holes
and hidden in prisons;
they have become plunder with none to rescue,
spoil with none to say, “Restore!”
23 Who among you will give ear to this,
will attend and listen for the time to come?
24 Who gave up Jacob to the looter,
and Israel to the plunderers?
Was it not the Lord, against whom we have sinned,
in whose ways they would not walk,
and whose law they would not obey?
25 So he poured on him the heat of his anger
and the might of battle;
it set him on fire all around, but he did not understand;
it burned him up, but he did not take it to heart.