Monday, July 20, 2009

Children's Ministry: A Mission Field

Children's workers, you are not serving kids only. You are ministering to their parents as well. Here's the testimony that was shared at the baptism of a young mom yesterday in our church:

"I grew up in a non-Christian home and lived my life as a slave to sin. I never talked about or thought about God and the importance of accepting him into my life. I married a man who came from a Christian home and I started to hear things about God, but I still continued just to shrug off the importance of the relationship I needed to have with him in my life. It really wasn’t until I had my children that I started to feel the need to know and accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Once my daughter Hayley was old enough she started attending Sunday school classes and also Awanas. I feel that this was all a part of God’s plan to speak to me through my daughter because as I helped Hayley memorize her verses and work on her projects, God was reaching out to me, opening my eyes to what I was teaching my daughter, and opening my heart to let me know he is with me.

A few months ago I made the decision to come to church with my family and while sitting there during service I was overcome with this feeling and I knew that I was suppose to be there and that I needed to change the direction of my life. I found myself filled with this eagerness to learn I began asking many questions about God, Salvation and Eternal life. I was invited to join Moms group and during my first visit I met a Christian mom who asked me if I was a Christian, I told her no and as we talked more she asked if I would be interested in doing a Bible Study with her. I said yes and was very happy to have this opportunity to learn God’s word and to have someone help me since this was all new to me. The first night I went for Bible study Hayley asked me where I was going and when I told her I was going to Bible study she told me Mommy I hope you find Jesus and put him in your heart. That night I just knew that was my time for Salvation and with help from my Christian friend I prayed and accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior.

Since accepting Christ into my life I have found myself changing in ways that have been really good for myself and for my family. I am working towards being the sort of wife and mother that God wants me to be. I feel more positive in the things I am teaching my children because I now have the belief in it. I know that in good times and bad God is always with me. I feel truly blessed to have finally accepted Christ into my life and look forward to seeing what else God has planned for me."

Sunday School Teachers, VBS Workers, AWANA leaders, Choir Directors, YOU are part of God's kingdom plan to take the gospel to the nations. What a mission field!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summer Reading List

It seems that many offer their suggestions for summer reading so I thought I would join the fray. My list will be short since the summer is half over.

Sensational Sins by John Piper
As always, Piper thinks long and hard about the text of Scripture and draws biblical conclusions. A great contribution to thinking "theodicy-cally."

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1859-2009 by Gregory Wills
Very readable, don't let the thickness deter you. Interesting insights to the theological crisis in the post-Civil War South and the life of a denomination that recovered it's biblical roots with special focus on the last 50 years.

Portrait of Calvin by THL Parker
A rare, fun read on the life of perhaps the greatest (and most misunderstood) theologian/pastor since the NT. You can get it in PDF form from

Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton
A spell-binding account of the post-9/11 war in Afghanistan written like a novel.

The Greatest Game Ever Played by Mark Frost
Simply the most exciting sports book ever.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I Attended the Memorial

I went to a Memorial Service today at 10:00 a.m. It lasted two and a half hours. The place was packed, as you would imagine. The street outside was blocked off by barricades. Parking was a zoo. We memorialized a man who could really sing. He also was a man with a global vision who brought his world together. He transcended the boundaries of his own race and reached out to others of every origin.
No, it wasn't the one in LA. The one I attended was at First Baptist Church, San Francisco. We were there to remember the Pastor of that church who entered his "eternal weight of glory" on June 27, 2009. As the throng in LA gathered for two and a half hours to worship an idol, we gathered in the name of the true and living God, to worship Him as we remembered our beloved friend Phil "Zub" Busbee.
What an uplifting service it was. I sat and listened to speaker after speaker thank God for the gift of Zub to us and speak of how his heart beat with a love for the Lord and for the city of San Francisco. Even though he was a Texas boy, as one speaker said, he understood San Francisco and the "wounded city" that it is. He longed to see his church be salt and light in that darkness.
One classic story that shows the real man, was on a Sunday morning, when a pastor friend was having the inaugural service of his church in a new building a few blocks down the street from FBCSF. Phil led his whole congregation to walk down the street and invade the service to pray for this pastor and his church. That was my buddy Zub. There was not one ounce of pastoral competition or envy in his body.
I was blessed to know him. I will be blessed to see him again in heaven if the Lord grants that occurence. I pray that FBCSF will be the church that God wants it to be and that it will be shaped by the suffering of its pastor into a precious jewel of God's grace.