Pastor's Blog

January 2013

posted Jan 6, 2013, 7:07 PM by FBC Putney

From the Shepherd's Heart

As we begin a brand new year in 2013 I want to challenge you to be focused on God's plan for our church's life.  I believe one of the saddest testimonies of a church is when all they have to talk about is the "good ole days" of the church and the amazing things God did for their church in the past.

Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us, promises us, that He has a plan for us - that is for us individually and as His church.  We must choose to not look back.  It is good to remember what God has done to remind us what He is capable of.  We also remember the past to learn from it - not to live in it.

In II Timothy 4:6, Paul speaks of his life as a poured out drink offering.  If we want to make this same claim about our lives, then we must choose to walk and serve God wholeheartedly.  God's will is for us to reach out to and minister to people.  So in the month of January, besides outreach through Sunday School visitation, we are going to have a Backyard Bible Club to reach the kids in our community.  Afterwards, we will have a cookout/reachout where we will be feeding and fellowshipping with some families in our community.

So let us be praying for these upcoming events and for our church to pour all of itself out as a drink offering to our Lord.

In Christ,

Brother Tab

December 2012

posted Jan 6, 2013, 6:58 PM by FBC Putney

From the Shepherd's Heart

In Acts 1:8, God gives us the strategy for advancing the Gospel. "You shall be my witnesses." The word witness there in the original language means martyr.  So the lifestyle of a witness of Christ is a risk-taking lifestyle.  The word martyr appears over 30 times in the book of Acts.  Herb Hodges - in reference to being a witness/martyr says, "it informs us that we are to forget any thought of a safety-first lifestyle."  When witnessing, our comfort is not our priority.  In Romans 1:1a Paul says "I Paul, a bondservant of Jesus..."  A bondservant is one who freely gives up his rights to be obedient to another (see also Matthew 6:24)

God in His sovereignty has chosen the church, His children, to be His stewards of advancing the Gospel.  Read Philippians 1:5 where Paul expresses gratitude to the Philippian church for partnering with him in advancing the Gospel.  Are you currently a partner in the advancement of the Gospel?  Herb Hodges believes "the church is guilty of chaining Jesus to the pulpit."  Which means we talk about Jesus at the pulpit, in the church, but then we walk out and leave Him there.  We don't talk about Him out there in the world.

Lets be obedient and respond to Christ's calling on our lives.  There is no better time than to start now because we do know the real reason for celebration this coming season.

In Christ,

Brother Tab

November 2012

posted Oct 29, 2012, 3:07 PM by FBC Putney

From the Shepherd's Heart

November is going to be a busy month for us here at Putney.  Obviously, we think of Thanksgiving and hopefully reflect on the many blessings God has granted us this past year.  For we know that “all good things come from God”.

    One way to show gratitude to our Heavenly Father is to serve Him.  That brings me to our events for the month of November.  First  is Saturday, November 10th - a Backyard Bible Club that morning - a children’s ministry activity.  We would love to reach kids in the community not active in our church.  Later that day we will have a Cookout/Reachout - in which we have previously mailed out invitations to a set number of homes in our community inviting them to our church for a meal and chance to meet our church members.  We hope to do this several times with different sections of our community in hopes that we can meet our neighbors and introduce them to our church and inform them to our activities, but especially to our Lord.  Acts 1:8 tells us to be Christ’s witness first in Jerusalem - their community.  We need to be obedient in this and reach our church’s “Jerusalem”! 

There are many opportunities for service - most importantly to pray for these upcoming activities and the lives of those we are hoping to reach.  I am excited about what the Lord may do in these upcoming events. 

On a personal note, November is also exciting for Ms. Jenny and I as we leave for Haiti on a mission trip the week after Thanksgiving.  There will be five other people that we will be traveling and ministering with in Haiti. We all would appreciate your prayers as we go.  We will be taking extra suitcases with food for the children.  Several have expressed an interest in helping with the cost of the food or funding a child’s food/education for a year. So, there are many things to anticipate and pray over.  I am so grateful to be sharing this activity with our church family.

 

 
In Christ,
Brother Tab

October 2012

posted Oct 7, 2012, 4:16 PM by FBC Putney

From the Shepherd's Heart
There are two important events coming up in October.  First, is our Fall Revival beginning October 21-24th, a Sunday morning through Wednesday evening.  Our speaker willl be Rev. Manley Beasley, Jr.  His is the Pastor at Hot Springs Baptist Church, Hot Springs, Arkansas.  Not only is Manley my wife's uncle and my mentor but he is a man who desires revival for the church - Christ's body.
    Be prepared to be challenged spiritually.  Begin to pray for all our members and potential guests to have teachable spirits ready to respond to the call or conviction of our Heavenly Father.  As Henry Blackaby says about the church in general "we need a fresh word from God!" - So let's begin to pray for that now.
    The other important event in October I would like to address is the Fall Festival which will fall on Wednesday night, October 31st.  Of course we need as many volunteers as possible so please consider helping for setup/take down and working at various booths.  This year we will add a new element by having a gospel presentation during festival time.  So begin to pray for those who will come who are lost and unchurched, for their salvation, and for new contacts we can reach for the Lord.  Pray the Lord will bring favorable weather and that those serving will be attentive to possible outreach opportunities as they serve in various capacities.  Pray also for me as I present the gospel in accordance with God's Will.
    There is much to anticipate and be excited about coming up this month and in the months to follow.  Let's work and pray in unity that we will glorify the Lord.
 
In Christ,
Brother Tab

September 2012

posted Sep 2, 2012, 9:55 AM by FBC Putney

From the Shepherd's Heart
The last few months we have been talking about discipleship and this month we are going to look deeper into a portion of the Great Commission.  Matthew 28:19 "Turn men into disciples."
    Growth is good, but discipleship is the key to lasting growth.  We live in a church culture today where we "steal" sheep.  Meaning that church members are talked to and encouraged to go to another church and often because they are unhappy about some issue within their own church, they change membership.  This is not lasting growth.  Real church growth is the bringing in of the lost, who then become saved, are discipled and as a result bring in more lost, and the cycle continues.
    Herbert Hodges gives what I think is the greatest definition of discipleship, to paraphrase: "It is taking someone and turning them into a lifelong follower of Jesus Christ where they in turn repeat the process finding someone else and making them a lifelong follower of Jesus Christ."  Cain asked God once, "Am I my brother's keeper?"  The answer was yes.  So, church, if we are our brother's keeper then how are we doing?
    As a church, we sometimes over-complicate our calling or purpose.  This is our calling: Acts 1:1 "In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all Jesus began to do and to teach."  Our purpose is simple, we are to do as Christ did, teach as Christ did.
    In the book of Revelation, God wrote seven different letters to seven different churches.  There is only one church of the seven that did not receive a rebuke from the Lord.  Revelation 3:8, "I know your deeds.  Because you are of little strength, have kept my Word, and not denied my name, I have placed before you an open door that no one can close."  We want the Lord to be able to say this about us, about this church.  We must be about doing what Jesus did and teaching what He taught.

In Christ,
Brother Tab

August 2012

posted Aug 5, 2012, 9:07 AM by FBC Putney

From the Shepherd's Heart
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." 
Matthew 28:18-20

What is your response to the Great Commission's call?
George Peters in his book "A Biblical Theology of Missions" says, "The Great Commission is our beacon light in the midst of human fog."  Until a person experiences salvation through God's grace they are in a fog searching and chasing other gods - mainly self-gratification.  It is only through salvation that one realizes his purpose and by being obedient to that purpose finds fulfillment in life.  The Great Commission is a calling on every Christian's life.  If a Christian is not actively living out the Great Commission then they are NOT achieving their purpose - they will NOT be fulfilled.
    John McGee, a career missionary to Nigeria, says, "There is more in the Great Commission than a person can dream about, think about, or do about, even if he lives 10 lifetimes!"  God has a purpose for every church, every Christian, every day and that calling is to make life-long disciples for Jesus Christ.
    So you must ask yourself, am I fulfilling God's calling on my life?

In His service,
Brother Tab

July 2012

posted Jul 1, 2012, 3:24 PM by FBC Putney   [ updated Jul 1, 2012, 3:31 PM ]

From the Shepherd's Heart
"Where there is no vision, the people perish" Proverbs 29:18

What is our vision at First Baptist Putney right now?  The Bible teaches that if we have no vision we are perishing.  The vision is not something we come up with.  The vision is God's and we join Him in it.  God's ultimate vision never changes - that is to reach people for His Kingdom.  So, if we are not actively as a church reaching people for Jesus Christ then we are in a state of decay.
    Herbert Hodges, in his book. Tally Ho The Fox, says "You will become what you see, but what you do not see you can not be."  Meaning, if we do not join God in His vision we will not be the Church God desires us to be.  Look at II Corinthians 5:7 and Hebrews 11:6.
    Speaking of spiritual vision, J.B. Phillips in his paraphrase of Colossians 1:9 says, referring to Paul, "I pray that you will see things from God's point of view."  Do you want to see things from God's point of view?  Why do members get excited about so many things but not excited about the church?  I believe the answer is Proverbs 29:18 - lack of vision!  If we have no vision we are like Judges 17:6 - we do what is right in our own eyes and the church perishes.
    Vision gives us energy, purpose and helps us focus on God's calling.  No vision leads to apathy, lack of desire or commitment to God and church which leads us to follow other "things."  Herbert Hodges believes the greatest sin in the body of Christ is unreached potential for God.
    So, church family, what is our vision for 2012?  What are we as a church going to do to reach people for Jesus Christ?


In His Service,
Brother Tab

June 2012

posted Jun 2, 2012, 9:58 PM by Tim Husted   [ updated Jun 2, 2012, 10:23 PM by FBC Putney ]

Church family we have a lot of exciting events coming up in June.  I would love to talk to you about some of them.
    On Sunday, June 3rd, in the morning service we will be having a baby dedication service.  This will be a great time of seeing parents give their children back to God, before their church family.  So please be in prayer for those families.  That evening will be our monthly visitation.  We have had great attendance in those coming out to go visiting.  We would love to see thirty homes visited that evening.
    On Sunday, June 10th we will kick off our 2012 VBS.  Please pray for the workers, the children who attend and their families.  If you can't sign up to help this year, then please pick a class and pray for those children June 10th - 13th.  Those children need Jesus.
    The following Sunday, June 17th is Father's Day.  Our children need to see that we love Jesus, daily.  Church I want to encourage every one of you to invite one unchurched father on that day to hear a message I believe God has placed on my heart for fathers.
    Then the last Sunday of the month, June 24th some of us will be away on our mission trip to Watson, L.A.  I ask that our church pray for us.  Pray that we go with the right attitude.  Pray also that we go expecting to see God do something big while we are there.
    I am so thankful I pastor a church of people who love Jesus.


In His Service,
Brother Tab

May 2012

posted May 3, 2012, 10:00 PM by FBC Putney   [ updated May 3, 2012, 10:04 PM ]

It was great to see the sovereignty of God at work this past week in revival.  I was moved by the music and sermons.  I've been moved by the service and attendance of our members.  The Word that Brother Gary brought challenged me each time.  It is my prayer that those of us who attended would not walk away saying only "those were some good messages."
    If that was the only result then we have wasted our time and money.  In order for there to be true revival there must be change.  The revival is no so much the event itself but the after effects, the results of the event.  Michael Catt says the revival is not emotion - it is not the jump, it is how you walk.  What we want is the movement of God which brings repentance - which brings long lasting results.  Reflect on this and allow God to move in your life so that we see lasting results.

Are you easily satisfied with anything other than the presence of God?

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled."
Matthew 5:6

"And He said to me, 'It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.'"
Revelation 21:6

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me."
Revelation 3:20

Revelation 3:20 is a message to the church, will I let Him in?

Look at what God was able to say about the church in Philadelphia in Revelation 3:8, "I know your works.  See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name."

We want God to be able to say that about us.

In His Service,
Brother Tab

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