Wow! What GREAT days these are at Abilene. I’m celebrating 961 in Sunday School last week and all of the new additions to our Abilene family the past couple of weeks. God is truly blessing, and for that, we are so very thankful. Check out this week’s preview video for exciting opportunities for you and your family at Abilene this week. I look forward to seeing you and your family bright and early this Sunday morning!
Pastor Brad’s Notebook
Almighty God, it is our joy to know that though our sin be great thy grace is infinitely greater. Where sin abounds, grace doth much more abound, as where death abounds, life doth much more abound. This is thy method in thy universe, that life shall always be in excess of death, and that out of death itself shall come elements that shall tend to extend life. Thou movest marvellously; our eyes cannot follow the rapidity of thy movements, nor can our understanding bring within its judgment all thy methods and purposes. But we have seen enough to give us quietness and to deepen our childlike and loving trust. When the mystery is thickest and the cloud is densest, then we say, This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working; in his own due time he will turn these clouds into stars, and all his heaven will be bright with the shining of a great glory. Thou hast done so much in our life that we are able to say this with all the emphasis of unquestioning confidence.
Thou hast trained us when there was no hand to take hold of our little life; thou didst understand us when our prayer was but a dumb sign to our eager mother. Thou hast fed us with food convenient for us; when we have said there was no water, thou has caused the rocks to melt into streams. We have said, we shall die here, for there is no road beyond, and behold thou didst make a way for us in the mountains, and we walked by the feet of the great rocks which we expected to shut up our way. Thou hast dealt wonderfully with us; all thy mysteries are in our own life; we need not be startled or stunned by the mysteries in thy great book, for every one of them is repeated in the living book of our own experience. We have now learned wisdom enough to put ourselves absolutely into thy hands; we do not want any plan or purpose for tomorrow—we do not want to have any tomorrow in our possession or prospect at all. We would crowd our urgent life into the present trembling moment and make it the greatest crisis of our experience. Help us to work with both hands diligently; may we be good and faithful servants, using our talents, few or many, with all industry and with ever-growing zeal.
Thou knowest us altogether as a company of Christian worshippers. The old man is here, to whom life was once a dream; now it is a hope, for its life is not here, it is risen. The child is here who has no history, whose life spreads out like a golden dream, a prospect of glee and laughter exceedingly; the patient heart-broken woman, the sorrowing mother, with a grief she cannot tell; the prodigal who has edged his way in here, hoping not to be seen by reason of the crowd—we are all here; speak to us, thou tender One, and let thy speaking, every tone of it, be a gentle gospel that shall bring light into dark hearts, that shall dry tears from eyes used to great weeping, that shall stimulate every one of us to a higher industry and rebuke us gently for the despondency which comes of our want of faith. If any soul is here in peculiar trouble with a distress it may not put into words, let the Lord himself heal the great wound, lest it end in death.
As for our sin, there stands in front of us the infinite cross, the great sacrifice, the complete atonement, the great transaction never to be explained but always to be felt. The Lord touch every heart with the redeeming blood, and the sin shall be found no more. Pity us, great Father; if we are very tired, take us into thine arms awhile till we get our breath again, and according to the necessity and the pain of every life, command thy gracious blessing to rest upon us all. Amen.
– The People’s Bible
The 2017 Great Easter Egg Drop is almost here and we need your help! Check out this week’s preview video for info on how you can help us prepare the 70,000 easter eggs for this life-changing event that reaches thousands of people in the CSRA. Have a great weekend and I look forward to seeing you and your family bright and early this Sunday morning at Abilene!
Almighty God, our only confidence is in thee; in ourselves we have no trust, for we have proved ourselves, and know that in us—that is, in our flesh—there is no good thing. But thou wilt accomplish thine own work; we will not interfere with God, or seek to hinder Him, or to counsel the omniscient; we will put ourselves into thine hands, saying only, Thy will be done. How thou art to make of us saints in Christ Jesus, we cannot tell; how thou art to work out the miracle of our perfect redemption, we know not; we fall back so much, we are so ignorant, so feeble, so inconstant, we cannot dream how wondrously thou shalt bring on the topstone; but thou wilt surely do so, thy work shall not be surrendered because of want of strength; thou dost not begin except that thou mayest conclude. Inasmuch as thou hast called us thou hast sanctified us; the call is the proof of the redemption; that we are at the altar at all is our confidence and our joy, that we shall ascend, little by little it may be, but with the certainty of thy decree, to all that is meant by heaven. Surely thou hast never forsaken us; we have not had one day’s experience of orphanhood; we have always known how near thou art and how good; if for a small moment thou didst seem to have forsaken us, we have lost the painful memory in the everlasting kindness with which thou hast gathered us. We will speak aloud of thy goodness; we shall not be ashamed of the Lord’s name; we shall ascribe unto thee honour and power and glory world without end; but, more than this, we shall ascribe to thee the glory of having redeemed us, though our unworthiness is unspeakable. All this thou hast done in thy Son Christ Jesus; without him is not anything done that is done; by him were all things made, and for him and to him shall be their final glory and their eternal praise. Such words thou hast taught us; such thoughts thou hast inspired in our minds; such visions thou hast spread out before our imagination. Enable us to walk according to thy law and commandment; may thy love not be a license to us but a discipline; may the mercy of the Lord not encourage our presumption, but deepen our humility and our thankfulness! Let the Lord’s light be round about us like a blessing and delight. Let the Lord’s grace be in our hearts like the warmth of summer. Amen.
– The People’s Bible
Good Saturday morning to you! I hope and pray you have had a great week and are ready to worship our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ corporately tomorrow with your church family. This week’s list begins and ends with posts by Dr. Churck Lawless. I try not to put two posts by the same site or author, but with my mind being focused on pastoral ministry this week, it seemed appropriate and good to share these two practical and helpful posts. There is also a post by a Daniel Dickard on evangelistic preaching that is also well worth your time. In between are posts dealing with politics, preaching memorial services and how to reach and keep millennials. And, since this was Valentine’s Week there is a post on defining love that you’ll want to check out. As always, just because a post is found here doesn’t mean that I endorse anything or everything about the post or its author. I share these because they grabbed my attention and I believe they will be helpful in your life and walk as a Christian. Have a great Saturday and make sure to be in your small group and worship tomorrow!
- 6 Tough Things That Might Be On Your Pastor’s Mind Today
- 4 Reasons You Need To Visit The Land Of Israel
- Is Christ-centered Preaching Evangelistic?
- 6 Tips From Harvard Psychologists Who Studied What It Takes To Raise “Good” Kids
- 59 Percent Of Millenials Raise In A Church Have Dropped Out – And They’re Trying To Tell Us Why
- Seven Steps To Getting The Unchurches Interested In Your Church
- Defining “Love”
- The Politically Illiterate And Why We Need To Be Involved
- 3 Principles To Follow When You Preach A Memorial Service
- When You’ve Lost Your Vision For Your Church Or Ministry
Almighty God, we rejoice that thou art light. Of light, thou art the fountain and the centre. God said, Let there be light; and there was light,—himself shone upon the brooding darkness. Shine in our hearts; be the morning of our lives; be the summer of our souls. Jesus Christ thy Son is the Light of the world. As long as he is in the world he is the Light of the world; he abideth with us for ever, therefore are we living in the day of light and in the presence of light: may we answer light by light, and thus may thy creation be full of glory. They that are of the darkness love the things that are evil; may we be children of the morning and not of the night, rejoicing in all things pure, beautiful, true, and lovely. If thou wilt answer this prayer for us at the Cross, we shall know that the blood of Jesus Christ thy Son cleanseth from all sin; we shall know that we have God in us as the light abounds in our whole thought and purpose. Chase away the last shadow; break up the evil empire of night; and bring in the sovereignty of divine effulgence. We bless thee for a religion that is full of light; we thank thee that we are called to fellowship one with another in the full light of day. Thy Church always meets at midday; it is the child of the noon; there is in it no love of darkness, no trace of mystery or secrecy that is corrupt; the Lord help us to realize our call into light, and may we be found in loving obedience serving the altar of the Cross. Amen.