We recently held our 4th annual Wild Game Supper here at the church. We had a great turnout inspite of several competing events which kept some from being able to attend. Among those who atended were a group of African-American ladies and one young man. This family had a blowout in their car as they were coming into Georgetown on their way to Monroe. What a blessing it was that a lady on her way to the Wild Game Supper event stopped to assist them. She contacted a state trooper friend who went to get someone to fix their tire. While they were waiting she invited them to come and eat with us and attend our event here at the church.
Our program began with Bro. Keith Manuel of the Baptist Building sharing a wonderful message related to the outdoors, but also very much centered on salvation in Jesus Christ. During the time of invitation one of these ladies prayed to receive Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior!
Now think about that for a moment. This family happens to be driving through Georgetown at the same time our Wild Game Supper is going on. This family happens to have a blowout as they are coming into Georgetown. A dear lady and her husband happen to come upon them as they are headed to the church for the event. This couple just happens to be moved with compassion to help them when so often others would have passed them by. And it just so happens that this woman hears the gospel being presented and comes to saving faith in Christ!
I think you can see where I'm going with this! These things do not just happen my friends! This was a divine appointment. We never know how God may use our circumstances to effect our life or the lives of others. I have been a part of many Wild Game Suppers, but this one was certainly one I will never forget.
I spent Monday and Tuesday at the beautiful FBC West Monroe for the LBC's Annual Meeting. Several in the church also attended as messengers for the church which was wonderful. I believe everyone ought to attend at least one of these annual meetings just to see the broad scope of ministry we undertake as Louisiana Baptists. As usual the music and preaching was top notch, and I was blessed to hear the reports of Louisiana College and from our SBC seminaries.
I was also glad to see the overwhelming majority vote in favor of passing a resolution on the sinner's prayer. I was pleased to see Louisiana Baptist affirm a resolution that supports the beliefs that God desires all men to be saved, and that a free response to the drawing of the Holy Spirit is necessary for the salvation of man. We had a vocal minority who spoke in opposition to such language being adopted by the convention. I am thankful to be part of the majority of Louisiana Baptists who believe that God can save any person, any where, at any time. It is a shame that we have to debate the clear teachings of Scripture that God desires that none should perish, but that all would come to repentance.
Well, according to the latest weather reports we should soon be feeling the effects of Hurricane Isaac here in Georgetown. In the days and weeks that follow there will be much work to be done here in the state of Louisiana. I have read reports of Disaster Relief crews from our state and others which are on standby to go in and assist with clean-up and various other forms of ministry. As a Southern Bapist and Louisiana Baptist I am so very proud of this growing avenue of ministry. The opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus through diaster relief ministry is truly amazing. Several years ago I was blessed to be part of a group of men who built and outfitted a mobile laundry unit for disaster relief ministry. The unit contains six washing machines and six dryers all outfitted to run off of a generator and propane so that they can be placed on sites where electiricity is not available. It is a tremendous blessing to my heart every time I read of its deployment in conjunction with some type of disaster relief ministry effort. Situations like Hurricane Isaac while tragic, provide us with opportunities to tangibly effect the lives of those around us. Join with me in praying for those in harms way and in praying for opportunities to show the light and love of Jesus to those in need.
We are about to kick off another year of Vacation Bible School! Rooms are being decorated and crafts are being prepared. I get excited every time VBS rolls around. I am convinced that VBS is one of if not the greatest evangelistic tool we have at our disposal in the church today. All the studies tell us of the importance of reaching children with the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have read studies which state that if a child does not receive Christ before the age of 18 their chances of ever doing so are slim. In fact, a recent study I read states that 80% of all lost people over the age of 18 will remain lost and without Christ. We must reach them while they are young! As the father of three children I look forward to this special concentrated time of sharing the gospel with our young people. Join me in praying for every teacher, worker, and helper this coming week of VBS, and also lift up in prayer each child who will be attending that we would share and show the love of Christ to them. I am praying for seeds to be sown that can become a harvest of souls for the glory of God!
This past week my family and I were in Gatlinburg, TN for some vacation time. My mother and father went with us and we spent the week in a very nice cabin in the heart of the Smoky Mountains. I know many people think about the beach, Disneyworld, or perhaps some other location when they think of summer vacation, but give me the mountains anytime! We went to the Forbidden Caverns, the Aquarium, the arts and crafts village, and many other places during our stay. We all awoke one morning to find an enormous black bear standing in the driveway of our cabin. There are so many wonderful memories that were made in that one week that will stay with me and my children for a lifetime. An extra added benefit is that I have come back rested and re-energized.
I think there are times when we all need to get away for a little while and recharge our battery. Even when Jesus was with the disciples He often took time to get away from everyone and everything and have some time of solitude and rest. If Jesus needed these times away, how much more so do we need them? We need to find time to get away from all the hustle and bustle and distractions of life. We need to take advantage of opportunities to decompress our lives and our stress levels even if just for a week so that we can be better equipped to handle all the things that come our way the other 51 weeks of the year.
Perhaps most importantly, taking some time away helps us to appreciate our lives when we come back to them. When we take a long trip we are always glad to come home, see familiar faces, plug back into our routine--- and sleep in our own bed!
Thank you to everyone who prayed for us during our time of vacation. Thank you to Bro. Robert Daniel for filling the pulpit for me while I was away. Thank you to Georgetown Baptist Church for being such a capable and compassionate church that everything was taken care of while I was gone. I am a truly blessed pastor, and I am glad to be back home!