I remember a few months after my first son was born that I was going to school 40 hours a week (I was student teaching to finish my undergrad). In addition to that, I worked 3-4 days every week at a Community Center and was a bi-vocational youth pastor. That was probably the busy season I’ve ever had in my life! But these last 4 months have held a close second.
I wanted to write a post just reflecting on some of the ministry opportunities I’ve had in the last 100 days or so as a way to thank the Lord and as a way to remember some of the things from this summer. In this way, this post also serves as a bit of a journal entry for me.
Jonathan Edwards Conference
On May 21st I had the opportunity to preach on Edwards’s view of the affections at a pastor’s conference in Moro, AR. This came in the midst of a busy May anyway as I had just begun a new sermon series (5/19/19) in Genesis 1-11 at our church and Before the Throne had just been published (4/30/19).
I met several great brothers at this conference and even had the opportunity to bring my oldest son with me. It was a joy to preach the Word and enjoy warm fellowship with like-minded brethren.
From June 30 – July 3 I took the kiddos of Perryville Second Baptist Church to our local church camp. What I love about our camp is that we run it. This means we control the teaching, preaching, recreation – everything! We are able to just teach and preach the gospel to children without creating a high-pressure environment producing false converts.
From July 29 – August 1 I had the privilege to preach at a children’s camp with my friends at Beryl Baptist Church. Again, they gave me great freedom to preach twice a day without being forced to make kids sign a card or whatever. I was able to preach the Word and trust God with the results and it’s my prayer He uses His Word to bring sons and daughters to glory.
From July 7 – July 10 I had the opportunity to preach revival services at Cherokee Baptist Church in Texas. I didn’t preach “revival” in the sense of creating something that only God can do, but we did seek the Lord together as we looked at 5 messages on drawing near to God. It was great meeting fellow saints and forging lifelong relationships.
Also during this trip, I got to meet Garrett O’Hara in person when we came back through Fort Worth. I’d call that a great bonus to our Texas trip!
Mission Trip to Morton, MS
If you’ve read the news lately you’ve seen there was a major illegal immigration raid in Mississippi and one of the towns affected was Morton. We were clueless about all of that when we served there July 16 – July 19 but we did note the diversity in the community and the great gospel need of its inhabitants from all walks of life.
In Morton, our team served at some mission centers, passed out tracts, did some backyard bible clubs with kids, and some minor construction work on a local church. It was a hot week and some of the things we saw really burdened us. It is our great hope that the Lord will use the seeds we planted for the furtherance of His kingdom in Mississippi.
Preachers of Grace Conference
Each year since 2015 I’ve had the joy of attending the Preachers of Grace conference at Lee Creek Baptist Church in Van Buren, AR. In 2017 I had the opportunity to preach on 1 Peter 2:24 and this August 3 I had the opportunity to preach on the Holiness of God.
Even without preaching this is one of the highlights of my year as I get to attend with my wife. It was great to hear passionate preaching and to hang out with some dear brothers who’ve become close friends over the last few years.
I’m grateful to God for the opportunities I’ve had over the last few months. At the time of this writing, I’ve just resumed my seminary studies with a new seminary in Conway, AR – Grace Bible Theological Seminary. So, I guess things aren’t going to get all that “less busy.”
Not every season of my life is so busy. In way of application, I think I would counsel brothers and sisters to give all for the Lord whether He is using you to minister to one, many, or multitudes. At the end of the day, don’t we desire to give all glory to Him?