Monday, July 31, 2006

time up North

As you might have guest, the Wakefields were out of town this weekend, enjoying the White Mountains of NH.

Our highlights were camping, swimming/playing in the Ammonoosuc River, smores, hiking, and simply enjoying the beauty of the area. My personal highlight was hiking the AT. Any guesses what AT stands for? Check out a later post for the answer!

Friday, July 28, 2006

First Corinthians

So I mentioned that at a later post I would explain why First Corinthians. Well, for me there are a lot of factors that go into the decision to preach from a certain text. Let me just briefly mention them.

First, prayer. Can't say enough about this. Asking God for guidance and wisdom in preaching a text. It is such an important decision, so I pray first.

Second, I look at my past studies and work in various books of the Bible. I have had formal training in graduate school and undergrad in various books. Genesis, Proverbs, Amos, Romans, Galatians, etc....

Thirdly, I read the text through and I am continually praying about whether this would be useful or not at this time in the life of the church.

Now to be more specific as to why I picked 1st Corinthians, the second factor was very influential. I had a chance early in my seminary training to take First Corinthians with Dr. Gordon Fee. Dr. Fee is probably the best person on the planet to study the Apostle Paul's writings. My notes from his lectures are over 40 pages single spaced, and he gave us an additional 100+ pages of his own work on the book. And this is on top the best commentary on First Corinthains written by....guess who? Dr. Gordon Fee.

Since taking this class and having a chance to look at First Corinthians so closely, it seemed like a logical choice. I personally believe it is going to be a great year of study and reflection for both me and the congregation. September 10 is the start date for our adventure in First Corinthians. I hope you join us.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Tim Andrews Guest Preaching this Sunday

So it has been some time since I have had someone fill the pulpit at Christ Presbyterian and I am feeling I am in need of a break.

The pastor before I came, Tim Andrews will be coming to visit and will be preaching this Sunday. We are glad to welcome him back and I am sure he will be a blessing to the congregation.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Getting Ready for the Fall

I am blessed over the next few weeks to have some fellow ministers of the gospel to be filling the pulpit at Christ Pres while I take some time off with the family and also focus on long term planning. Normally I am farther along than I am now, but I think things will pick up this week and next as I spend more of my time getting prepared for the fall, winter and spring worship schedule.

I have picked First Corinthians as our text and I am getting more and more excited as I have been reading and preparing sermons for the worship schedule. I will share in a later entry how I came to this decision, but for now I will just simply mention it.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Historical Tour of Whitefield

Saturday 33 folks from 1st Congregational Church in Merrimack and Christ Presbyterian Church took a chartered bus and drove to Exeter, NH and Newburyport, MA to retrace the final hours of George Whitefield. It rained most of the time, but it did not seem to matter for most folks. Rev. Allen Thomlisen and I prepared some lectures on Whitefield and most folks found it very informative and inspiring.

It was a a fun time and most folks want us to do this again. Allen and I have been discussing a trip to Northhampton, MA to explore Jonathan Edward's ministry there in the 18th Century. I am looking forward to that!

The picture is of Whitefield preaching at the Moorfields outside of London. Notice the horn and drum. Preaching in the outdoors was quite a challenge back then.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Sin comes when we take a perfectly natural desire or longing or ambition and try desperately to fulfill it without God. Not only is it sin, it is a perverse distortion of the image of the Creator in us. All these good things, and all our security, are rightly found only and completely in him - Confessions, Augustine

Sermon: The Deadly Double Cross of Sin

Prov. 11:5 The righteousness of the blameless will smooth his way,
But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.

Sin is the 7th topic of our top ten series out of the book of Proverbs. Not a very popular topic in some circles, but a necessary one for all believers to think about. What is Sin? What effect does it have on people. What is the connection between sin and death? These are some of the questions we will be looking at this Sunday.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

So I should mention what I have been busy doing this week in my spare time..... reading and watching the largest's airshow on the planet. Every year at this time, folks gather near London or Paris for the largest aviation show you could image. It alternates each year, last year it was outside Paris, this year it is outside London.

Someday I hope to go to this air show. for now I will just enjoy it via the world wide web.

Check out the website for the airshow, it is called the Farnborough International Airshow

My favorite aircraft manufacturer is having a great year and I am enjoying the news out of the airshow. Wish I could be there. Any guesses who I am rooting for?? Click Here to find out.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Click on this link from CNN/Money about Nashua, NH. They recently ranked small cities in the U.S.A. and Nashua made the top 100.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

July Presbytery Mtg - Exeter, NH

4 times a year I get together with my brothers from around VT, ME & NH to worship together and take care of business concerning the PCA churches in these 3 states. It was a good meeting, very hot ( no A/C in Exeter) but we were able to get through all the necessary business.

Our Presbytery is made up of some great guys, I always look forward to the meetings. We are a pretty tight group, and we all have a heart for New England and the need for the Gospel to be preached through out our region.

The most excited business is the announcement and approval of a 2nd church in Maine. Per Almquist, who is currently interning at Portland will be starting a daughter church in Lewiston, ME. Per is going to do a great job and we will be praying for him as he raises support and forms a core group.

Next meeting will be in Oct. in Portland, ME. Hopefully it will be cooler by then....

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Sermon: Dealing with Temptation

Prov. 1:15 My son, do not walk in the way with them.
Keep your feet from their path

Proverbs has something to say about avoiding temptation. In order to deal with temptation, we must be willing to flee from it. That is often harder than it sounds. For we all can be tempted one way or another.

Temptation is one of the most basic realities that every human being faces. Proverbs offers some very practical wisdom that reminds us of its dangers.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

George Whitefield Quote

In preparation for a historical tour of George Whitefield on July 22, I have of course been doing a lot of reading and research on Whitefield.

I came across this quote that I found somewhat humorous. Whitefield preached in all types of settings, particularly in the great outdoors. The quote is from Whitefield after preaching in one of his favorite spots, the Moorfields outside of London.

"I was honored with having stones, dirt, rotten eggs and pieces of dead cats thrown at me." - George Whitefield

Now that makes for a challenging preaching assignment! Can't say I have had any stones or dead cats thrown at me!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

John Piper on fighting for Joy

I should have mentioned this earlier in my blogging...... For the last couple of weeks our Adult Sunday School Class has been going through a DVD series from, a ministry associated with John Piper.

It is a follow up to his original book, Desiring God that he wrote some 20 years ago. This recent book answers the question that has been the most commonly asked of John since Desiring God. The question is => how do I cultivate joy? How do I find joy when I don't have it?

The DVD is in 6 sections, we are on number 5.
So far it has been very challenging. I recommend it!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Sermon: Marriage

Proverbs 5:18
Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice in the wife of your youth.

We continue through Proverbs to the hot topic of marriage in our top ten countdown. This one was a little more challenging because of the text and its interpretation. We are looking at Proverbs 5:15-20 and at the beginning the instructor uses the images of water to talk about the marriage bed. Very interesting stuff and challenging.

Often the Bible has been accused of being unsophisticated. Even Augustine, the most famous church father in the early church felt the Bible lacked style and elogence, and actually hindered him for some time in becoming a Christian. But when I read a book like Proverbs, I am truly impressed by its depth of wisdom and insight. Find out for yourself as we continue to look at Proverbs this summer.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

2 years and counting....

July 4, 2004 was my 1st sermon at Christ Presbyterian Church and at least in my mind marks our official start of our ministry with Christ Presbyterian Church.

2 years and counting......

Monday, July 03, 2006

Suggested reading

Some of my books in my library have been missing and so I have been doing some recent purchasing to replace books. No big deal, and a positive aspect of this is that it has caused me to reread books I had forgotten about because I read them some time ago.

On of them is called From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya: A Biography History of Christian Missions by Ruth Tucker, a prof at Calvin Seminary in Grand Rapids. It is a fascinating look at foreign missions from the time of the Apostle Paul to the present age. I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in hearing about those men and women who took the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Great stuff to read. If you are looking for a book to take to the beach or on long drives, give it a try. I think you will like it.