Learning Things I’ve Preached, Part 1


Originally Posted on February 13, 2006

I don’t know how to introduce this man. He has been a mentor and a model for me as well as the best father-in-law a guy could ask for. He has been a pastor nearly all of his life and has been pastoring the folks at Whitworth Memorial Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee for over ten years. In the fall of 2005, he was diagnosed with Stage III Hodgkins Lymphoma and is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments. I asked him to consider writing a series of articles for SI about the spiritual lessons learned with a thorn in the flesh like cancer. Today, you have the first in his series. -JPJ

I was relatively healthy for a sixty-year-old, so the diagnosis of Lymphoma cancer surprised me. This trial has accentuated God’s gracious work in me. He has taught me some new things, but primarily has italicized others I have known and preached for years. Those are the things I’ll be writing about.
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A Great "Great Commission Church"


Listen Here

I cannot think of a post that I have been more excited about posting in the last nine months than this one. My burden is to see fundamental churches re-capture some biblical goals. One of the most dear to my heart is evangelism.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Rockford, Illinois for a conference and I spent some time with Pastor Bob Bixby of the Morning Star Baptist Church. We have endeavored to highlight what they are doing with Global Grace in their outreach following the hurricanes down south. While I was there, I was able to meet a couple they adopted from Louisiana. I had my blog recorder with me and I asked them if they would be willing to do an interview for SharperIron. They agreed and the rest is history.

I love what this church did. No excuses were given as to why they could not get involved. Here’s a few they could’ve gotten away with:
1. We’re a small church. We can’t make a difference.
2. We don’t have the money.
3. Our job is to just give out the Gospel, not be involved in social causes.

However, Bob led his people on a journey that has changed their ministry. In just my short time with him and his church, the following was evident:

1. The church people were changed as a result of their involvement. I think I was there the day before their fifth or sixth group of members was headed down to the region.
2. Everybody in that church got the clear message that this church would do anything for them.
3. A slight grin on everyone’s faces.
4. Hearts that were full in giving glory to God.

You will be challenged and blessed by this story. This is what church is all about.

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