Time for Comps…Need Prayer!

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Well, the time has come! Tomorrow I am looking for lots of people willing to pray for me. After two and a half years of PhD course work, I take my written Comps from 9:00 – 4:00 tomorrow. Next Friday I sit for the oral defense portion. In weakness His power is made known…so I am really ready to see that! Been preparing and look forward to it, but I’m still nervous! So pray for recall, clarity of expression and peace as I answer two essay type questions, each taking three hours. SDG! Thanks to all who will pray! Very grateful!

A Russian Kids “Hallelujah”

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The captivating melody of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”  has made it a favorite resulting Russian Hallelujahin thousands of covers by all kinds of musicians.  Somehow the bizarre confusion of Bible stories gets overlooked because the chorus says, “Hallelujah,” which means “praise the Lord.”

A couple of years ago, several videos appeared in which the words were re-written to reflect Biblical truth, some of which still appear on Youtube (however, some are muted due to copyright issues).

On the Russian version of the the TV show, “The Voice Kids,” four young musicians present a rewritten version you may well enjoy.   The melody is indeed beautiful, their harmonies extraordinary, and even though the translation is rough, it does succeed in turning the song into one of genuine, honest praise to the Lord.  Lots of other seem to like it as well since it has over 8 million hits on Youtube!

Hope you enjoy!

How to pray extraordinary prayers

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Today a new article appeared on the website of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.  As we approach May 4, the National Day of Prayer, I had the opportunity to write a brief blog post on prayer.  Hope it encourages you to take the initiative to become bolder and more imaginative in how to trust the Lord in your prayer life!

Click on the title or image below to be linked to the article.  Thanks!

ncbsc blog

 

 

 

 

Resurrecting

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Resurrecting KingLeaving a godly legacy…what a glorious part of our calling to follow Christ!  As a dad, I understand what it feels like to see your kids investing themselves in the work of the kingdom.  In this worship video, my young friend Mack Brock, son of my long-time ministry buddy, Don Brock, points an arena of worshipers to the resurrected King of Glory!

In his worship leader role with Elevate Worship, Mack influences thousands each week in live settings to worship the Lord Jesus.  Then, through videos like this one, millions more bow down to the King and join their voices in praise.  As of this posting, over 7 million people have viewed this video!

I am so thankful to have known Mack since he was a very little boy.  Now I get to join his parents with delight watch the Lord use him in a powerful way!  Praise God for this talented, Christ-centered and committed young man!  And thank you Don and Mary for growing him up in the Lord!!

Note:  You may have to skip over an ad at the beginning to get right to the video!

A Day Trip to the NC Zoo

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DSC_0778Monday was a perfect day to visit the NC Zoo near Asheboro!  Thousands of students on Spring Break agreed.  Not only was the weather a delight but the animals seem to have made a unanimous decision to make appearances (except for the black bear)!  Never have I been to a zoo when all the animals were out and active!

Take a look at a sampling of the photos from the trip.

http://www.dhhornerphotography.com/Animals-from-the-NC-Zoo

3 Characteristics of Churches with a Strong Disciple-Making Culture

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IMB

This week the International Missions Board published an article I wrote on how a church can become more intentional about developing a culture of disciple-making.  The focus addressed the global aspect of that culture but certainly pertains to local emphases as well.

Here is the link.  Let me know what you think!

https://www.imb.org/2017/03/14/3-characteristics-disciple-making-culture/

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Academy of Homiletics, Łodz (Zacosciele), Poland

“What a Beautiful Name”

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Sometimes the Lord calls your attention to something special.  Four times in the past week I have heard the following song, three times in worship services and once on contributor-header-brooke-ligertwood-1500x610-1YouTube.  This great worship song by Brooke (Fraser) Ligertwood and Ben Fielding strikes at the heart with its reminder that Jesus is altogether lovely, worthy of praise

The psalmist says, “One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:  That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,  to behold the beauty of the Lord,  and to meditate in His temple” (Psalm 27:4).  The very name of Jesus awakens that desire to see Him in His glorious beauty and then to reflect on the wonder in what we see!

So watch, listen and enjoy as Brooke herself leads a worshiping people to sing with her.

My Friend James White, MLK Day Keynote Speaker

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jamesThis morning, my good friend James White gave the keynote address at the annual MLK breakfast out at the Sheraton Imperial in the Triangle.  I’ve been before to this breakfast meeting several times but not in recent years.

I have known James for more years than I can count as a fellow-pastor and a leader with great wisdom.  So when I got word that he was to give the keynote address at the MLK breakfast before a crowd of well over a thousand people, I wanted to go support him.  What a huge honor to be invited to speak!  As a strong, biblical, passionate pastor, I knew his voice would be different from normal political speeches  Of that, I was certain!
In the first  several minutes, he recounts his own history and addresses some of the cultural issues and racial tensions still plaguing our nation.  But just as I was wondering how he was going to proceed, he introduced John 5 and then things got very interesting very quickly!
The results were extraordinary and I wanted you to have a link to the message.  His talk goes just under 30 minutes and I just watched it again and got the same chill bumps I got sitting there in person!  The video link from WRAL-TV is quite long so you will want to scroll ahead in the video to the 1:18:00 mark through the 1:47:46 mark to hear what James had to say.  Not your traditional political speech or polite platitudes by a motivational speaker–James demonstrates once again that God has gifted him as a preacher of His Word!!  He does not take it easy on Trump nor does he give ground to Democrats or Republicans or NAACP or Malcolm X–he just presents Jesus as the only hope, the only voice to which we must listen!
Sorry to go on and on but it was a great morning I will not soon forget!  If you don’t have time to watch, no problem!  Just wanted you to have access to it if you are curious!  Not sure how long WRAL will keep this video up so if you are interested, go check it out!

“Wexford Carol” Joshua Carswell and the Hall Sisters

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Well, December finally arrived!  I’ve been holding this post since October, waiting to share this beautiful carol.  Three connections with this piece–first, I’ve known these four sisters, their parents, and their grandparents going back many, many years.  Second, heard Joshua Carswell for the first time in connection with the Fine Arts Summer Camps organized by the Wolavers (of Annie Moses Band fame).  Third, Bill Wolaver plays piano on this recording and is one of the finest arrangers I’ve ever known.

So enjoy the music…but more to the point, hear the proclamation of the Good News that Jesus Christ our Savior is born!

Back home from Cape Town

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Cathy and I returned late Friday night from an incredible ten days in Cape Town, South Africa.  We got to see the diversity of the body of Christ in full display!

Leadership International from Nashville, Tennessee partnered with Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina to provide work teams to finish up work for a Xhosa church in the Khayelitsha township (over one million residing within a few square miles between the airport and the sea).

Meanwhile, I joined others in teaching a three-day pastors’ conference for church planting pastors from Ethiopia working under the auspices of an Bible Training Center for Pastors leadership team from South Korea!  Cathy got a tremendous response as she led a two-day retreat for women church leaders from the Khayelitsha township.Version 2

Over 750,000 refugees from Ethiopia make their home in South Africa.  In the past 10-12 years, this group of pastors and their colleagues have planted over 75 churches among those refugees, largely self-sustaining and committed to multiplying themselves all over the country.  The Korean leadership team offers training and some financial support. The Americans, like us, provide periodic teaching and training resources.  It is glorious partnership and snapshot of the international flavor of the church Jesus Christ is gathering unto Himself!

When you get a chance, check out the Equipped for Life website for a few more pictures!

In the meantime, here is a look at the Providence team at work on the church building and child-care center!