Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Tomorrow we will have the official service for Dad. As the family gathered tonight I could not help but think of how Dad would have been so happy to see Ashley reading to two of her younger cousins. Dad would have loved to see Joshua riding bikes with the younger grandchildren. He got such joy in just watching his "great 8" play together. I stood out front for a few minutes tonight and I could almost see Dad sitting there in a lawn chair watching the children ride bikes. I heard the dog begin barking as one of the children came inside, and imagined for a moment that he would come hobbling up the stairs. I can swear that I still hear his voice when I walk into a room "Heaoo Matt!". I just can't believe he is gone from this earth. Now that I am done being selfish, I am so glad that he has graduated to his reward. He is with the Lord. As for the service tomorrow, please pray that I will be able to speak what God has put on my heart. Please pray that hearts will be stirred to salvation. God can.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
For me, writing is therapy. I have gotten away from writing much due to the busyness of life, but at this time of loss I find it helps. I am glad that my dad (Meredith Tilden Jones) is now with the Saviour whom he has served for so many decades now. He fought cancer valiantly for over three years. Dad's earthly body was riddled with problems for the last 7 years or so, but now he has a new and glorified body in heaven. I am so thankful to know that his battle is over and that he's on the winning side. There has been a flood of emotions and thoughts over the last few days, and I know that they will continue to come. We cleaned out his room at the Hill House in North Bath yesterday. This was difficult, as it was the last earthly place we were with him. Today we begin cleaning out his trailer. This will probably be very difficult as well. I truly cannot imagine how those with no hope deal with this. It is truly hard enough even knowing he is in heaven. Tonight we have our mid-week service at Bryant Pond Baptist Church. I am not sure how I will handle it, but we will be there, although with a guest preacher. Tomorrow we will be back here in Wiscasset with the family. Well....my Dad. He has been a faithful member of the Bible Baptist Church in Wiscasset since the very early 80's. Throughout his life he faced many difficult times. Through it all, he never complained, he just kept serving the Lord. When he found out he had type 2 diabetes, he did not complain (though he showed my brothers and I the needle he needed to give himself shots with and implored us to change our lifestyle so we wouldn't end up having to do that). When Dad found out that he needed a quadruple bypass, he did not complain. He had the surgery and kept serving God. When Dad found out that that nagging pain in his hip was prostate cancer that had spread into his bones, he did not complain, he just kept serving God. When he fell, tearing all the ligaments in his knee, requiring surgery and months of a cast and therapy, he did not complain, he just kept serving God. Do you see a theme here? I seem to catch myself complaining whenever a preference of mine is not met.... Dad was a great man. He is already missed. As a side note, I have all of his Bibles, and what a testament it is to his faithfulness to study the Word of God. Even in the midst of pain.
Friday, March 21, 2014
When I opened the latest edition of the Lincoln County News newspaper, right on the front page is an article about the Damariscotta Baptist Church voting in a woman as their pastor. This marks the first woman pastor in their long history. The news hit me right in the gut. I knew that the DBC has been sliding in a liberal direction for many years, as they long-ago dumped the KJB and yoked up with the liberal American Baptist Churches of America organization. But still, the news...really affected me. This once great church(which claims Adoniram Judson, Sr. as the very first pastor) somewhere down the line had a pastor who dropped the ball. Bible doctrine took a back seat to something else. It could have been a program of some kind, perhaps even a good program. Now...imagine your own church. If the pastor fails to instill absolute confidence in the KJB as the very Word of God, infallible and inerrant, eventually the congregation will drift. If a pastor is not feeding the sheep, the sheep will starve, and when the pastor leaves, the sheep may just bring in the wrong man (or woman) to replace him. The wrong pastor, with a congregation that has been Biblically starved, is free to drift further and further from true Bible doctrine. I say all of that to say that I am truly convicted that I must do my very best to feed the sheep with solid Bible preaching and teaching. The pulpit should never be a "doctrine free" zone. When a church body is properly fed, even if the pastor was suddenly gone, they would be equipped to stay on the right track. By the way, what does the Bible say about the qualifications for a preacher? 1Timothy_3:2 "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach" (The terms Bishop and Elder both refer to the pastor of a church) 1 Timothy 3:4-5 "One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)" Furthermore, Titus 1:6-9 also makes it very clear that a pastor is a "he". Also, consider that all of the apostles were men. There were no female pastors in the Bible.... Notice that in the article, she never referenced the above facts: This patriarchy, still strong in some churches and denominations, does not have a basis in the Bible, which is full of strong, female leaders, Harris said. The sisters Martha and Mary were followers of Jesus Christ and active in his ministry. The merchant Lydia was an early convert to Christianity, "a woman of power and money who had a church in her house," Harris said. Priscilla was another important figure in early Christianity, a brave church leader and companion of Paul the Apostle. "When the first church was established, there were lots of women," Harris said. Christians who oppose female leadership interpret some of Paul's writings to mean women should "stay quiet and not teach or be in leadership over men," Harris said, "but that's not what Jesus did." Thus, if Jesus Christ "had women involved and leading in his ministry, then why wouldn't we do it here and now?" Harris said. "Personally, I think the spirit can move anybody," she said. "God is greater than our genders." Harris believes the trend toward acceptance of female pastors and leaders stems as much from logistics as theology. By the way, Paul's writings are actually God's writings, as it says in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." So, God's Word tells us in 1 Timothy 2:12 "But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence." Also, 1 Corinthians 11:3 tells us "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." The Bible is crystal clear, you must be a man to be a pastor. It is sad that such clear Bible teaching is tossed out the window with thoughts like "God is greater than our genders". God certainly is greater that our genders, but God will NEVER go against His Word. Thoughts that women can be pastors or preachers only come when one does not know or does not care what the Bible truly has to say. We have a perfect Bible and it is our sole authority. Think Biblically. Live Biblically. Men, preach Biblically.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Here are some more blessings that I forgot to mention: We have a young lady who is recently saved who brings her baby with her to church. She has been very faithful to come on the Sunday mornings that she does not work. She came back on Sunday night and it truly blessed my soul. After the service she went to Brother Tignor and thanked the family for what they do. That was a blessing to me. It is an absolute joy to watch her grow in the Lord. We have a teen who has been saved for just about three weeks now and it is a blessing to hear her ask good questions about the Bible and faith. She has been very faithful and has even began singing with our choir. God has truly been good!
Monday, February 24, 2014
Sunday February 23, 2014 at Bryant Pond Baptist Church, we did not set any kind of attendance records. In fact, we were below our 2013 average attendance. We did not have record offerings.on Sunday. We did not have to take out the van and the bus like we do most Sundays. We didn't have enough children that we were picking up. So...I'm complaining....right? Actually, Sunday was a powerful day for me and I wanted to share some of these blessings with everybody! In Sunday School we announced our next youth service (March 9 at 6pm). Already we have music acts and two young men preaching! This is a huge blessing! They are picking a verse or verses and speaking on them, what they mean. This is exciting! We have children that play the clarinet, the trumpet, the flute (two of them), the piano.... In the morning service we had a visit from a member who has been "on the books" since 1942! Wow! (by the way, her health does not allow her regular attendance) In the morning service we had a couple of ladies visit...they came in after the music had started so I didn't have a chance to introduce myself before the service. I noticed one of the ladies was paying close attention but the other was not....after the service I worked my way to them and found out they are Bulgarian. One lady did not speak a word of English. Her daughter did, and is a member of a Baptist church in Mass. She complemented us on our website and having our sermons online. In the evening service we had special guests the Tignor family, missionaries to Equador. It was great to finally meet this family, and they are a great bunch! Brother Chris preached a great message and the service was wonderful! I was very pleased at how generous our church was with them. It warms my heart to serve with such missions-minded folks! The best part of the day was a girl named Lexi. She has been attending semi-regularly for a number of weeks now. She has had some questions about salvation for a time, but every time we were going to sit down, something else got in the way. Yesterday before the am service I walked up to her and asked her if she had gotten saved yet. She hadn't. We talked and she was ready to ask God to save her soul. She bowed her head and prayed. When she said amen she had a smile from ear to ear! She was so excited! It was so awesome to see! Our experience this Sunday goes to show, it is not always about the numbers, nor about the offerings, but it is about God moving and watching Him change lives! Are you down about numbers? Maybe you just need to look a little deeper. God is good and He will never let us down!