Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Praying today. . . .

I want to ask you to pray for some specifics today.
- Kelly Traylor, Cherokee County Commissioner and a deacon at CBC, lost his mother today. She had been ill, then bounced back, but the Lord called her home today. The unexpected passing of anyone is difficult, but even more so for someone so beloved. Please pray for Kelly and his family during this difficult season of life.
- My great-uncle, Ben Hudson, went home to be with the Lord yesterday. Ben had been in poor health for some time. Thus, it was in the mercy of the Lord that the Lord let Ben come home. We appreciate your prayers as we prepare to lay this godly servant of the Lord to rest.
- We have MANY in the J-ville area who are sick. No matter what the disease, it's making its way around town, through the schools and wreaking havoc in its wake. Pray for those who are sick.

"Cast all your cares on Him, for it matters to Him concerning you" (1 Peter 5:7). It's a comfort to me to realize the God of all the universe cares about the problems I face and asks me to give them to Him. Who better to trust them to?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday Moring Reflections

- Welcome Jacques and Temica Gooden, our newest members! We're thrilled to have you with us! It's not often we have people join at the BEGINNING of the service, but special people demand special arrangements. (For those who didn't hear it earlier, Temica's work schedule requires her presence before the end of worship, thus we made the special arrangements.
- Special thanks to Doug and Tim for their hard work in the technical arena yesterday - I asked a LOT and they delivered! Thanks fellas! Here's the video I used yesterday if you want to see it again.
- I was blessed by those of you who came to worship yesterday! I never bother to count, but we had a full house again.
- We'll finish our "How Great is Our God" series this Sunday with "A worship service of ONE!" Whereas yesterday we talked about how BIG God is, this Sunday we'll talk about how intimate our relationship can be!
- Believe it or not, this Sunday will be our one month anniversary! Never in my life have I felt so at home so quickly as I have here. Your warmth, graciousness and kind words have made our first days here a blessing beyond words. We look forward to being here for years to come!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New series on the horizon!

Sunday will mark our one month anniversary at CBC! It's been awesome! I love what I've seen and heard from each of you! I think this is the greatest church in the world and I'm so pumped I get to be a part of it, (much less serve as pastor!)! So here's what we're going to do with this new series. We're going to find out why YOU love CBC and what being a part of Jesus' kingdom here has meant to you. In order to do that, I need some volunteers. If you're interested in helping me there, drop me a note at the email address at the top of the page. I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Things I can't use on Sunday

Occasionally, I'll post things here I've found researching for Sundays but can't find a home for in a message. I usually won't explain how or why I found the item I've placed here, but usually, I found it funny or unusual enough to let you have a shot at. This time, however, a little explanation is due. One of the illustrations I'll be using Sunday is about God's view of us. One of my favorite pictures of this comes from Joyce Landorf's book Balcony People. They love us, regardless of our performance. Leaning over the rail, they applaud our every move and do so with passion and enthusiasm. The video I've posted here is sort of the inverse of that. While Statler and Waldorf are balcony people, their snide remarks, while often hillarious, are inverse of God's methodology for us. Enjoy this trip back to Muppet land!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Update from Oklahoma

I got a call last night from my dear brother James Lankford. Two weeks ago, I shared with you about his decision to run for U.S. Congress. Now, he's deep in its throes. Fundraising, shaking hands, asking people for their vote - you know the plan. While you might think it odd for a minister to be running for Congress (esp given the nasty nature of Washington politics), bear in mind that his decision was hardly entered into lightly. It's one a long time in the making and one he did not enter into unadvisedly. Therefore, I humbly ask for your prayers for James, Cindy and their two daughters as they begin this long journey. There's much work to do and many obstacles to overcome. One person told me although they supported James' decision, they didn't think he stood much of a chance. To that, I responded that my God "can do immeasurably more than I ask or even imagine" (Ephesians 3:20-21). Since God is the author of our lives, only He can write the story.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday Reflections

I made it through the rain home last night and back again this morning. Although we needed the rain desperately, I'm glad to see the sun peaking through today! Or at least I was this morning before our internet service went down! I'm glad to see it back!

- I tend to think of the first Sunday after Labor Day as the first Sunday of the church year. What a great start we had!

- A great thanks to Steve Edwards for his exceptional work in putting on our "Fireproof" movie night last weekend. A great night of pizza and a powerful movie! If you haven't seen it, let us know. We'll get you a copy to view!

- Thanks to our LLL (Live Longer and Like it!) Ministry last night. We had a wonderful fellowship after worship last night - even if we did run out of food! Now that's the kind of problem I like to have! It means people are there and they are happy (all those who got food are anyway! :-) ).

- I'm always on the lookout for ministry oppotunities and stuff that God's using in powerful ways. Here's a conference every college student should consider attending. I can assure you - it's powerful, it's relevant and it's worth your time! Take a look at their promo video (2:40 minutes).


- A shout-out to all my Facebook friends out there! You know who you are! If you're on FB and you haven't found us yet, search for either me or "Central Baptist Church Jacksonville" group.

- A shout-out to all my Twitter followers. If you'd like to follow me there, find me at www.twitter.com/Darin610.

One question I've been asked is why I bother with these social networking things. The answer is simple: it's where the people are! Jesus went to the places where people were and sought them out. By doing social networking (among other things), we're doing the same! Maybe that's not how they envisioned their product being used, but who cares? Let's use it for the Kingdom just the same!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

A friend's big news

You remember how on Sunday I said "Some days are bigger than others"? The truth is I've been keeping a secret for a deeply trusted friend. While I was beginning here Sunday, he was about to begin the weirdest journey of our lives.

Meet my friend James Lankford. That's Cindy, his lovely bride, and Hannah, their oldest daughter. They have another daughter, Jordan, as well. They live in Edmond, Oklahoma. James and I have been friends for close to 20 years now. We came to Southwestern Seminary together in 1990. You ever met someone and it's like a long-lost brother? That's how James and I felt. We've served the Lord together through Youth Evangelism and through church ministry. He has a passion for ministry and an even greater passion for people. I've found him to be a man who can be trusted implicitly without fear of reprisal. We were in each other's weddings and have carried our friendship forward despite the distance between us.

About a year ago, James called me on my cell. Nothing unusual there - or so I thought. He was calling to ask me to pray with him about a change in career path, a path he now begins pursuing.

Effective today, James is running for U.S. Congress, 5th district of Oklahoma. It may seem a strange choice to some - a minister running for Congress? - but the reality is that we NEED men who are willing to follow the Lord to that snake pit in D.C. and straighten out that mess! I know we have many who read this blog who have family all over the place. If you have kin in Oklahoma (specifically, Oklahoma County, Seminole County or Pottowatomie County), encourage them to vote for James. If you don't have family there, pray for James, Cindy and their daughters as they begin this journey to Election Day 2010.