Pastor’s Corner – 8/21/09

“Grace grows best in winter.” Those words were written to Lady Culross by Samuel Rutherford, who had recently lost his young wife and two children and was in prison in Scotland for preaching the faith of the Reformation. Rutherford wrote many letters from prison, and many of his most memorable phrases were included in Anne Cousin’s wonderful hymn, “The Sands of Time are Sinking.” We all go through “winters” at various times in our lives, yet the ironic and unintuitive truth is that God delights to work in tremendous ways during these times – though we may not realize it until the winter is over. Preaching through a book like Habakkuk would probably always be fitting, but it seems that we are providentially in this book at just the right time for many of us. I have been at the hospital more in the last month than in the previous 21 months combined! I pray, and I ask you to pray, that God would continue to bless my study and meditation upon His word as I prepare to preach to you. I encourage you to come back on Sunday evenings as well, for we are growing closer to our Savior as we study His life through the gospel of Mark. It is through the foolishness of preaching that sinners are converted, conformed to Christ’s image, and comforted, so bring your friends to hear God’s transforming word of grace!


Beginning in September, several things will be changing. We’ll be starting up new Sunday school classes, as well as new adult small groups and our children’s catechism program. You can find more information on these in this newsletter. We’ll also be changing the way we do our monthly fellowship meals. We have been doing church-wide fellowship meals once a month, usually the second Sunday of the month. Starting the first Sunday in September, we will begin meeting by shepherding group; we have four groups, and each group will meet one week a month (the same week each month).

Where the group meets can vary, though at Algood School or at the church property will be the most likely spots. Our regular visitors have been assigned to groups as well, and the meals will always be open to any visitor that would like to stay – especially college students! They’ll still be potluck dinners, so we won’t lose the element of surprise as to what you’ll be eating for lunch J. Here is the schedule (you’ll find the shepherding groups later on in the newsletter): 1st Sunday – Darryl Richards; 2nd Sunday – Dennis Parker; 3rd Sunday – Robert Row; 4th Sunday – Brad Bleasdale. The fifth Sundays will be special visitor lunches, open to any visitor who would like to come.

Our hope as a Session is that the smaller group size will lend itself to more intimate fellowship among us, enabling us to get to know one another better so that we might be better equipped to minister to one another. Many of you know that an elder is assigned to have primary responsibility to caring for your soul; you probably don’t know that there are two deacons assigned to each group, or who the other members are that make up the shepherding group. Hopefully by meeting together monthly you will learn these things, and your love for the church will continue to grow. I exhort you to continue to grow in your fellowship, exercising hospitality to strangers, sharing meals and life with one another, serving one another, encouraging one another. May God continue to make us to be a body committed to growing together in love and unity.


One last note – I have, much to my own surprise, begun a blog. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it is essentially an online diary. Don’t worry, I won’t be writing my deepest darkest secrets. Rather, I will be recording (as time allows) my meditations upon the word of God, good quotes, things I run across on the internet, and thoughts about other things that interest me: gardening, economics, Robert’s Rules of Order, GTD, history, mathematics, woodworking, etc. The web address is I invite you to visit, read, even comment – but don’t feel too bad if I don’t comment back! One of my fears about blogging is that I will fail to redeem the time; I will waste the short time that God has given me in this life. Pray that I will have wisdom as to when/what/why I blog. My desire is that the Lord would use this as a way to bring glory to Himself, edify His people, convert the lost, sharpen my writing skills, and pass on thing that He is teaching me. No one may care what I have to say, but you are willing to listen to me week in and week out, so maybe you’ll find this interesting as well.


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