Notes from Sunday – 12/18/11

Happy Birthday Crystal!

I am not good at surprises. But I did a pretty good job this weekend. I sent from my niece Harriette, who is very close to Crystal, to visit for the weekend while I am away. I think it is the best birthday gift I have ever given Crystal.

I am writing this post from Chicago.

I filled in this Sunday for my friend, Romell Williams, at the Lilydale Progressive Baptist Church, as he is recovering from surgery.

Romell has bailed me out on many occasions. It was a privilege to return the favor.

Romell and his family mean so much to me that I not only left my pulpit on a Sunday morning, but I was also away on my wife’s birthday. This is an indication of what the Williams family means to the Charles family.

I am a better friend to Romell than he is to me. He preached for me last month. And I brought him from the cold of Chicago to the warmth of Jacksonville. But to preach for him I had to leave the warmth of Jacksonville to come to a snowstorm in Chicago!

It was a great day of worship and fellowship!

I preached to messages from the Psalms that I have recently preached at Shiloh. I love the Psalms!

I have been battling a cold all week. I felt the best Sunday than I have all week. Credit prayer, rest, and Dayquil.

I really missed being with at Shiloh today.

I received good reports of how the Lord used West Wilson and Donald Lewis to minister the word today. Praise God.

Praise God for those who were saved and added to the church today.

I am looking forward to preaching Christmas morning, God willing.

Did you know that the Dallas Cowboys whipped up on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Saturday night?

I missed a really good boxing match Saturday night. Can’t wait to see the replay.

Was the Lord with Tim Tebow Sunday?

The Indianapolis Colts finally won a game. And then announced that Peyton Manning will not play this season.

I can’t tell you how glad I am that the Green Bay Packers lost this weekend.

I think I am beginning to get excited about the upcoming NBA season. Go Heat!

Breaking News: This season, I will also be cheering for the Los Angeles… Clippers!!!

notes from Sunday – 12/11/11

Great day of worship at Shiloh today.

Grateful for all the guests who were in worship with us today.

As usual, our children choir did a great job singing in worship today.

Praise God for those who were baptized today.

I had the opportunity to chat with several new members today. Very encouraging testimonies.

I preached from Psalm 3. I called the message, “It’s Not As Bad As It Seems.”

The point of the message: Things are never as bad as they seem, if God is on your side.

Outline:

I. Bring your complaints to the Lord (3:1-2).
A. He told the Lord about what his enemies were doing (v. 1)
B. He told the Lord about what his enemies were saying (v. 2)
II. Place your confidence in the Lord (3:3-6).
A. Confidence in who the Lord is (vv. 3)
B. Confidence in what the Lord has done (vv. 4-6)
III. Give your conflict to the Lord (3:7-8).
A. God will fight your battle (v. 7)
B. God will give you the victory (v. 8)

I have had a great time preaching from the Psalms over the past several weeks. I plan to preach one more sermon from the Psalms in our Midweek Worship Service this Wednesday evening.

Praise God for those who were added to the church today.

I enjoyed the fellowship with one of our districts after church today.

I planned to go to Jaguars game today. I but I was too tired to go. I do not regret going home and getting in the bed!

The Jags whipped the Bucs today 41-14.

I had the privilege of speaking at the chapel for the Bucs on Saturday evening. But it apparently did not help them today. I am now 4-1 for the season.

What can you say about Tim Tebow. 7-1. That’s what you say.

As I write this, the Cowboys are playing the Giants. The score is close at the end of the 3rd quarter. But I am trusting the Cowboys will pull it out.

Notes from Sunday – 12/4/11

It was so good to be home with my church family this weekend!

Last week, I was in Antigua and Barbuda, speaking for the Eastern Caribbean Baptist Mission led by Dr. Jensworth W.C. Jonas. Crystal joined me on the trip. And we had a great time.

I look forward to future Missions partnership with Dr. Jonas and the ECBM.

Saturday night, John P. Kee was in concert on our campus. John P. Kee!

John Kee did not see “Jesus is Real.” What’s up with that?

One of my favorite female Gospel voices – Lejuene Thompson – was singing backup. I wish I had the opportunity to hear her sing more.

Thanks to all our staff and volunteers who prepared for the concert Saturday and then got the campus ready for worship Sunday. You make it happen!

We had a wonderful celebration of the Lord’ Supper in both of our services.

I was glad to have our guests in worship with us.

I forgot to do our “Fighter Verses” in both services. It is a weird irony that I forgot our memory verse!

I preached “Out of the Depths” from Psalm 130.

I argued that God is able to take you from the depths of personal despair to the heights of divine favor.

Psalm 130 teaches us what to do to move the hand of God to reach you and lift you out of the depths:

I. Cry out for God’s mercy (130:1-2).
II. Remember God’s goodness (130:3-4).
III. Wait on God’s promises (130:5-6).
IV. Proclaim God’s redemption (130:7-8).

I plan to preach the psalms over the next few weeks. I love praying David’s harp!

Praise God for those who were saved and added to the church in our worship services yesterday.

Yesterday was our youth pastor’s last day. We are praying for Pastor Andrae Robinson and his family as he transitions to his new ministry position.

After church, we shared a meal with several of our church districts who were having their Christmas fellowship. We had a good time.

Last night, I had the privilege of speaking at the chapel service for the San Diego Chargers. It was a great time in the word of God with the brothers.

The Cowboys lost to the Cardinals yesterday because of an inexplicably bad coaching decision in the 4th quarter. But thanks to the Giants losing to the Packers, we still lead the divisions. Go Cowboys!

Tiger Woods won his first tournament in two years yesterday.

Miguel Cotto beat up Antonio Margarito to win at 10th round TKO.

The BCS Championship game will be a rematch between LSU and Alabama. I am fine with this.

The Jags will play the Chargers tonight on Monday Night Football? Who you got?

Notes from Sunday – 11/27/11

Crystal and I are in Antigua & Barbuda.

I am here to preach for the East Caribbean Baptist Mission led by Dr. Hensworth W.C. Jonas.

The Central Baptist Church, one of the oldest Baptist congregations here, celebrated its 46th church anniversary this weekend. Tryells Baptist Church and Covenant Baptist Church, which are plants and extensions of Central on different parts of the island, also celebrated almost 20 years of ministry.

This is Antigua’s Harvest Celebration, which seems to be similar to our Thanksgiving. It is a time when the people here give thanks to God for his provisions. The various congregations dress their chapels with fruit to signify God’s provisions, goodness, and faithfulness.

I preached at the Tyrells Baptist Church for the 8 AM Service. Then I preached about 20 minutes away at the Central Baptist Church at 10 AM.

Sunday evening, I preached again for a joint service at the Central Baptist Church.

Over the next three nights, I will preach an evangelistic meeting – one night at each of the locations in the Baptist circuit, as it is called.

The weather here has been beautiful. Even though it rained really hard last night, it still felt great outside!

Various insects are eating us alive. It goes with the territory, I understand.

I received reports that Shiloh had a great day of worship yesterday in my absence. God be praised!

Thanks to Vince Towns and Brodes Perry for ministering the word to the saints.

I really missed being in worship with my congregation yesterday.

My phone has not been working here. That may be a good thing.

The USC Trojans hung 50 points in a shutout against the UCLA Bruins. Just wait until next year, when our sanctions are over!

Looks like we are headed for a LSU-Alabama for the BCS championship. I have no problem with this.

The Jags lost at home to the Texans with a no-name quarterback, 13-20.

Matt Leinart just cannot cut a break!

The Cowboys beat the Dolphins on Thanksgiving. Grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful!

Tim Tebow.

I do not think I care that the NBA has reach an agreement and will soon begin a shortened season. I may change my mind when the NFL season is over.

Notes from Sunday – 11/20/11

We have a blessed day of worship yesterday at Shiloh.

Thanks to all our volunteers who served in any way over the course of the weekend. You make is happen!

We distributed our 2011 Annual Report to the church yesterday. It was our first time undertaking something so detailed. I pray it will be received well by the congregation.

We did “Blessed Assurance” corporately. I love that hymn!

As always, I am grateful for the guests who were with us in worship.

I preached from Psalm 46. I entitled the message, “A Safe Place in God.”

The point of the message: The only safe place in the world is in God alone.

Here is the outline:

I. There is safety in the power of God (46:1-3)
II. There is safety in the presence of God (46:4-7)
III. There is safety in the purpose of God (46:8-11)

I had a great quote from Martin Luther that I did not actually say in either service. So I’ll share it here: “We sing this psalm to the praise of God, because God is with us, and powerfully and miraculously preserves and defends his church and his world, against all fanatical spirits, against the gates of hell, against the implacable hatred of the devil, and against the assaults of the world, the flesh and sin.”

I think Psalm 46 is one of the most famous psalms that most people do not actually know. We know verses 1 and 10 and that’s about it. But the entire psalm is remarkably comforting and encouraging.

I was behind in my studies last week. And I determined Saturday afternoon that I would safe Psalm 46 for another time. But the Lord made me press through. I am glad I obeyed.

I was not feeling well yesterday. I am grateful the Lord gave me strength to preach.

You would be surprised by the mental distractions I have to preach through yesterday.

Can’t wait to preach Psalm 46 again.

Praise God for those who were saved and added to the church yesterday.

The Dallas Cowboys defeated their division rivals the Washington Redskins yesterday in overtime, 27-24.

The Jags lost to the Cleveland Browns, 14-10. No good.

Would someone please beat the Green Bay Packers! Please!

The BCS is a mess with all of the upsets this weekend in college football. And I love it!

Notes from Sunday – 11/6/11

Good day of worship yesterday.

The congregation sung “Holy, Holy, Holy” as our hymn for the day. Wonderful.

We celebrated the Lord’s Table yesterday, as is our custom on 1st Sundays. Always a great time of worship and fellowship.

We sung “Father I Stretch My Hands to Thee” during Communion. I learned a new verse to this hymn in Pensacola last week. I really like it. It says…

“I do believe, I now believe
That Jesus died for me
And by his blood, his precious blood
I shall from sin be free.”

Grateful, as always, for the guests who were in worship with us.

Ray Scott song “A Heart that Forgives” as a song of preparation. It is a beautiful song. Ray did a great job. Very moving… and convicting.

I preached on prayer from Matthew 7:7-11. I called it “Why You Should Pray About It.”

In Matthew 7:7-11, Jesus gives two reasons why we should pray:

1. Pray in obedience to the command of God (7:7-8).
2. Pray with confidence in the goodness of God (7:9-11).

I have been meditating on prayer all last week. I was really eager to preach on prayer Sunday. I hope the message helpful.

Ask me how my day went yesterday. Answer: The battery on the microphone I was preaching from yesterday died as I was beginning my final point.

Praise God for those who were added to the church.

I will not be preaching this week, for the first time in a long time.

This week we will celebrate three years as pastor and people at the Shiloh Church. Guest speakers are scheduled for both Wednesday night and Sunday morning.

I had a really quiet evening with the family. Nothing better.

USC bounced back this weekend with a great win over Colorado 42-17. We need Matthew Barkley to remain with the Trojans for another year!

For the record, the LSU/Alabama game did not live up to the hype. I expected Alabama to win. Wrong again.

Saw one of the best boxing matches Saturday night that I have seen in a long time. Unfortunately, I do not know either guy’s name.

The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Seattle Seahawks 23-13. I am sorry that Coach Pete Carroll keeps losing. But I am glad that the Cowboys won.

The Jacksonville Jaguars did not lose yesterday!

Notes from Sunday – 10/30/11

Today was a good day of worship at the Shiloh Church.

5th Sundays are like a box of chocolates…

I led a questions and answers session with my New Members Class today. They had some provocative questions.

Thanks to all of our volunteers. You make it happen!

Today is Reformation Sunday. We introduced it with a brief video clip about Martin Luther and the 16th century Protestant Reformation. Wish we could have just shown the whole video!

We sang, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” It was a new hymn to many. But it was great to hear the voices of the saints lifted in praise to God.

We featured the local work of One Church, One Child is our services today. The representative left with a page of names of interested persons and families. May the Lord grant that families in our church will take on the great step of adoption.

Our Fighter Verse(s) this week was Proverbs 3:5-7. I memorized verses 5-6.

Our Women’s Chorus led the special music today. Sis. Letson led a song entitled “Safety.” It was wonderful.

I preached from Job 1:20-22: “The Test of True Worship.”

I endeavored to make three points about true worship from the text:

1. True worship is a choice (v. 20).
2. True worship is the result of an eternal perspective on life (v. 21).
3. True worship requires stubborn faith (v. 22).

I planned to preach something else today. But beggars can’t be choosers.

I am glad I preached what I was lead to preach.

Praise God for those who were added to the church today.

I met a new member that joined our church today as a result of the witness of one of our men. Very encouraging.

After church, I drove to Orlando with Crystal to pick up the kids who spent the weekend with the Washington family.

I drove back. I got my second speeding ticket in two weeks. I repent. (Can I repent and blame Crystal at the same time?)

I could not find my driver’s license. I found it when I got home… in my pocket!!!

The USC Trojans lost in a thriller to Stanford Saturday night.

The Jaguars lost to the Texans 14-24. We are not 2-5 for the season.
The Cowboys are presently losing to the Eagles 0-21. I probably will be sleep by the time this game is over. But this does not look good.

I am heading to Pensacola Monday morning to preach their citywide revival. Please remember this meeting in your prayers.

Notes from Sunday – 10/23/11

We had a blessed time of worship yesterday at the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church.

Thanks to all of our volunteers for your service yesterday. You make it happen!

Our ensemble, Forgiven, led the musical praise yesterday and did a wonderful job. It was a good time of worship.

We had a great Fighter Verse this week – Proverbs 1:10: “My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.” This weeks verse(s) is Proverbs 3:5-6.

Grateful for all the guests who were in worship with us yesterday.

The world famous BrothaRollins was in the house!

I met a family from Canada after the last service. They are in town visiting their son who is here in school. They saw our TV broadcast and decided they wanted to go to church. They got lost and passed by our church. The wife suggested that they come here. They walked in and saw me standing there preaching and were so excited. Way cool.

I preached my final stewardship message for the month. My text was Proverbs 3:9-10. I called it “Godly Wisdom for Money Management.”

The point of the message: The way to make your money work for you is to make sure you money works for God.

I have really enjoyed preaching on Christian stewardship and generosity this month. I am also glad that I am done with this series.

I am still having trouble setting my work to memory. This has been going on for a few weeks now. I think I need a mental break. It is coming soon.

Praise God for those who were added to the church yesterday.

Next Sunday I intend to preach on the mission of the church from Acts 1:6-11.

Last night, I spoke that the chapel service for the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was a great time in the word with the brothers. Grateful to the Jags chaplain, Anthony Johnson, for the opportunity.

What do you think is going to happen when the Jags take on the Ravens on MNF tonight?

The Dallas Cowboys beat the St. Louis Rams 34-7 to go 3-3 for the season.

Before I fell asleep last night, I saw the replay of the Bernard Hopkins/Chad Dawson from a week ago. All I can say is that I am so glad that I did not waste my money ordering that fight.

The USC Trojans defeated Notre Dame 31-17 Saturday night!!!

I hear there is a pretty good World Series going on. Not watching. Sorry.

Does anyone care that the NBA is still locked out and cancelling games?

Notes from Sunday – 10/02/11

This past week we hosted our first Fall Church institute at Shiloh. It was a great week of study, worship, and fellowship. I have received many good reports on the classes. And Pastor John Adolph ministered the word in a strong way each night. Praise God for blessing this step of faith!

Today was a good day of worship.

I enjoyed teaching my New Members Class today. I have been out for a few weeks. Glad to be back at it.

It was a great joy to lead the congregation in corporate praise to God.

We celebrated the Lord’s Table in both of our services today, which is always a special time in corporate worship.

Grateful for all the guests who joined us in worship today.

I preached a message from Mark 12:41-44 that I entitled “How the Lord Counts Your Offering.”

The point of today’s message what this: The motives of the giver is always more valuable to the Lord than the amount of the gift.

I endeavored to show the church three ways the Lord counts our offerings that go beyond the amount of the gift:

1. The Lord counts your offering by the commitment it declares.
2. The Lord counts your offering by the cost it demands.
3. The Lord counts your offering by the confidence it demonstrates.

Today was the first time I have preached about giving in more than a year. I felt the weight of the message as I preached. But I was very nervous about preaching about money.

I may swap out this week’s sermon for the one I plan to preach on the fourth Sunday. Stay tuned. And pray for my studies this week.

Praise God for those who were saved and added to the church today.

We were scheduled to worship with the Abyssinia Baptist Church this afternoon in celebration of Pastor Eugene Diamond’s pastoral anniversary. However, Pastor Diamond’s went home to be with the Lord this weekend. And the service was cancelled. Please remember the Diamond family and the Abyssinia congregation in your prayers.

My wife’s cousin also passed away this weekend in Seattle, WA. Please remember my family in your prayers this week. And pray for Crystal as she plans to travel to Seattle for the funeral.

The USC Trojans beat Arizona in a shoot-out 48-41.

The Dallas Cowboys lost to the Detroit Lions (30-34) thanks to the assistance of quarterback Tony Romo.

The Saints defeated the Jaguars this afternoon 23-10.

Apple is scheduled to announce the new iPhone this coming Tuesday. Be there!

Notes from Sunday – 09/11/11

It was a long but good day.

I praise God for all that he is doing in and through the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church!

Throughout the day, my thoughts have drifted back to the tragedy that took place 10 years ago today. Remembering. Grieving. Praying.

I had just fallen to sleep after finishing a sermon for a special prayer meeting we were to have that night. I was knocked-out on the coach. The phone kept ringing. It was my mom, calling to tell me to turn on the TV. Do you remember where you were when you heard the news that our nation was under attack?

For the record, I am proud to be an American!!!

During our Bible Study Fellowship hour we have a rally to introduce to new groups and pray for our new teachers.

Today’s Fighter Verse was 2 Corinthians 9:6-7. It was a good start to our new corporate Scripture memorization system. Next week’s verse is 2 Corinthians 9:8.

Grateful for all the guests in worship with us today.

Praise God for the one who was baptized today.

Our opening hymn was great today! I love hymns!

Our children’s choir sung today. It was the first time they have sung in several months. They did a good job, as usual.

The choir sung Richard Smallwood’s new song, “Trust Me,” before the message. It is a beautiful song.

I began a three-part series that I am calling “Real Church.” I preached today on “Real Worship” from John 4:19-24.

I strived to make the point that real worship is about God and not about you!

I preached all day with a sore throat. But his grace is sufficient and his strength is perfected in my weakness.

I plan to preach next Sunday on “Real Change” from 2 Timothy 3:14-17.

Praise God for those who were saved and added to the church today.

My family and I went to the Jaguars home opener this afternoon. The Jags beat the Tennessee Titans 16-14.

It was so unbelievably hot that I felt I was going to melt right in my seat.

The halftime tribute to the 9/11 victims, families, and first responders was moving and beautiful.

I am so glad that football is back!

I cannot believe the beat down the Indianapolis Colts received today without Payton Manning.

I am disappointed that Serena Williams lost in the US Open Finals today.

The Dallas Cowboys gave us a 4th quarter lead to lose to the New York Jets tonight. This is not the way we were supposed to start the season.

The USC Trojans defeated Utah 24-13 this weekend. You can put us on probation. But you cannot keep us down. Go Trojans!!!