I am in Seattle. Last night, I preached the first of three nights for Pastor Curtis Taylor and the Progressive Missionary Baptist Church. The congregation is celebrating sixty-five years of ministry. And this three-night meeting is a part of the celebration, which will continue Friday night and conclude Sunday morning.
I experienced a first yesterday. Of all my travels, it was the first time I had been on a plane with a medical emergency. An older gentleman began to have heart complications. The flight attendants seemed concerned that he was having a heart attack. And the pilots were considering landing, even though we were about and hour and a half away from Seattle. I prayed. But I felt rather helpless. They kept asking if there was a physician on the plane. I wanted to say, “No, but I’m a pastor. And I can pray.” But they asked everyone to stay in their seats. And they did not want other passengers crowding around. So I sat in my seat and prayed. They did not have to land early. And he was able to walk off the plane, with the paramedics help. Praise God for that. I hope he is alright.
Last night’s service was special for several reasons. First, it was a real expression of trust for this pastor to invite me to come to minister to his congregation. I am grateful. Likewise, some of my family members (on my wife’s side) came out to hear me preach. It was good to see them. Somehow, their presence made me feel at home in the service. Finally, three young men from Regent College in Vancouver drove two and a half hours to hear me preach – one brother was from Canada, another from Africa, and one from Florida. They have heard about my ministry from several sources. And they have listened to my messages on our church’s website. So they came out to hear me in person. They were very kind. But I was definitely more honored to meet them, then the other way around. Even though I was wiped out, we all went to share a meal. And it was past midnight before we left our conversation. It was wonderful fellowship. I praise God that the Lord is indeed raising up young men who are committed to sound doctrine. I really needed that reminder. And I appreciate their determination to come and encourage me to keep preaching the word. May the Lord bless those young me as they finish their formal studies. And may he use them in a great way for his glory.