We had a great day of worship yesterday at Shiloh. The Lord smiled on us. And we were blessed to kick-off the new year in a great way. God be praised!

I am grateful to God for the way this new year has begun. And I pray that the Lord will richly bless the ministry of SMBC in 2009. May many lives be changed to the glory of God!

I got sick Saturday. And I really was feeling well. But as bad as I felt, there was no way I was going to miss work. I was sick. But the Lord gave me strength to carry out my assignment all day.

I began teaching the new members class yesterday between our new services. I look forward to the weeks to come and the opportunity to study and fellowship with the new members of our church.

I began a new series of messages, which I am calling, “Going Forward with God… Together.”

My first message was from Romans 12:1-2 – “The Call to a Surrendered Life.”

Amazingly, my symptoms did not bother me as I was preaching. I had to fight harder to concentrate. And my thoughts were coming to me slower – a nightmare for one who does not preach with notes. But the Lord helped me.

My sermon outline had four points. But I do not think I made it to the fourth point in either of our worship services.

More than any other time I have preached to the SMBC congregation, yesterday I really kept veering away from my prepared manuscript and explaining/applying my thoughts extemporaneously. At points, I felt like I was really fussing. But there was such a burden on my heart. And so much I wanted to say. I pray and trust the Lord untangled my thoughts enough to speak to his people.

Praise God for the eighteen people who were baptized yesterday. Likewise, I praise the Lord for blessing our celebration of the Lord’s Table. And, indeed, the Lord be praised for the souls added to the kingdom and the new members added to the Shiloh family.