I was in Chicago yesterday to preach the 5th pastoral anniversary services for Pastor Romell Williams and the Lilydale Progressive Missionary Baptist Church.

Romell and I have been friends for some time. I preached for his installation services six years ago. And have preached every year since then, last year being the exception. The day of his anniversary last year was my first Sunday as pastor of Shiloh. He graciously understood. Not every did when my schedule abruptly changed. It was a honor to be invited to be a part of this celebration again.

It was good to be with Romell and Lilydale again. He is a faithful preacher and the good shepherd. I am proud of him and rejoice for all that the Lord is doing in his life and ministry.

I was scheduled to preach for Dr. Steven Thurston’s live broadcast last night at New Covenant Baptist Church. But I was not able to do it. I lost my voice last Wednesday. And I have not regained it yet. It turned into a sore throat over the weekend. And after struggling through two sermons yesterday morning, my body really had all it could take. I appreciate Dr. Thurston’s understanding.

I read of a young Puritan who wore himself out. Literally. On his deathbed, his last words were, “The Lord has given me a message and a horse. I have killed the horse. My God, what shall happen to the message?” I am determined to take better care of my “horse” for the sake of the message the Lord has given me to declare.

I missed being in worship at Shiloh yesterday. But I understand that the Lord blessed the day of worship. Praise God.

Yesterday was only the second time this year that I have not preached at Shiloh on the Lord’s Day. And it continues an unbroken streak of Sunday preaching all year. I do not think that either of these realities is a good thing. The bow that is always drawn soon breaks. I hope to do a better job in 2010 in taking natural and needed break for the sake of prayer, study, and… (Wait for it.) rest.

The fourth Sunday of September last year was my first Sunday as pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church. I remember three things about it right of the bat. Natalie was really sick that morning. And Crystal had to take her to the hospital, while I went to preach. Likewise, I preached the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20). It was my subtle – or not so subtle – way of declaring right up front what I believe the mission of the church is all about. Thirdly, the congregation received me so warming. They really made me feel that they were glad to have me as their pastor. I am grateful that has not changed.

It is hard to believe that a year has past already. Time flies when you’re having fun!

I thank the Lord for sending me to the loving congregation of the Shiloh Church. I am more than blessed to serve a congregation who loves the word of God and has a heart to see lost people saved through faith in Christ.

I pray that the Lord is using my leaders, teaching, and service for the spiritual good of the saints at Shiloh. I think it is still way to early to tell. May the Lord help me to persevere in guarding my lifestyle and doctrine to ensure my salvation and the salvation of those who hear me (1 Tim. 4:16).