“My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord!” Those are the words of David as he closes one of the great songs in God’s hymnbook (Psalm 145). “Let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever!”
My early days at First Baptist Church certainly give me much reason to speak the praise of the Lord. I don’t feel like it’s enough, however, for me to keep my spoken praises just between the Lord and me. I want you to know how thankful and grateful I am to have been led to this amazing church.
“I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever!”
Monday morning the other pastors of the church and I headed out for an all-day “visioning” retreat. Our goal was to meet with God, to sharpen each other, and to begin to assemble before the Lord some long-range hopes and dreams for this body of believers. God met with us, and we’re beginning to deeply appreciate the diverse gifts and unique perspective that each minister brings to the team.
“Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever!”
Our next task will be to “put flesh on the bones” of our initial ideas and concepts, seeking the Lord for wisdom and direction each step of the way. Please pray for us.
“Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable!”
We’re excited about the day when we’ll be able to roll all of this out for our deacons and for our church family. We think you’ll be super energized to get on board and help us make it happen – knowing all the while that Christ must do it in and through us.
“I will declare your greatness!”
Whatever our vision ends up looking like, it will begin and end with humble praise.
“The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love!”
I praise the Lord for Russ, who offers an unparalleled mix of strength, godliness, and attention to detail.
“The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made!”
I praise the Lord for Tommy, who brings wisdom, humor, and a special sensitivity to people’s real needs.
“All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your saints shall bless you!”
I praise the Lord for Steve, who models humility, real-man gentleness, and Christlike deference to others.
“The Lord is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works!”
I praise the Lord for Jason, who shows us how to love Jesus not just with our heart but with the mind He has given us.
“The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down!”
I praise the Lord for Rusty, who spurs us on to serve Christ in sweaty sacrifice beyond our comfort zones.
“You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing!”
And last but certainly not least, I praise the Lord for my dear brother Julio, who is teaching us how to “love with our hearts even when we can’t speak the same language.” Need I say more? Gold, pure gold.
“The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works!”
Oh, the goodness of God! He is not only great, but He is good. His grace touches every creature. And He has been good to us.
“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth!”
The days ahead are exciting ones for FBC! God has an unthwartable, unstoppable, and perfect plan that is far better than all we could ask or imagine. Let’s trust Him for tomorrow. (He’s already there.)
“The Lord preserves all who love him!”
And so I’ll close today’s blog by simply expressing my love for Christ and my love for all of you.
Humbly, your shepherd,