Archive for April, 2010

April 27, 2010

Negligence

I’ve neglected to keep my blog updated.

I’m going to try to update more frequently, but i make no guarantees. My time is consumed with many other things and I often forget to post some thing, any thing. But today I’m making time to post about some thing.

One thing that is new since my last post is that I’ve been booked to hold a gospel meeting for the brethren in Lock Haven, PA on September 17-19. I’m excited about the opportunity. It’s a small congregation in the middle of the state near-ish to Penn State University. Now, I need to come up with possible series to present and start preparing. Yes, I know it’s a long time away, but I remember growing up that Bruce Hall would always preach his series before ever presenting it at a gospel meeting. I think he would say that we were his guinea pigs. Sorry Gettysburg, you’ll be my guinea pigs.

Also, next weekend I’ll be speaking for the group in Albany again. Some of you may not know, but I spent last September working with this group. I have grown to love them and am excited to be with them again even if it is just for one Lord’s day. The reason I’ll be speaking is because several of us from the PA/NJ/NY area are going camping and hiking in the Adirondaks. Not to bore you guys with the details, but we’ll be staying with Tim Wells on Thurs and Sat night in Albany and camping out on Friday night and hiking Saturday. I’m super excited about the trip. It’ll be short, but edifying and fun.

This past week, I was able to attend a lectureship in Exton, PA with many of the preachers in the Northeast. We looked closely at some topics in 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus. I found the lectureshp to be very helpful. Especially, a lecture that Jeff Smelser (Scott’s brother) gave on gnosticism. His lecture went into some depth explaining gnosticism, something that I know very very little about. But as he was going through explaining gnosticism things especially from 1 Timothy were beginning to make a lot of sense. I’ve often wondered why some verses and phrases were included in the letter to Timothy, but I’m beginning to think it’s because he was helping Timothy refute the gnostics. The teenagers are starting a study on 1 Timothy this Friday night, so it will be interesting to go back and study the book wearing “gnostic goggles.”

It’s also gospel meeting time in this area, and it’s true that they may seem too far to drive for some of you in the South, but they are worth it. Last Friday, we drove about 1.5 hours to Marietta, PA for their gospel meeting. Again, another small group probably in the 30s or 40s and they were glad to see us. We took a lot of the teenagers over and many others from the Gettysburg group were there as well. The lesson was on making your faith your own. The fellow preaching (Brent _______ from California) showed an interesting progression of the maturation of faith starting with 1) Parents faith which leads to 2) Borrowed faith then to 3) Credal faith then to 4) Questioning faith ultimately leading to 5) Mature faith.

This coming Friday some of us will be driving down to Centreville, VA where Jim Jonas now preaches. The man preaching the meeting ,Tony Mauck, was the evangelist for a brief part of my time in Auburn. It will be good to see him again. Looking forward to seeing those brethren.

As you can tell, I’ve been or will be on the road a good bit over the next few weeks and especially this summer…I’d appreciate prayers on our behalf. Also, I’m thankful for the prayers that each of you offer up on my spiritual behalf. I know they help. I pray that is well with each one of you.

God bless,

Wes

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April 12, 2010

It’s Been Wild and Crazy

The last couple weeks have been an absolute blur.

I need a scapegoat and I choose the weather. We’ve had some GORGEOUS days even hitting 85+ a couple days, and we’ve had some COOL days in the upper 40s low 50s. But I don’t think the weather is a good scapegoat. I’ll think I’ll just man-up and say I’ve been off the charts busy.

I’ve been busy with things for my pleasure: a day trip to NYC with a couple of teenagers that worship with me in Gettysburg, a friend came into town and we went on a hike, etc. etc.

But I’ve also been busy in spiritual matters as well. It seems that almost daily I’ll receive an e-mail, text or call about a tough Bible question. I LOVE it! I’ve heard from several old friends that I thought had zero interest in spiritual things, as well as some others I’ve studied or am studying with now.

One thing that I am trying to work on exceptionally hard at the moment is working with individual teenagers much better. My primary role here in Gettysburg is not the teens, but I feel I can be useful to this group. We’ve had our ups and downs over the past several weeks, but things took a huge step in the right direction last night praise to God for that! But we still have a long way to go to get to where we need to be. But with the help of God, parents and other individuals we can start making progress in this area.

As for things I’ve been teaching lately. In the Bible Fundamentals class on Sunday morning we’ve been looking at key prophecies in the Old Testament with the primary focus being on the Messianic psalms and prophecies. This past Sunday we looked at Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53, both chapters about the suffering of the Messiah, and it never gets old looking at those texts. I read Isaiah 53 and I feel like scum. Its impossible for me to read the text and not feel inadequate, but then I always get to verse 10 and am cheered me up, “it was the will of the LORD to crush Him; he has put him to grief”–ESV. What an amazing plan!

Sunday morning I taught a sermon on “Learning Fom Jesus’ Questions” in the book of Luke. Of course we didn’t look at every question Jesus ever asked, but we looked at some directed to his disciples and enemies. We specifically concentrated on Jesus’ teaching method. Often, even when He was speaking to a large audience he found a way to force individual audience members in a physical situation to teach a spiritual lesson. So we looked at the physical situation that Jesus question put them in and the spiritual lesson he taught. You can check out the PowerPoint slides here.

I’d be lying if I said everything was smooth sailing at the moment. The past week presented challenges that tested my patience, faith, endurance, wisdom, humility and other areas. These challenges come with the nature of the work, but I hope they don’t come around often! Things are moving in the right direction and fully trust that the decisions made will be for the benefit of many. I’m thankful to have seen progress in such a short time. I’m thankful for my brothers and sisters in Christ. May we always have the mind in us which was in Christ Jesus, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the intersts of others.”

God bless