Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Let's Pretend

For the sake of getting you to think, let’s pretend. Let’s pretend I am a physician. Let’s pretend you have a family member (spouse, child, parent, etc.) who is hasn’t been feeling well lately. To make it even more pretend, put someone’s name in the blank. So anyway, you come to see me and tell me that they are having back pain that is intermittent but at times it is very intense.

Let’s pretend that I press on their abdomen, press on their back, and elicit a few grunts of pain. Let’s pretend that I tell you that I don’t think it is anything serious but just in case, I would like to order a CT scan. Let’s pretend that you take your family member to get the scan and then return to see me a week later.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Book Recommendation--In Light of Eternity--A Biography of Leonard Ravenill

I will never forget the first Leonard Ravenhill book that I bought and read. I had just started by first year (1989) at TBC and one of my instructors, A. B. Keating, mentioned a book to us in class by Ravenhill entitled “Why Revival Tarries.” It was not too long afterwards that I went to a conference and found a paperback copy that I still have this day. Ravenhill is not for the faint-hearted and I have a feeling that most probably would not warm to his writings too well especially in our entertainment driven age.

Ravenhill writes in such a way that you can grasp the majesty of God and immediately understand the frailty of man and his efforts to go through the motions of the ministry. Ravenhill’s books are always very good for personal revival and spiritual renewal. I have especially benefited from his books during the early months of every year when there is a tendency to want to stretch the soul. I would encourage you to read all of his books and then set aside a time for personal revival. Ravenhill will convict and encourage you all at the same time.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pastor J. H. Osborne On Sermon Preparation -- Part 3

Here is the last post on some more observations (Part 1, Part 2) from Brother Osborne’s advice he gave to a group of young men in Bossier City, Louisiana on October 27-28, 2003 and October 25-26, 2004.

7. Discipline Your Days

For every man who is called by God to preach it will have to be more than just a passing fancy with him. You must have an element of endurance and to do that a sense of discipline will have to be developed about the way that you live your life. In Egypt the water was carried from the Nile so the children of Israel could have water in Goshen. When Elijah was at the Carmel showdown, prior to the fire falling the water had to come from the Mediterranean Sea so the salt could be placed on the sacrifice. After you have been in the ministry for a length of time, it becomes work that you have to make sure you continue to fulfill. This will not be an easy task. You will come to the place where you preach far more out of the responsibility of your calling than the inspiration of your calling.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Pastor J. H. Osborne On Sermon Preparation - Part 2

This is the second part in the series given in sermon preparation by J. H. Osborne. The first part is here.

4. There Has To Be Something “More”

Paul picks up a striking illustration in 2 Corinthians 11. When he begins to bring about a defense of his ministry to his detractors he finally tells him that he is more than what they are. Why would he say something like that? He tells them that he is more because of what he has come to suffer in his own life. If you are not willing to go through some things in life your preaching will be very shallow. The “more” part of your life is going to be something that will bring life to others.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Pastor J. H. Osborne On Sermon Preparation -- Part 1

These are some notes that I took from a session that Pastor J. H. Osborne participated in at a young ministers meeting among the ALJC organization. I listened to the MP3 and gathered these thoughts from his session. In addition to these notes are some other things that I pulled out from when I went to the Fall Classic that Pastor Jerry Dean hosts annually in October in Bossier. I will make a designation so you will know what came from that event. In 2003 and 2004, Brother Osborne addressed about 50 men that were invited.

He mentioned that the only motivation and instruction he had came from one of the parishioners who told him, “You better be good because we have got a mortgage to make!” I think sometime I am going to do a blog about some of the crazy things that parishioners say to pastors. He felt that pressure to produce which is not all bad. One thing Brother Harrell routinely tells me is that Sunday comes around pretty regular. There are times when I am sure that every pastor feels like that it always seems like Sunday is the next day unless you are like my friend Ben Weeks who always has his gun loaded and stays ahead five or six at a time!