Good Monday Morning to you.
Pour yourself a cup of coffee or a glass of juice and let’s visit for a while. Was your last week good? Mine bordered on awesome. It started with a meeting at our Southern Baptist local Association’s office. They host a meeting once a month concerning new church starts. I appreciate all the good coaching I am receiving from Keith Lancaster from The Florida Baptist Convention, and from Everett Rafferty, our local director of missions. Their assistance has been to me priceless. I’ve been in the ministry since 1972, so I have learned and experienced a few things over the years, but starting a church from scratch is a different phase of ministry for me. Next was my 57th birthday back on January 20. It’s hard to believe I’m 57 --- I look so much younger. On Saturday my wife, Miss Bessie, fixed my favorite meal. That is a tradition in our house. On your birthday, you get your favorite meal. Mine is turkey, dressing, cauliflower casserole, and hot yeast rolls. Yum - yum!! We had birthday cake that my kids bought on my birthday. It was funny. They had it decorated with purple and pink flowers and said “Happy Birthday Vickie.” Creative little creatures, aren’t they? Also on Saturday I received a real birthday blessing. A good pastor friend of mine had an antique pulpit he was not using. When I first saw it nine years ago, I fell in love with it; it is an extremely beautiful piece of furniture. Other preachers fell in love with it as well and wanted it badly. When we preachers really want something, we say it is badly needed. When you lay persons really want something, we preachers say you are covetous. That is one of the seven deadly sins you know. Any way, I asked if I could send my brother by with his camera to photograph it, as I have a master carpenter in my Church who could replicate it. He agreed, but before the conversation was over, he had given me that pulpit! It now is sitting in my parent’s garage in Cincinnati, just waiting for a ride down to Friendship Harmony Baptist Church. The old saying is true, “You can’t out give God.” The blessings He has showered down on our new Church is nothing short of miraculous!
Yesterday at Friendship Harmony I preached from 1 Corinthians chapter 1 about having a Christ Centered life. That church had groups with their favorites: some favored Peter, some Apollos, some Paul, and some Christ. Paul taught them emphatically that it must be Christ and Christ alone. He said unity must be centered around Christ. Whether it is a church, a marriage, or a family, put Christ at its center and have everyone positioned around Him. Life works much better that way. That does not mean things will be perfect. Remember, we are imperfect people living in an imperfect world. Our glorification comes in Heaven. Here, we must do the best we can with God being our Helper. Is Christ at the center of your heart and home? If He is you will have a good life with a fantastic end. That end will be to live in the presence of Jesus Himself. The psalmist would say, “Selah!” We can say, “Wow!”
I hope you have a really great week. I know I will. I’ve got lots of visits to make, and I really enjoy visiting with many of you in your homes. Don’t forget, if you are here with us on Pine Island, our constitution service at Friendship Harmony is February 13th in the morning worship service. We have special guests coming from The Florida Baptist Convention and The Royal Palm Baptist Association. For some of you this might be a once in a lifetime chance to see how a Church becomes a New Testament Church. As of now, most of the legalities are in place, but technically we are considered a mission. On February 13, with the adoption of the constitution in place, we will become an a fully constituted Church. In my entire life, I have seen this only one other time. On that occasion, I was the Pastor of the sponsoring Church. I can tell you from experience, it will be a great day in the Lord. Following the service a fellowship meal is planned. Featured will be ham, turkey, and meatloaf with lots of delicious sides and of course desserts. I hope you can come.
One final note before I go. Today, January 24th, is my Mom’s birthday. Happy Birthday Mom!!! I wish I could be there with you to help you celebrate. I love you!
I’ll see all of you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!