Archive for April, 2011
How can we help our friends and brethren who are grief-stricken in light of the recent tornadoes in Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia?
First, become informed about what has happened and is happening so that we can know how to pray.
Second, find direct ways you can help (giving, going):
The largest number of Psalms record the laments or complaints of the people of God. These laments offer God’s people great instruction in the expression of raw human emotions. For this reason the Psalms can be a source of soothing comfort for those who experience major distress in their lives. Have you ever been so depressed that you thought you could not go on living? The Psalms help us to see that when we find ourselves in the depths of woe we can and should cry out to God.
In Psalm 6, David has fallen into deep depression for some reason that is not immediately apparent to us. Perhaps David’s depression is a direct result of a personal sin; perhaps it is a result of his adversaries (6:8, 10). Whatever the source of David’s dismay, we hear him cry out to God in utter desperation.
First we notice the cry for mercy and grace. He pleads with God to withhold His wrath. God’s wrath is what all sin deserves. If David had sinned, He is asking God to be merciful to him in judging sin. If David had not sinned, then he is merely pleading with God because his suffering seems unbearable. His suffering is such that he feels he is “pining away” (6:2) and wonders how long it will be before God delivers him (6:3).
It is at this point that we hear David’s second cry: the cry for deliverance. David is at a point where he no longer senses God’s presence, so he asks God to “return” so that He would rescue him. David knows he does not deserve such salvation, but he knows that God is a covenant God, so he pleads for salvation based on God’s promise to love His covenant people; this is the lovingkindness of God (6:4).
Next we hear David’s cry of grief. His suffering is so great that he is weary of weeping; he has shed so many tears that his bed is ready to float away (6:6); David is so overwhelmed by suffering that his physical strength has left him (6:7). If you have ever been in such a state of depression then you know what David experienced. You know how difficult it is to get out of bed, for you do not have enough strength. You have cried to the point where you think you have no more tears left inside of you, and you wonder if there is anyone to hear your cries; is there anyone who can come to your rescue? The good news is that there is. David understood this, so he offered a final cry of assurance. He recognized that just like every other time in the past that this time also, the Lord heard his weeping; the Lord heard his prayer. He had confidence that the Lord would answer his prayers (6:8-9) and would make all things right (6:10). Friends, do you have such assurance? Do you have such confidence? You can if you turn to the God who is our ever-present help in time of trouble.
If you are downcast and broken-hearted, the Psalms can teach you how even in a state of deep depression, God’s children can cry out to Him in confidence, for He is our shepherd (Psalm 23), who has provided the lamb who takes away our sin. May you know and experience the peace of God.
The Gospel Coalition 2011 Conference video is now up (plenary sessions). Please be sure to check them out. I personally thought Dr. Mohler set the tone with an amazingly clear and powerful message right off the bat. Having just preached through Exodus, I also was greatly blessed by Dr. Keller’s message as well. Listen, watch and be blessed by all the messages.
I love the church! I love Christ’s church, because as the apostle Paul starkly reminds us, the church is God’s eternal plan by which He is displaying his manifold wisdom to the cosmic powers by gathering together one people from the multiplicity of ethnicities and cultures (Ephesians 3:8-11).
I also love when local manifestations of the heavenly assembly display God’s marvelous wisdom by fulfilling God’s eternal vision. That is precisely what Little York Baptist Church (predominantly Anglo) and St. Stephen’s Baptist Church (predominantly African-American) did in Houston, Texas. Here’s how The Houston Chronicle records it:
When Pastor Paul Landrew from St. Stephen’s Baptist Church received a phone call about the possible closing of a nearby worship center, he had to do something.
Little York Baptist Church, 609 Little York, was a few blocks away, but had a dwindling, aging white population where the membership had gotten as low as 14 in November.
The facility was also in need of major repairs totaling close to $250,000.
Landrew, 48, whose church at 170 Rittenhouse is primarily black, accepted a tour with Little York’s interim pastor, Robert Baldwin.
“We talked about the congregation and how they were looking for a church with the same denomination to join with because they initially talked about disbanding,” said Landrew.
The beautiful piece of property and long history of worship appealed to Landrew. Baldwin’s offer of selling the property for $1 was also a selling point.
“This wasn’t a place that someone could walk away from because they had put years into this church. I said to them, ‘Let’s do this together,’ ” said Landrew.
In those few short months, Little York Baptist Church and St. Stephen’s became one church.
Read the rest of the story here.
We are privileged to have Bob’s son, Robert, as our worship pastor at High Pointe. Robert and his family will be worshiping with St. Stephen’s/Little York this Sunday, May 1st, as the church honors Bob Baldwin for 60 years of faithful ministry. Praise the Lord for such faithfulness over 60 years, and praise the Lord for such courage to display God’s marvelous wisdom to the cosmic powers. To God be the glory!
So Great a Salvation
1 Peter 1:1-13
(Audio and Video Now Available)
And the number 3 big demographic trend in Austin is . . .
. . . the African American share of the total Austin population is on the wane.
According to Ryan Robinson, city of Austin demographer:
The city’s African American share of total population will more than likely continue its shallow slide even as the absolute number of African Americans in the city continues to increase. The import of this decrease in share should not be underestimated as just a few decades ago African Americans made-up around 15% of the city’s population and just a few decades from now African Americans could represent a mere 5% of the city’s population and constitute the smallest minority group in the city.
To put this in a little perspective, the total Asian population in Austin is presently about 6.5%.
For information about the African American community and history in general and particularly in Austin, I would encourage you to visit The George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, located at 1165 Angelina Street. Be sure to check out their events calendar. I’m particularly looking forward to being at the Daddy/Daughter Day on May 22, at 3:00 p.m.
Good Friday Service
April 22 – 7:00 PM
April 24 – 10:30 AM
No Evening Service
High Pointe Baptist Church
(click for detailed directions)
12030 Dessau Rd * Austin, TX 78665
Shai linne’s new album cover has just been released. Looking forward to it!
The doctrine of election can be both confusing and controversial. On Sunday evening, we took some time out to explain unconditional election and take a few questions.
Click here for audio and video.
Audio and video are now up for our first sermon on 1 Peter: Living as Strangers and Aliens in a Foreign and Hostile Land. It’s an overview sermon that takes all of 1 Peter and presents a big picture view of the letter and its theology.