Fairview Baptist Tabernacle
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Staying Connected
 Archived Pastor's Desk 2016.06.12

June 12 – June 18



Scripture Passage:  “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:  Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfies your mouth with good things; so that your youth is renewed like the eagles’.”   Psalms 103: 1-5 


Dear Friends,


     Having finished the week of Vacation Bible School, we are moving forward in preparation for Father’s Day and the Fourth of July.  I am currently in St. Louis, Missouri attending the Southern Baptist Convention.  There is rarely a time that the schedule slows down and nothing major is taking place.  When these times do occur it is a wonderful to meditate and count my blessings.  In the words of the old hymn, “Count your many blessings name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.”  Take a moment to count your blessings and thank the Lord for what he has done. 


     The Lord has blessed me tremendously this past year.  We have made it through some difficult times and the Lord has been a very present help in our times of trouble.  When I think of all his benefits my soul breaks forth with praise even as the Psalmist David’s did when he proclaimed, “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.”  I am constantly reminded that I am a sinful man and live in a continual state of need for forgiveness.  God does not just forgive some of my sins, but according to David forgives ALL my iniquities.  Just when I think I have reached a point of maturity, the old man and his sinful nature reappears reminding me of my constant need for a Savior.  If left to my own goodness, I would not stand a prayer of making it to Heaven.  Because of His goodness and righteousness I have the spiritual promise that my sins are forgiven and forgotten.  We also serve a God who can, and sometimes does heal us from all our diseases.  The greatest disease he heals us from is sin sickness and it is always a miracle when this takes place.  This past year has seen some of my family members go through serious surgeries and some of my friends’ battle cancer.  Some have been declared cancer free while others went home to be with the Lord.  I believe in each case the Lord healed them from all their diseases – some temporarily, others forever.  My experience is that you are not going to get out of this world alive.  Some just go sooner than others. 


     The Lord has also redeemed me from destruction.  He redeemed me from my sins.  He redeemed me from myself.  He redeemed me from Hell.  When he redeemed me he purchased my pardon by paying my sin debt.  I could not pay this debt because I had nothing to offer.  My parents could not pay my debt even though they love me very much.  My friends could not pay my debt even if they wanted to.  The only able to pay my debt was willing and it cost Him His life.  Yes, I have much to bless the Lord for.  He also crowns me with loving- kindness and tender mercies.  He loves me when no one else does and His love remains steadfast even when mine does not.  Instead of giving me the justice I deserve, he gives me mercy.  No wonder they call grace amazing. 


     Finally, He satisfies my mouth with good things.  Of all life’s simple pleasures, this may be the one most under appreciated.  A few months ago during my visit to India, I learned that you can live on rice if you have to.  I remember my grandparents living on soup beans and corn bread.  We were raised on green beans, potatoes, and biscuits.  I remember vividly the special treat of getting to eat at The Medical Center, Geno’s, Dairy Mart and Skelton’s Motel.  This did not happen very often, so the memory still holds a special place in my heart.  If these names do not sound familiar to you it is because they were local landmarks in their respective towns before the days of fast food restaurants.  I am afraid that the regularity of “eating out,” has diminished the specialness of getting to eat in a restaurant occasionally.  Nowdays I hear people say it is a special treat to get to eat at home.  At least that is what I hear men say.  I do not know if I will ever feel young again, but there are occasions when the Old Johnny I used to know shows up.  He tries to do what he used to do.  He still has the pride of a young buck in the body of an aging man.  His mind tells him to try what he could do at nineteen with the results of not being able to move the next morning.  I have come to the conclusion that I need to work smarter not harder or faster. There are some advantages to aging.  May you take time to count your blessings today and find that strength of a young eagle that only God can give.


In Christ,

Pastor Johnny