Yesterday, we were in Esther chapter 5. I preached a two-part message on “A Game of Hangman.” In this chapter we see Haman, the Hitler of the Old Testament, building his own gallows. He thinks that he is going to destroy the entire Jewish race, but God has other plans. In the providence of God he is allowing things to happen that at first glance look devastating for Esther and the Jews, but God’s ways are not our ways. He has something amazing planned. Haman was playing a high-stakes game of Hangman. What he didn’t realize is you can’t beat God. God always wins. You can listen to these messages by following these links: A Game of Hangman, Part 1 | A Game of Hangman, Part 2 or visit our sermons page.
On Sunday, we returned to our series entitled “The Queen and I.” This week we were in chapter 4. In God’s providence, He had chosen the people of Israel for His special people. He had mad promises that through the Jews, the world would be blessed. We know that through the Jews we have been given (1) The Scriptures – Romans 3:2, (2) The Savior – Romans 9:5, and (3) Salvation – John 4:22. God promised to preserve His chosen people. In the book of Esther though, we meet an ungodly man by the name of Haman who is set on destroying the entire Jewish race. He has issued a decree that within the year, all Jews whether men, women, or children, will be destroyed. Here we see a clash between man’s will and God’s will, man’s plans and God’s promises. In Esther chapter 4, we see Esther in the right place at the right time to make a difference. Coincidence or God’s providence? She was there “For such a time as this.” You can listen to this message by following this link or visit our sermons page.
Yesterday morning we returned to our series entitled, “The Queen and I,” a study through the book of Esther. We were in chapter 3, where we were introduced to a new character named Haman. He is the Hitler of the Old Testament. We saw how dangerous the emotion of anger can be when it is not kept in check. We saw that Israel was in for a terrible holocaust, but remember God is in the shadows. His name isn’t mentioned in the book, but He is behind the scenes orchestrating His will to be done. He has everything in place. You can listen to this message by following this link: Haman, Hitler, and Hatred, or visit our sermons page.
We had a good day at Tabernacle yesterday. Our adults were in lesson number eleven from the book Biblical Leadership by Ken Collier and Matt Williams. We still have a lot of people on vacation as is typical in the summer so our attendance has been down a little bit, but there was a sweet spirit in the service yesterday morning. Brother Tim Hendricks from Taking Necessary Truths International, spoke during the morning service. He gave a great challenge. His ministry is a ministry of aggressive church planting in Spanish speaking countries.
Last night we had our annual vacation Bible school awards program. This year’s program, Mega Sports Camp, was another success. We saw several young people saved during the week long sports and Bible emphasis. Last night we also had several of our campers from the Wilds share testimonies of their week at camp. We watched a DVD presentation of the week at camp. Brother Hendricks then shared a gospel challenge. Afterwards I gave the invitation and we had one young boy come forward and accept Christ. Praise the Lord!
This morning, we continued our series entitled, “The Queen and I.” We were in chapter two where we are introduced for the first time to Esther. She is our title character, but not the main character. Who do you think is the main character? Is it the king? Is it Mordecai or Haman? No, the main character is God. Although He is not mentioned specifically, God is all over the place in the book of Esther. Though He isn’t on center stage, in the spot-light, He is behind the scenes, queing the lights and prompting the lines. You can listen to this two part message by following these links:
Or you can visit our sermons page on the church website.
We had a great time at camp this past week. Thirty-three of us made the trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western NC and the Wilds Christian Camp. The Wilds is a very special place to me. It was at the Wilds where God called me to the ministry. It was also at the Wilds where I met my wife. It was at the Wilds where I developed my philosopy of servant leadership and ministry. God has greatly blessed the camp through the years. I believe all of our campers are ready to go back again. I even saw a few tears from some of the campers saying that they were going to miss their counsellors and their new friends.
On the way back yesterday, I smelled something that smelled like burning rubber. I asked Pastor Mike who was driving the bus about it. About two minutes later the engine light came on and the alarm went off. We pulled to the side of the road. As soon as we stopped the bus, without the air conditioning the bus got hot very quickly. Pastor Mike and I looked at the engine and saw that the main serpentine belt was cut in two. We nursed the bus about a half a mile up the hill to the next exit where we pulled into a Food Lion parking lot. I was praying that the Lord would show Himself real to the kids. They had studied Philippians all week at camp. They had learned to be joyful in all of their circumstances and that we can do all things through Christ which strenghtens us. There was a Burger King there and the kids all went inside and enjoyed the air conditioning. Some even enjoyed some of the food. Meagan Brooks, one of our sponsors, said that she recognized this exit. She has a good friend that works a couple of miles up the road from where we stopped. She called her friend who just happened to have her cell phone on at the time. Meagan was surprised that she reached her. Her friend’s manager just happened to be in the office at that time and was able to come take a look at the bus. He and his dad took the broken belt to an area auto parts store, bought a new belt, and returned and put the new belt on our bus. In all we were delayed about an hour. The men wouldn’t even let us pay for their services. I still am not sure that the kids understand how God took care of us. I tried to tell them that we very easily could have been five miles from an exit, sitting in a hot bus, waiting for someone to drive two and a half hours to pick us up on another bus. Praise the Lord for the little delay. He very well may have been protecting us. Whatever He was doing, He had a purpose and for that I’m grateful.