HAPPY NEW YEAR!
2014 ended with some fireworks! The Lord gave me a new message two days before the Watchnight service at First Bible Baptist Church in Green Bay, WI (Pastor Harley Keck). I have been praying all along that God would give me messages that are a good mix of Bible preaching while including my fossils and artifacts, rather than one or the other.
This one is “Jesus saith I am the Truth!” and it looks at the things Jesus Himself claimed, such as creation, Adam & Eve created “at the beginning”, Noah and the flood which “destroyed them all”, and Jonah and the whale, which He used as an illustration of the saving gospel. It’s a real contradiction to claim to believe in Jesus, but to deny the things Jesus claimed as real events. It’s essentially calling Jesus a liar or a kook, or at the very least, assigning the Bible with error. This message gives undeniable evidence that Jesus’ claims ARE truth.
Oh, it got better. At the end of the message I dwelt on “imputed righteousness”, how we are wholly insufficient but Jesus is wholly sufficient. After the service, Pastor Keck came to me and said, “There’s an adult lady in the bathroom crying right now. Another lady walked in and found her in tears, saying, ‘I finally GET IT!'” She had claimed to be saved, but had not been trusting Jesus Christ 100% for her salvation. I assume that means she had been trusting in her own righteousness or her works. Either way, she’s got it now! Praise God! Another ember snatched from the clutches of the wicked one! A NEW creature in Christ for the New Year! What does the world have that can top THAT for celebrating the new year?
This Thursday (1-8) I’ll be heading again to Door Bible Baptist Church in Brussels, WI. Pastor Mark Englebert has me scheduled to be at his place on a monthly basis. I’ll be there 2-5 and 3-5 as well, and probably several more times. Some of the times I go there, I’ll be able to spend time with Bro. Mark ministering to inmates at the local jail. BTW, Pastor Englebert is a former associate pastor for Bro. Keck. Pastor Dave Dunbar, who I met up with in NY, is another former associate pastor of Bro. Keck. Pastor Dunbar’s son is Pastor Keck’s current associate pastor. Back in about 2001, I went on a mission trip to Poland with Pastor Dunbar. I stayed a week afterward to do a creation seminar for the church in Warsaw (Pastor Brent Riggs).
That reminds me about some of the items I didn’t report in last month’s update about my trip to Temple Baptist Church in Baldwinsville, NY (Pastor Bruce Craig). Here I am, in New York, where I’ve never been before in my life. While there I got to meet several old friends from years gone by:
1. Pastor Dave Dunbar, whom I’ve known for some 15 years. BTW, one of our guys from Wyldewood Baptist Church, Jeremy Ingalls, was his associate pastor until returning to Oshkosh recently to follow in his father Larry’s footsteps as a missionary with our Couriers for Christ (who organized the mission trip to Poland where I met Dave).
2. The first person who came up to greet me at the meeting in NY was Bro. Malcolm. He had been through Oshkosh some 15 years ago, raising support to go on the mission field. I spent that day with them, driving them where they needed to go, taking them out to dinner, etc. Now, 15 years later, out of the blue, we were reacquainted. Bro. Malcolm recently came off the mission field to start a new church in NY – and he will be having me in there next year!
3. I will try to talk about Tim Breckheimer without ribbing him. We originally met on an internet email list for Bible believers that I was the moderator for (back in the days before Facebook when email lists were the rage). That was nearly 20 years ago. The two of us were part of a group of 6 or 8 who met up in Pensacola, FL to go to a Bible Conference down there and to visit Bro. Kent Hovind’s Dinosaur Adventureland, about 15 years ago. After that, Tim and another guy from that email group, went “off in the weeds”. The other guy never came back, but what a thrill it was to see Tim again living for the Lord and faithfully serving Him as a song-leader and Sunday school teacher for Pastor Craig! And now, Tim and I co-moderate the old email list as a Facebook group.
4. An unexpected last-minute surprise was to meet Bro. Damon Gang (and his family). We’ve just been acquainted for a year or two on some Bible groups on Facebook. He moved from Louisiana to New York that same week and was close enough to come to one of the meetings.
What a thrilling week that was, and I’m trusting the Lord for another one coming up very soon: January 11-13, I’ll be at Eastern Hills Baptist Church in Council Bluffs, IA, Pastor Brian Tatman. They support my good friends Jeff and Helen Christian, who are missionaries in Belarus, a country proclaimed by its own leader as “the most Communist country on earth”. In fact, I just saw Jeff and Helen last night. They are back home for their son’s wedding. Helen’s dad, Junior Powell, longtime missionary to Mexico, also just went to heaven. So they will be visiting her family as well. I’ll be doing six sessions at Eastern Hills, including one for their school kids and parents. It is really neat to have a ministry that has ministered to people as diverse as world-class scientists with multiple post-graduate degrees as well as elementary school children.
I am planning on spending a week in Alabama in February. I also have meetings coming up with Pastor Delhotal in IL, Pastor Weiss in Reedsburg, WI, Bro. Lucas in WVa, Pastor Hatch in Winneconne, WI, and Pastor Campbell in Indianapolis. If you are planning your calendar for 2015 soon, please consider putting my ministry on it. You can have confidence in knowing I am a local-church sent, Bible believing Baptist (Wyldewood Baptist Church, Oshkosh, WI, Pastor Jason Brenenstuhl, Mission Pastor Randy King).