Monday, August 31, 2009

Eighteen Wonderful Years

Today I celebrate 18 years of marriage with my bride. Eighteen years ago she had the most incredible lapse of judgment--she said, "Yes" and made me the happiest man in the world.

We married in her mother's front yard. It was a sweltering August day, full of NC humidity. Dressed in traditional African garb, we entered into holy matrimony.

It was also a day full of laughs. The maid of honor dropped my ring somewhere in the grass. A few moment's delay searching for the ring and we were back on schedule. Kristie's grandmother, then well into her 90's with a touch of Alzheimer's, talked throughout the ceremony. My favorite line followed the part in the vows where the groom is charged to "love and cherish," etc. Grandma, Mrs. Nicie, spoke up and said, "He'd better or my son will shoot him!" I don't think she was joking.

The preacher, a dear man, had a rather severe lisp. Every time he pronounced an 's' Kristie and I received a small shower of saliva. We'd lean back, and he'd lean forward. And with the lisp, he mispronounced our names (Kristie and Ron, at the time) throughout the entire ceremony. My mother says we're not really married.

But here we are eighteen years later. Eighteen years full of grace and mercy from our Sovereign Savior. Eighteen years full of joy and occasional trial. Eighteen years of partnership in life and several years of partnership in ministry. Three adorable children and no pets. And by God's overwhelming grace, it's simply gotten better and better.

I still can't believe she said yes. And I'm convinced she's a Christian because she stays. Each day I'm impressed with the fact that I've married way up, well above my pay grade, that God has treated me far better than my sins deserve. "He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains the favor of the Lord." Each day she is a walking, talking, loving, caring, helping, laughing, encouraging, laboring reminder that on August 31, 1991 God showed me favor.

Happy Anniversary My Shorty,

Sunday, August 30, 2009

That's Gonna Leave a Bruise!

I really appreciate his presence of mind in finishing the brief segment!

HT: Kerux

There's Only One Thing to Do When This Happens!

HT: kerux

Carey Conference Audio

In an earlier post, I mentioned some of the outstanding preaching made available at the Carey Conference by the great pastors and expositors with the Sovereign Grace family of churches in Canada. You can find all the audio here. Below are the morning talks from the week:

Who Is Man? (Heb. 2:5-9)
Don Theobald

What Is the Gospel? (1 Cor. 15:1-5)
Paul Martin, Grace Fellowship Church, Toronto

Marriage (Gen. 2:4-25)
Kirk Wellum, Principal, Toronto Baptist Seminary

Hope in Parenting (Psalm 42:5)
Carl Muller, Trinity Baptist Church, Burlington

David Robinson, Grace Baptist Church, Cambridge

The Broken Family
Brad Powers, Berean Baptist Church, Sudbury

Panel Discussion
David Robinson, Carl Muller, Kirk Wellum, Don Theobald

Saturday, August 29, 2009

No Way to Say It Better!

“The church has been under-fathered and over-mothered.”

That will preach!

From Matt Redman (HT: Worship Matters)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Retooling My Google Reader

So I'm looking at the blogs I follow, all of them good, and I'm thinking I want to read some unusual suspects. But the problem with unusual suspects is that they're "unusual," at least not known to you.

So, I wonder if there are any readers out there who can help. Whose blog do you read and enjoy that's not found in everybody else's blogroll? Any unusual suspects I should consider adding to my reader?

The Best Vacation

The Anyabwile family is having perhaps the best family vacation we've ever had. For totally different qualities, N. Ireland and Scotland were off the charts wonderful last year. But this year, we're at the Carey Family Conference in Canada. It's our first "camping" experience. I say "camping" because unlike the real soldiers sleeping in tents in a rain soaked field, we're actually in a nice little cabin with beds, stove, refrigerator, etc. It's "camping" the way it ought to be.

The kids are splashing around in the mud, riding bikes, making friends, sliding along zip lines, and otherwise spending their entire vacation out of doors doing what kids should do. Three campfires in and they're as hooked on camping as my Canadian friends seem to be.

The mornings feature singing and preaching. And let me say here that the men I've heard preach the word are among some of the best I've heard (Kirk Wellum, Don Theobald, and Carl Muller so far). I think the Carey Conference may be the best-kept family vacation secret in North America. In the evenings, I've had the privilege of preaching through Matthew 18-20. Last Sunday I also had opportunity to share the word at Grace Baptist Church in Cambridge, a wonderful family of saints obviously well taught by pastor Dave Robinson. It's encouraging to meet so many committed to the word of God, the doctrines of grace, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

Paul and Susan Martin, pastor of Grace Fellowship of Toronto, have been our most gracious hosts and guides. Each day we've shared lunch and dinner with a family here at the conference. The hospitality has been wonderful; many new friends. The kids have voted that we come every year for vacation. Not a bad idea at all.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Preach Like This!

Somebody somewhere in the blogosphere recently plugged The Puritan Reformed Journal. It prompted me to dig out an old issue of the journal. I read Joel Beeke's article "God-Centered Theology in the Ministry of the Word," a brief exposition of 1 Cor. 1:1-2:5. It's an excellent brief treatment of the preaching ministry. But one of the things I found encouraging were the quotes on preaching sprinkled throughout the article. Here's a taste just for fun:

"Let us preach, as Francois Fenelon says, "with the zeal of a friend, the generous energy of a father and the exuberant affection of a mother."

Martin Luther: "I preach as though Christ was crucified yesterday, rose from the dead today, and is coming back tomorrow." (my favorite)

Charles Bridges: "Let Him be the diamond in the bosom of your every sermon."

Richard Baxter: "If we can but teach Christ to our people, we teach them all."

Spurgeon: "A sermon without Christ as its beginning, middle, and end is a mistake in conception and a crime in execution.... When we preach Jesus Christ, then we are not putting out the plates, and the knives, and the forks, for the feast, but we are handing out the bread itself.... [Let us] preach Christ to sinners if we cannot preach sinners to Christ.... I wish that our ministry--and mine especially--might be tied and tethered to the cross."

Samuel Rutherford: "Next to Christ I have one joy, to preach Christ my Lord."

William Perkins: "Preach one Christ, by Christ, to the praise of Christ."

Martyn Lloyd-Jones: "I can forgive the preacher almost anything if he gives me a sense of God."

Joel Beeke: "Faithful ministers aim to give God the same place in their own hearts and in the hearts of their people as He holds in the universe."

Lloyd-Jones: "Preaching is theology come through a man who is on fire."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Get A Bible with All the Words in It

The more I preach, the more I passionately agree with Piper in this short video. And I agree with him not because I'm a Greek scholar and can work in the original text. I can't.

But that's why I agree with him; that's why I need and want English translations that give me the words. I want to know the word of God and I don't want the translators and editors making the interpretive decisions for me. Give me all the words!

For all the men who don't have Greek and don't do their work in the original languages, for the integrity of the Scripture itself, for the average joe confounded by the different renderings offered by paraphrase v. word-for-word translations, preacher use a translation with all the awkward, difficult, inconvenient, puzzling, wonderful, transitional, connecting words of Scripture.

I appreciate the readability of the NIV. For now, that's what we use here. But that video captures one of my biggest pet peeves with the NIV--the constant practice of dropping necessary little word like gar (for, because, etc.). So much of the text turns on little two and three-letter words that we need them!

For various reasons, maybe you'll stay with the NIV. Maybe we will, too. But, oh, to have all the words spoken by a Holy God!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mohler on the 'Prosperity Gospel'

The NY Times published a couple days ago a story called "Believers Invest in the Gospel of Getting Rich." (Now doesn't that just about sum up everything you don't want teach to a perishing world?) The article covers the Copeland's recent meeting of 9,000 strong, gathered to learn from and participate in the heretical ministry of the Copelands.

The punchline from Mohler's commentary:

Prosperity theology is a False Gospel. Its message is unbiblical and its promises fail. God never assures his people of material abundance or physical health. Instead, Christians are promised the riches of Christ, the gift of eternal life, and the assurance of glory in the eternal presence of the living God.

In the end, the biggest problem with prosperity theology is not that it promises too much, but that it promises far too little. The Gospel of Jesus Christ offers salvation from sin, not a platform for earthly prosperity. While we should seek to understand what drives so many into this movement, we must never for a moment fail to see its message for what it is -- a false and failed gospel.

Who Is Sufficient? Let Him Repent

"For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?" (2 Cor. 15-16)

"Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God" (2 Cor. 3:4-5).

Self-sufficiency in the ministry kills the ministry. Self-sufficiency is antithetical to the ministry.

Consider what the minister in his preaching reveals: "the aroma of Christ." Consider how the minister appeals to the two classes of men: either as life to those being saved or death to those perishing. How can we be so sufficient as to represent to any single person (much less men in general) these great eternal outcomes dependent upon how Christ "smells"? Who is sufficient for being "the aroma of Christ"?

Self-sufficiency creeps in through two doors.

First, the screen door of pride flings wide open to the self-sufficient. The man who thinks that the work of ministry is accomplished in his own strength, wisdom, and talent dons the dunce cap of pride--serious pride. We can come to believe that all really does depend upon us. We can come to think that anything depends upon us. Our estimation of ourselves and our abilities may be too high. And so we're driven to self-sufficiency by our preoccupation with what we do. We may attempt the work of the ministry with no dependence upon God. Proud self-sufficiency.

Second, the door of laziness opens just as easily to the knock of self-sufficiency. This is the man with so little ambition that everything lies within his grasp. He doesn't attempt great things for God, so he has no reason to depend upon God. He doesn't conceive of a spiritual world with fruit in vineyards too plentiful for his tilling, so the easy and mundane become "enough" for him. His estimation of the task is too small. So, a lazy man finds in his own laziness a comfortable self-sufficiency. He's aiming to do nothing, so he needs nothing. The glory of God gets packed away in tidy phrases for a sedentary life: "don't take on too much;" "you're just one man;" "we can only do so much;" "I'll do it tomorrow."

Of course, those phrases have their place and offer wisdom for the proud man who knows no limits--but not for the lazy. But in either case, the vital thing in the ministry is that all our labors be wholly dependent upon the power of God and not ourselves. Our confidence must be through Christ toward God. Nothing comes from us. Our sufficiency comes from God.

Such dependence upon God as our sufficiency allows us to be radically ambitious for the glory of God. We may be diligent, crucifying laziness, working harder than others because the sufficiency for such zeal comes from God. Confidence in and dependence upon God gives life to gospel ministry and destroys the sin of proud self-sufficiency. We may choose something larger than ourselves and depend upon God as we labor for it, and discover the all-sufficient grace and power of God.

Monday, August 17, 2009

On Grace

Two posts today really lifted my heart. They both were meditations on grace in their own way.

First, was Lee Irons' comments on the Law and legalism (HT: JT). Here are the couple of paragraphs that struck me as fresh insight:

The way to avoid legalism is to believe that, as the Law teaches, only the perfectly righteous may be admitted into heaven. This counterintuitive premise accomplishes two things in a single blow: it crushes legalism and clarifies the meaning of grace.

First, it crushes legalism because legalism cannot get off the ground unless the standard has first been lowered. But if the Law requires perfect righteousness, clearly the half-baked, imperfect obedience promoted by legalism will not do.

Second, it clarifies the meaning of grace. Grace is that God provides and accepts the imputed righteousness of Christ, in place of our own inherent righteousness demanded by the Law, as the righteousness by which the unrighteous can attain heaven. Now that’s grace! The true Gospel, then, presupposes the Law as its antithetical counterpart. Otherwise grace is no longer grace."

Second, was John Piper's meditation on why he has no merit of his own. This is the meditation in full:

This is my confession:

I was born into a believing family through no merit of my own at all.

I was given a mind to think and a heart to feel through no merit of my own at all.

I was brought into the hearing of the gospel through no merit of my own at all.

My rebellion was subdued, my hardness removed, my blindness overcome, and my deadness awakened through no merit of my own at all.

Thus I became a believer in Christ through no merit of my own at all.

And so I am an heir of God with Christ through no merit of my own at all.

Now when I put forward effort to please the Lord who bought me, this is to me no merit at all, because is not I, but the grace of God that is with me. (1 Corinthians 15:10)

...God is working in me that which is pleasing in his sight. (Hebrews 13:21)

...he fulfills every resolve for good by his power. (2 Thessalonians 1:11)

And therefore there is no ground for boasting in myself, but only in God's mighty grace.

Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:31)

I read these today, and my heart said, "Yes! Glorious grace!"

Friday, August 14, 2009

Life and Ministry of Lemuel Haynes

It was a great privilege to join the guys at Christ the Center for an interview on the life and ministry of Lemuel Haynes. I hope it might be of interest to some of you.

Lemuel Haynes was an African-American pastor in the Rutland, VT area in the late 1700s-early 1800s. One of the things I appreciate about Haynes was his constant looking to the return of Christ. He ministered with heaven in view.

The good folks at Reformation Heritage Books invited me to do a short volume on Haynes' piety in their Profiles of Reformed Spirituality series. It's entitled May We Meet in the Heavenly World, a phrase Haynes sometimes used when signing his letters. It captures the man in many ways. You can also find a print interview about Haynes and the book at RHB.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ken Myers on Church and Culture

Some gems from the 9Marks interview:

The Local Church and Cultural Resistance

"A local church, a congregation, is the basic unit of cultural resistance. If we're really going to be counter-cultural, which I think Christians need to be, in order to not be worldly... that's not done just as individuals or as individual families, but you need a community of people committed to one another and committed sharing life together to be really counter-cultural."


How can the church be counter-cultural?

"Well, I say first of all, we should be an intergenerational community. People should look at us and realize, 'Those people spend time with their kids and their kids identify with the community, not with their age group.' Intergenerational continuity. I talk about habits of eating. I say we should know how to feast and fast.

"And our language.... Language is one of God's greatest gifts to us. The fact that He speaks creaton into existence, He comes to us as the Word... we ought to have a reverence and delight for language. It's such a wonderful gift. We have 'the world'... has increasingly treated language with disrespect, with carelessness. I think we ought to be people who have the richest linguistic lives. That means we ought to be more conversant with poetry than the average citizen. We ought to be more conversant with well-ordered prose. And not just serious stuff. My daughter has become interested in P.G. Woodhouse, who is one of the best craftsmen of English prose... comic English prose in the 20th century. Language is a source of great fun. It's the kind of pleasure... it's a source of pleasure I think God wants us to have."

On Bad Culture

"Bad culture is dehumanizing. It takes some aspect of human blessedness and corrupts it. The church in its diaconal ministry, I would argue, has a kind of rehumanizing ministry. That we ought to first of all live lives with the capacity for human fulfillment... that take that fulfilment most seriously... "human flourishing" is a phrase that I like. That ought to be evident to our neighbors. They ought to see that we take delight in the gifts that God has given in ways that other people can't."

Jesus Treated Women Differently

Watch John Piper reflect on John 4:27 ("They marveled that he was talking with a woman") here.

Just in Passing...

Sometimes the things that impact us most are things we hear in passing. It happens with conversations and sermons all the time. Someone says something that's almost a line in passing and the hearer is profoundly impacted.

This past week at Worship God, there were two things that struck me that way.

First, my daughter Kasey prayed in thanksgiving to God "that we awoke under grace and not under wrath." Okay, that's something to be thankful for everyday. It's impacted my prayers and my greetings since I first heard it.

Second, perhaps more intentional, on a couple occasions I heard Bob Kauflin mention "living in the good of the gospel." Made me think more about where I "live," if it's in all of the rich wonder and goodness of the gospel. Am I applying the gospel in every way that I can to my daily life?

Just a couple things I heard in passing that have impacted my thinking and living.

How about you? Heard anything in passing that's impacted you lately?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Worshp God '09 Audio Available

The folks at Sovereign Grace put together the best conference I know of for folks involved in leading public praise. The conference blends both concentrated attention to the word of God and workshops addressing almost every imaginable topic involved in leading worship, songwriting, playing instruments (everything but the Oboe according to C.J.), and a host of other things. It's a wonderfully refreshing time.

They've made the audio from this year's general sessions available:
For all downloads, right-click and select "Save Target/Link As."

The God of Worship (John Piper)
Listen Download

The Heart of Worship (John Piper)
Listen Download

The Leaders of Worship (Jeff Purswell)
Listen Download

The Church of Worship (Thabiti Anyabwile)
Listen Download

Lessons Learned from Three Decades of Leading (C.J. Mahaney and Bob Kauflin)
Listen Download

The Life of Worship (Bob Kauflin)
Listen Download

What a joy it was to sit under the word and enjoy this fellowship!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Things NOT to Say to Your Wife

Me: Sweetie, that was a wonderful dinner. Thank you for putting so much love into it.

Wife: I'm glad you enjoyed it. What are about to do now?

Me: I think I'll go curl up with Lloyd-Jones.

Though she knows I've been enjoying reading Iain Murray's biography of Lloyd-Jones, saying to your wife, "I think I'll go curl up with Lloyd-Jones" doesn't sound right any way you accent it!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Church's Worst Enemy

Iain Murray paraphrasing Lloyd-Jones in his biography of Lloyd-Jones (vol. 1):

"The church's worst enemy is the man of little faith within its membership, not the faithless man of the world." (p. 185).

Pride and Preaching

Perhaps the most rewarding thing a pastor receives from the Lord is some sense or evidence that his preaching is bearing fruit with his people. Whether it's the conversion of souls or the edification and help of the saints, the preacher wants his preaching to bear much fruit.

And, of course, we want it to redound to God's glory. After all, it is God's word and God the Holy Spirit that does the work and produces the fruit. We will deflect well-meaning comments that seem to us to attribute to much to the human servant and not enough to God. We'll search for pithy soundbites to use at the doors afterward so that folks will be directed to God.

But, oh! how often the heart craves to hear that good report, that positive appraisal of "our" sermon and preaching. And, oh! how often we want to preach for God's glory and all the while "be known" for preaching for God's glory. Pride is sneaky, and the preacher is as vulnerable to it as everyone else.

Recently, I read two anecdotes from fellow servants who humbly confess their own wrestling with pride and preaching. I share them here because they were instructive for me and exposed what I know lurks in my heart as well. I also share these because I want to commend these books.

Ajith Fernando in The Call to Joy and Pain: Embracing Suffering in Your Ministry:

Recently I gave a two-part series of messages at an international conference. During my first talk there was little confusion about the time allocated to me. While speaking I realized that I had to rush my talk to finish on time. Foolishly, I began to speak fast. The first language of many in the audience was not English, and they found it hard to follow what I was saying. My tense mood also caused me to lose my sense of freedom as I spoke. After I finished, I realized the message had not been well understood. After the talk was over, some friends who were there and were concerned that I had not done a good job gave me advice on how I should give my next talk.

I went to my room devastated. There is nothing I dread in life as much as ministering without the freedom of knowing that I am being carried along by the Spirit's anointing. I clearly had not sensed this that evening. I sent a text message to my wife asking her to call me, and I told her what had happened. I asked her to inform my friends to pray about my next session the next morning. I also asked her to pray for me over the phone. That night I worked hard on cutting short my second message so I would not be rushed. The next morning's session went really well. The same friends who had advised me the night before came and expressed their joy over their feeling that God had used that talk.

As I was thinking about this, I was trying to make sense of what had happened. I realized that during the first few days of the conference many people had come up to me and told me how much they had appreciated my books and talks I had given at various conferences. I realized that I had become proud. I wanted my talks at this conference to be outstanding. But my motivation had shifted from wanting to glorify Christ to wanting people to see my abilities as a speaker and Bible teacher. Such motivation resulted in my ministering out of my own strength, for God will not share his glory with another. If such attitudes grew within me, my ministry would be displeasing to God, and his anointing would leave me.

God graciously permitted me to make a mess of my talk so he could purify my motives. I thanked God for the chastisement and gave myself a mental slap on the cheek, saying, "Thanks, Lord, I needed that!" I asked him to help me, despite the impurity of my motives, to seek only his glory in all I do. (pp. 70-71)

The second comes from Greg Dutcher in You are the Treasure that I Seek: But There's A lot of Cool Stuff Out There, Lord:

Laying his Bible on the dashboard, the pastor starts the ignition and pulls out of the church parking lot. "Your sermon was treat today, honey. Did you get any feedback?" asks his wife.

The minister cocks his head slightly, as if retrieving the answer takes a good deal of effort. After a few moments of "searching" (after all, people's comments were the furthest thing from his mind), he responds, "Yes, I think one or two people said they thought it was helpful. Praise the Lord."

And with that the conversation changes. The pastor looks fully engaged when his wife talks about the new children's coordinator: "She's wonderful." But if she could see what's playing out in his mind, wouldn't she be surprised! The fact is that he received many comments about today's sermon: "funny," "inspiring," "solid," "transforming." And every one of those comments is running through his mind in full Technicolor splendor! He's been in a rut lately, and today he was determined to break free. Looks like he did....

He is a man who knows that Christ is the pearl of great price. He invests his life proclaiming that true contentment and satisfaction are found in no one other than Jesus himself. But why does he seem like a vain woman craving compliments on the drive home from church? Doesn't he know better?

Or ask yourself: Do you know better? Let me answer that while you're giving it some thought. After all, I am the pastor in the story. On another Sunday not too long ago, I preached a message where I boldly stated, "Jesus Christ is our everything, or he isn't anything." I meant every word of it. And even when we finished our service by singing that Christ is our strength in weakness, the treasure that we seek, our all in all, I meant every word of that, too.

And then I found myself a few hours later browsing through a catalog upcoming Macintosh products. It was a calm, casual way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon. And then--rising like Poseidon out of the glossy-page sea--I saw it: the new iPhone. Wow! A phone, an iPod, and a pocket computer! How could I live another day without one of those? Without realizing it, I lost myself for another hour on the Internet reading any article I could find for more information about this life-changing device. I should have just been honest and prayed, "Lord, you are the treasure that I seek... but there's some really cool stuff out there, too." But the disparity between the place Christ should hold in our lives and the place He does hold should give us hope. It tells us that there is a battle to be fought, a battle that God can fight in and through us. (pp. 12-13, 15)

I see bits of myself in both of these author's confessions. How about you?

Monday, August 03, 2009

Plagiarism... But I Can't Help It

I wanted to link to this, but I couldn't figure out how. This was sent to me from one of the elders here at FBC. It's from the "1 Minute for Men" daily devotional that LifeWay does. Couldn't find a link from the email, so I thought I'd just reproduce it here. A good, short exhortation to church membership. Very helpful.

Paul - Love for the Church

Selections from 1 Thessalonaians 2

We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. For you remember our labor and hardship, brothers. Working night and day so that we would not burden any of you, we preached God's gospel to you.... As you know, like a father with his own children, we encouraged, comforted, and implored each one of you to walk worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.... For who is our hope, or joy, or crown of boasting in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy!

Paul poured his life into the church. His relationship with the many churches he started and sustained was like a father for his children - or, as he said, like a mother: "Again I am in the pains of childbirth for you until Christ is formed in you." There's a lot of love in this passage. The thought of a serious believer existing outside the blessings and boundaries of the church is a lie in the language of Christian living. God's people are grown to live in relationship, feeding off their gospel fellowship, partaking of the sacred reminders of the Christian mystery, lifting each other up in believing prayer, and holding each other accountable as witnesses for Christ. Love your church. Serve your church. Minister to the needy. Invest yourself in its mission, and find your role in helping bring it to pass.

Look At It This Way ...

The church is the body of believers, not the building where the believers assemble. It is the group with whom we marry our children, bury our dead, receive comfort in crisis, accept meals in sickness, partake of the Lord's Supper, learn about the character of God, become trained in doctrine, commune with Christ, fellowship with other believers, become discipled in the way we should walk, develop a personal ministry, honor God with our tithes and offerings, bring unsaved friends, hear the preaching of God's Word, express our spiritual gifts, raise our children in spiritual instruction, and take vows for which we are accountable.

Have you ever really considered the depth of the role your church plays in your life and the life of your family? A great need today is that Christians revalue the church - that they recognize the importance of membership in a vital body of believers. Supporting a local church through membership - not merely attendance - represents the most significant of the public spiritual disciplines. If we truly love Christ, we will want to be around his people. - Patrick Morley

A Final Thought:

If you're not actively involved in a church, it's time you followed God's call to the one where He wants you. Take it from those who are already there. You'll love it.