Learning and Living the God-centered life

One Biblical Doctrine at a time…

Back in the Saddle

I looked up the meaning for the idiom “back in the saddle.” It means doing something you stopped doing for a period of time. Therefore I am happy to announce that the Pastor B. blog is officially back in the saddle after a short break and ready to move into the 2010 year.

A funny thing happened on the way back from church on December 13, as the following week progressed I ran headlong right into the flu. It was quite the battle that has lasted for two weeks and culminated with a trip to doctors office this morning for more medication. Sorry that I have been out of touch, but if you came to our house you would see that the couch and I have become one. Yes, those merry sounds of hacking, coughing, sneezing, and blowing have been a constant during this Christmas season. Nancy has remained healthy but probably needs some time just to recover from taking care of me. I am not a good sick person and at one point I asked Nancy if we could get a bell so I could just ring it. I will leave you to the imagination as to how that little suggestion went over. Just to give you a visual I have included a photo that gives a summary of my past few weeks here at the house. Simply click on this LINK.

Pat, Kay, Nancy and I along with the entire leadership team are very excited about our Bible reading, study and devotion time for 2010. Pat and I are already talking about some new things to introduce our class to on Sunday that can help our progress as we learn Bible doctrine together. I want to thank the staff at Carmel for working with us so closely to make all the little things come together each Sunday. Also to a huge thanks to Rob Kelly and the young adult ministry for the smooth transition as we have been both utilizing the uptown auditorium. Read More...

Manna from Heaven

The leadership team has concluded that we need have a mission focus for each month. This can be a wonderful time to pray for the various mission projects that we support. Our focus for the month of November will be “Manna from Heaven.” Here is a brief bio on this particular mission ministry.

MANNA FROM HEAVEN MINISTRIES, INC. began seven years ago when Robert Johnson cooked one plate of hot dogs and beans for a hungry neighbor. The next week, this same neighbor came back only this time with a friend. The next week there were eight hungry people; then 16 and then 35. Today, Johnson feeds 100 hungry people, primarily from two streets in the Villa Heights and Belmont neighborhoods, every Sunday. People walk for blocks and blocks to receive what is possibly the only meal they might have that week.

“we aren’t just feeding the soul of the man but the whole of the man”

Manna desires to go beyond just filling stomachs. You can’t witness to a hungry man! We desire to meet their needs, physically, and spiritually by being the hands and feet of Jesus and sharing with them the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

In addition to a weekly meal, Manna seeks to meet the additional needs of the Community. In late summer, school supplies and school clothes are collected. Clothing is always needed. Warm coats, hats, socks, boots and gloves for the homeless. Providing food for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Ensuring every child gets a gift on Christmas morning along with the true meaning of Christmas! Often times, Manna also offers financial assistance to those who cannot pay their bills.

How we do what we do….Manna from Heaven relies solely on the support of individuals and corporations who give of their time, money and supplies to meet the needs of the less fortunate.
What can I do? In addition to cash donations, Manna needs WalMart gift cards and gas cards to help the people in the community. We also need a larger building with a commercial kitchen. We are currently working on our 501(c)3 which will be filed in 2010, so your gifts will be tax deductible and is retroactive 18 months.
THE FUTURE: It is the desire of Robert, the Board and his team of volunteers that one day Manna from Heaven, Inc. will operate independently in its own structure. A building with a kitchen, a place for people needing shelter, a clothes closet and more is the dream of many who share the vision of Manna from Heaven Ministries, Inc.

Manna from Heaven Ministries, Inc.
P.O. Box 78332
Charlotte, NC 28271-7030

Robert Johnson (704) 609-7399
Lynn Wooten (704) 582-1450

Behind the Scenes

Pat Jones is a great friend and a dear brother in Christ. I had run across Pat a few times over the years in Charlotte, but our first real conversation was dinner with the wives in May 2009. Before we went to dinner that night Nancy warned me to stay calm. However during the dinner that night Pat asked me about my passion in ministry. It was at that point I felt free to unleash and by the grace of God, I did. Over the last year Pat and I have had many good and intense phone calls about God’s word and ministry.

A couple of months ago I got fired up about something going on in the church nationwide. I follow lots of different pastors, teachers and theologians to see what they are teaching and I try to keep up with current Christian topics. Apparently one of my emails prompted a call from Pat to which he left a voice mail. When I heard the voice mail it was classic Pat. Therefore I asked him if I could share publicly and he consented. So here is a short voice mail that gives you a behind the scenes look as Pat and I wrestle through “Learning and Living the God-centered Life.”

Simply click on this LINK.

Coming Home

Nancy and I plan to be back, Lord willing, this Sunday. First of all I want to thank Andy Collins, Pastor Russ Rosser, Rodney Young and Jeff Gaskins for their excellent teaching while I have been away. This has been a time of study, planning and getting organized for the 2009 and 2010 year. My burden and ministry call it seems from day one has been to exhort people back into the word of God so the word of God can get back into them. In Southeast Charlotte the biggest ministry dilemma I have faced over the past 11 years has been an overall apathy and ignorance regarding God's word. Jesus says in John 8:32 "and you will know the truth (learn), and the truth will make you free (live). In that one verse you can see the very title of our class "learning and living the God-centered life." Because what is the ultimate truth if not Jesus Christ and how has God ordained that we might know Him through His word. Allow me to point you to John 1:14 - And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. We as Christians see the glory of God as the Holy Spirit reveals to us the Lord Jesus through the word. Therefore our class is Bible centered or God-centered so that ultimately as we behold the glory of God in the face of Christ, we will behave in a like manner.

When we return, the challenge that I am going to present before our community is going to be "FINALLY THIS YEAR." And my goal is to encourage each of you, to fill in the blank as it relates to your life and the glory of God. This challenge is primarily directed toward the goal of our class, which is to learn and live out God-centered lives. So in this email may I ask each of you to be praying consistently about your personal reading, devotion and study of God's word.

This is NOT the year for you to put it on a "to-do" list, and pull yourself up by the boot straps, and get it done yourself! No, No, No, but rather this is a year for humble submission before the Father as a living sacrifice, and ask if He would be pleased to extend a measure of faith, so that you might have a passionate desire for His word. This is a year of diligent seeking, again through prayer, that by grace the Spirit would reveal, teach and disclose your known and tolerated sin and that you would hate it! May you hate it and see how utterly sinful it is so that you will REPENT and BELIEVE! And may this be the year that God reveal to in its full intensity the grace of the cross, in which Jesus Christ absorbed the wrath of God for you. All your sin - past, present and future was placed on Him and now your sins have been paid for in FULL and in the courtroom of heaven God has declared you for an eternity to be "NOT GUILTY." Hear these words from Romans 8:1 "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." And in this amazing grace Christ has reckoned, credited or the Bible says imputed to your account His righteousness so that you today are as righteous as Christ Himself! "FINALLY THIS YEAR" would you preach the gospel to yourself multiple times a day since the Scripture teaches us that in the gospel resides the "POWER OF GOD" for each person who continues believing. (Romans 1:16)

Our study in the doctrine of God will get back in full swing in the month of August. The curriculum for this class in what remains to be taught and studied is as follows:

The Challenge

Here is the second video that summarizes the mission statement in our class. This covers the challenge for the coming year. Hopefully this will be a useful tool as you we all seek to learn and live the God-centered life.

Click on this

The Mission

Here is a video that summarizes the mission statement in our class. The goal this week is to provide each day a brief overview of the five points that I covered this past Sunday. Hopefully this will be a useful tool as you we all seek to learn and live the God-centered life.

Pat knows Red Fish

Somebody may be asking is Pat Jones really an outdoor kind of guy? He can make “turkey calls” in SS class but does he know how to bring home the bacon so to speak. Well for the second year in a row (a picture is worth a thousand words), I have documented Pat hammering the red fish in Charleston. It’s just a fact when Pat shows up the fish start to tremble.

So without further ado I bring you the Roland Martin of the inter-coastal... (if you happen to hear a comment about lunch at the Palm, that was a side agreement regarding lunch for most fish caught and put in the boat.)

Planning is hard work

Nancy and I went over to Pat and Kay’s for some SS community planning for the fall. If you see some smoke in the pictures it is not from the burgers but from all the brainstorming last night. Of course the burgers were cooked with Pat’s special recipe and they were sooooooooo good! This coming year, by the grace of God things are going to be intentional, exciting and challenging. May I ask each of you to keep praying as we continue to learn and live the God-centered life.

Leadership Team Meeting

Pat and Kay called a leadership team meeting on Sunday night. We had a great time of planning and fellowship. While everyone else was busy brainstorming and working, I was getting pictures for the blog site.

Pre-retreat planning team

This retreat planning is tough work but someone has to do it. On Thursday we took a day trip up to Ridgecrest to check out the facilities again and to finalize some of the last minute details. On the way back we stopped by Lake James so that we could finish debriefing all the details. It was very intense and hard but we were able to manage.

Women's Ministry

The different hats of Pat Jones