Monthly Archives: January 2011

I’m Registered, Are You!?

Here at Vann we desire every home to understand that the Bible teaches they are the primary faith influencer in their child’s life. Wow, I know for me that brings a sense of responsibility. I am a father of three children and I realize it isn’t someone else who has the responsibility, but me and my wife. At the same time, we believe the church has the responsibility to encourage and equip the home to accomplish God’s plan.

In light of these truths, we want to encourage every member of Vann who has the responsibility of training children (birth through high school) to be a part of an excellent opportunity at First Baptist Church Henderson.  Dr. Tedd Tripp will be leading a conference at First Baptist Church called, Instructing a Child’s Heart, on Friday evening, February 11th and Saturday, February 12th. The cost is $12.50 per person and childcare is provided with advanced registration. You can register by calling First Baptist Church at 270.826.2332, and let them know you are registering from Vann Avenue Baptist Church.

I know my wife and I are really looking forward to this conference and the wisdom it will provide to us as we pray and pursue raising our children to bring glory to Jesus. Join us as we embrace the calling God has placed on all us parents to help our children become passionate followers of Jesus Christ.

Here is a short video introducing some of the material taught.

Apologetics: Give a Defense

The Apostle Peter said, “And who will harm you if you are passionate for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear or be disturbed, but set apart the Messiah as Lord in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. However, do this with gentleness and respect, keeping your conscience clear, so that when you are accused, those who denounce your Christian life will be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil (1 Peter 3:13-17).”

Tonight (Wednesdays) we are going to begin going through a DVD series titled Does God Exist? Building the Scientific Case produced by Focus on the Family. Upon my arrival to Vann Avenue some time ago, it was expressed to me the concern for our families and especially our children who seemed to be walking away from the faith. In fact, statistics seem to point to the reality that 75% of church-attending high school graduates walk away from the church in our culture. Doing a study like this one may help to answer some of the questions these graduates are having.

However, we are not doing this for that reason. Whenever the topic of apologetics is brought up, often the above Scripture is quoted, specifically verse 15 (be ready to give a defense). “Apologetics may be simply defined as the defense of the Christian faith. The word “apologetics” derives from the Greek word apologia, which was originally used as a speech of defense” (Taken from The Apologetics Study Bible, HCSB).

I want us to see verse 15 in relation to the bigger idea that surrounds it. For me, I want our kids to see first the necessity of setting apart the Messiah as Lord in their hearts. The ESV translates this “in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy.” Jesus must be first place. We are not studying the idea of apologetics so our kids can get big heads. They need to first focus on Jesus, so that their hearts first get filled with Him (oh yea, this does involve their minds). Peter is speaking about Followers of Jesus suffering, and suffering for doing good. So, you have our young person focusing on Jesus, living for Jesus, filling their heart and mind up with Jesus, doing good to others for Jesus and then they suffer for it. Bad theology teaches that you’re suppose to be loved by everybody for doing good for Jesus. Bad theology teaches your suppose to have easy, non-suffering life if you are living for Jesus. In my own words Peter says, “With love in your hearts and because you have Christ first place in your life and you know the cost Jesus paid for you, with gentleness and respect for God and to those who are making you suffer, give them the reason Christ is bigger than your suffering.”

So, we begin tonight looking at a teaching series that I pray will give our youth spiritual steel in their spines, so that they too will have the confidence and compassion to give a defense for the reason they have hope.

Here is a trailor for our study we are beginning tonight.

Keeping an Eye on the End as We Go in the Present

“The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations…Revelation 2:26″

How many of us anticipate to hear our Lord Jesus say, “Well done good and faithful servant”? Do you ever think about that day? The word for “end” used in the above passage is the Greek word “teleos”, and is the word we have derived our word for telescope. Just as a telescope looks to the end of the universe and gives us a glimpse of something huge and bigger than anything we could ever imagine, we too look to the magnificence of the God of the universe and are amazed that someone so awe-inspiring and  magnificent would come and reveal Himself as Jesus and sacrifice Himself for us. We look to the end and know our great God and Savior will be returning to rule and reign. We too will be in the presence of our triune God in pure worship and service to Him.

What about now? As we continue to meet on Sunday nights from 5-7PM, we will be going through the letter to the Philippians. We will look to Philippians 1:7-11 and to Paul’s prayer for the Philippian followers of Christ. We want to see, in light of knowing the day of Jesus Christ, how we live now matters. I believe that the prayer Paul prayed for the Philippians is an excellent model for us to pray for ourselves and one another in 2011.

Hope to see you in the gym at 5PM for a group game. We will also be eating spaghetti afterwards before we head upstairs. Don’t forget to invite a friend and bring them with you.

First Sunday upstairs

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The painting is done! Although it will still be a couple weeks till the TV’s and other electronics are installed, we were blessed to have a team come and paint the space today. We will now begin to meet upstairs during our regular meeting times.
Please remember that tomorrow night is our first night moving Youth in the Vann from Wednesday to Sunday night from 5pm till 7pm. We hope to see everyone there as we continue to go through Paul’s letter to the Philippians.

Partnering in Painting

The Apostle Paul told the Philippian believers that he derived joy from their partnership.

I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now (Philippians 1:3-5).”

What does that have to do with painting, you might ask? I think everything. If you just view the gospel as a one time event that bears no responsibility and privilege for the rest of your life, than this idea of painting for the furtherance of the gospel makes no sense. You have what you need, so just let me get on with the rest of my life and I will be around when I have time.

However, if you view the gospel as an event that did occur in the past, where Jesus died for your sins and rose from the dead three days later, and has bearing on your life when you first believed and still believe, than painting for the glory of God is possible tomorrow. We are not just painting because the walls need it. We are painting an area of our church building because we believe this space can serve to help youth grow in the gospel and go for the gospel.

I hope to see many of you here tomorrow at 10am. I do understand that schedules do not always allow for it. However, if your schedule does allow for it, I hope you will come. I also hope you will see it as an opportunity to partner “in painting” for the gospel. It will require sacrifice, as most opportunities do, as we continue to follow Christ.