Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Pictures from Bayshore Farewell Party


This weekend will be our last Sunday at Bayshore. Gay and I are going to miss a lot of the people who have helped us along our journey, but we know we are following God's will for our lives.

A few of our friends at Bayshore threw us a farewell party a few weeks ago, and there are some pictures online now. You can view them by clicking here. Thanks to our church photographer John Parker for these pictures.

Once Gay and I get settled in Winston-Salem, I will resume editorial style posting, and I plan to do a lot of documenting of my Seminary experience on this site, so check back in a few weeks.

Monday, July 25, 2005

House is sold!

Thank you so much to all of you who have been praying for the sale of our house. We signed a contract last week, had the home inspection, and final buyers walk-through this weekend. Other than a few repairs, it is ready to go.

We actually sold the house to a very nice Christian couple who is very excited about the house. I saw them getting a flyer last Saturday, and went outside to ask them if they would like to see the house. They really liked what they saw, and we were able to cut a deal right then. They were very excited to find out I was going into the ministry. We didn't get what we wanted for the house, but we got enough, and more than I thought we ever would for our house. We will be able to pay our debts and buy a condo with what we make on our house. It will be nice not to have to pay rent or a mortgage while I am in school.

In the time between signing the first and second contract on our home, we lost the contract on the condo in Winston-Salem. Ironically, we went back to our first choice with the same they had turned down the first time, and they took the offer this time. So, we will be moving into a brand new 2 bed/2 bath condo in Winston-Salem's Ardmore area. It is almost exactly half the size of our current house.

We close here in Tampa on August 9th, and in Winston-Salem on the 12th.

Here are some pictures of the model:








Friday, July 08, 2005

Anybody want to buy a house?!?!?!?






























I'm sorry I haven't posted anything recently, but it is amazing how much time selling a house takes up. We have had some offers, but nothing has panned out. Please, keep this in your prayers. I will feel like a huge weight has been lifted once the house sells.

If you like what you see, and are interested in buying it, leave me a comment!

Monday, July 04, 2005

CBF Wrap-up

Gay and I have returned from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship General Assembly in Dallas, Texas, and it turned out to be a great trip!

The day we were to leave, we found out the contract on our home had fallen through. That put a damper on the start of the trip, but we were eventually able to put that behind us for the rest of the trip.

The facility where CBF was held, the Gaylord Texan, was absolutely amazing. CBF was able to get great rates on this facility because they booked it while it was still under construction. To get a look at the facility, you can visit their website by clicking here.

We started on Wednesday afternoon with the CBF leadership institute. The institute was led by the dean of Duke Divinity School, Greg Jones. The topic of discussion this year was bringing excellence back to ministry. Jones said, "...What is important is that churches need to keep God at the center as the reference for excellence.”

Breakout workshops and worship services began on Wednesday. The first workshop I attended was led by Bill Leonard, the dean of The Divinity School at Wake Forest University. Leonard discussed the changing face of church denominational identification. Many churches are now organizing based on worship styles, ethical issues or forming ecumenical groups based on geography rather than organizing under the old denominational system.

The second workshop I attended was led by Eddie Hammett, senior leadership and discipleship consultant with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Hammett discussed the challenges, methods and rewards of working with post-moderns on their "spiritual journeys." Hammett said we have to throw away a lot of methods and language we have been taught to use in evangelism, and instead use the language that postmoderns are using. He said that postmoderns are looking for meaning in their life experiences and come to the Bible with that perspective.

This year, CBF established the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Offering for Religious Liberty and Human Rights. The offering will be used to support ministries of the CBF and Baptist World alliance related to religious liberty and human rights in the United States and around the world. CBF collected more than $30,000 for this offering during the assembly.

The first night's speaker was Albert Reyes, president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and the Baptist University of the Americas. Reyes said that missionaries no longer needed passports and airline tickets to witness to people of different races and ethnic backgrounds, but that those people were now living in our cities and neighborhoods. "In the 21st century, our neighbors are anyone we encounter in our daily life:— the bus driver, the teacher, the sales clerk, the prostitute, the mayor," he said. "And that neighbor might be Arab, African-American, Asian, Indian. Whoever you encounter is your neighbor:— the hopeless, the helpless, the one who doesn'’t have anything to eat in the favelas of Brazil or the one dying of AIDS in Africa."

Throughout CBF, we made periodic visits to the resource fair. The resource fair provides a great opportunity for networking and learning about the newest resources available to churches.

Day 2 started with a business session and worship service. In his keynote address, CBF Moderator and pastor of First Baptist Church of Christ in Macon Georgia, Bob Setzer appealed to churches to be the presence of Christ in the world by focusing on their local community and participating in the global missions enterprise. The service concluded with the serving of communion.

After the worship service, Gay and I attended the Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty luncheon as guests of The Divinity School at Wake Forest University. All of the speakers discussed the importance of the preservation of the first amendment's prohibition of the any government activity that establishes or prohibits the free exercise of religion.

After the luncheon, I attended a workshop lead by Fischer Humphries a professor at Beeson Divinity School at Samford University. This workshops discussed Christian theology, protestant theology, Baptist theology, and even the differences between fundamentalist and moderate Baptist theology. As with most workshops, we concluded with a question and answer period. Every workshop I attended was standing room only, and workshops were offered that were of interest to students, church staff, laity.

During the Friday night worship service, 19 new missionaries were commissioned to serve in the United States and around the world. The missionary service is always one of the highlights of the General Assembly. Daniel Vestal, CBF's Coordinator, concluded the worship service with an excellent sermon entitled "Being the Presence of Christ in All the World." I could not do the sermon justice by summarizing it here, but the transcript is available on the CBF website.

Gay and I always enjoy CBF. It is hard to describe the feelings you get being around so many like-minded Christians. It provides us with an opportunity to worship without worrying anything else. It provides us the opportunity to visit with friends we only get to see a few times a year, and provides a time for spiritual development. We always leave CBF feeling spiritually revived and renewed.

You can read more about this year's CBF General Assembly by visiting their website at www.thefellowship.info.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Grapevine, TX welcomes CBF!

These signs are on a lot of the shops in downtown Grapevine, Tx.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Be Afraid!

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Be afraid! Be very afraid!

Worship Service

One of the worship services.

Hardy!

Hardy Clemons, who served at Bayshore as interim pastor.

Jimmy and Rosalynn!

CBF established the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Offering for Religious Liberty and Human Rights.

Jimmy, yes. W, no.

The SBC had W., but we have Jimmy!