Less school more sermon prep!

I have noticed a huge increase in the amount of time I have available nowadays since completing my doctorate degree. I guess I didn't realize how much time and attention it was taking away from my sermon preparation. Although I often combined school work with sermon studies, and at times the Lord led me to preach from my school studies, I wasn't really spending enough time researching like I used to.

Ever since turning in that last final exam it is like a load has been lifted from my shoulders. My mind seems clearer and I am back in the swing of sermon preparation all through the week. Instead of having my head in the seminary books, I can now spend more time in the Bible and commentaries. I've also been able to increase the number of sermons that I listen to every week instead of listening to lectures.

Don't get me wrong, I don't regret all the time I spent earning my degrees but it is nice to have a bit of normalcy back in my life. I have a renewed excitement about preaching and feel a lot more focused. I've even been able to prepare 3 or 4 messages a week to use for future sermons.

Not sure why I am sharing this, more or less just to write it out for my own benefit. But, anyways, thanks for spending time reading.



Men of God Part 7

As I sat and read over the past 6 Men of God blog posts that I have made, I suddenly realized that I have left out 3 of the most influential Pastors that have been in my life. All 3 of these have went on to be with Jesus now but the impact they had on my life will remain with me forever.

Preacher Edd Spencer - Preacher Spencer was my grandfather on my mother's side. Back in the 50’s and 60’s, my papaw, James Edward Spencer, was one of the most popular preachers in all of Knox County, heck maybe even East, TN. I called him “Paw.” He was a tall, lanky man, filled with the Spirit of God. He preached hell-fire and damnation, but he also preached of God’s love and forgiveness. One thing that made his sermons great was his showy antics. For example, when he preached of the Prodigal Son, he would open the side door of the church and call out as if the long lost son was out there somewhere; he also got down on his hands and knees and ate from an imaginary hog’s troft. To demonstrate Zacchaeus climbing up in a tree to see Jesus, papaw would climb in the window seal of the church or scale a revival tent pole. In 1942, Paw was one of the original founders of Highland Baptist Church where he also pastored 2 different times for a total of 9-years. Then, 12 years later, in 1954, he founded North Acres Baptist Church, where he preached for 19 years, right up until his death. Still to this day when people find out that I am Preacher Spencer's grandson, they start telling me of all the times they listened to him and how they considered him their favorite preacher. I've got one of my papaw's sermons uploaded on the internet and you can listen to him preach a message titled, "Neglect So Great Salvation," just click HERE

Preacher Adral Glenn Hall Sr. - My Great Uncle Adral was a little more “citified” than my papaw Spencer was. His sermons were a little more relaxed and he was softer spoken. I don’t recall hearing any “hell-fire and brimstone” messages from him; however, I wasn’t present in as many his services as I was Paw’s. Uncle Adral pastored several churches; the one that I remember the most was Elm Street Baptist church in Knoxville. That is where I accepted Christ as my Savior. It was during Vacation Bible School, back in 1973, I was 7 years old. I remember sitting through the preaching service and it came time for the invitation. Everyone was standing and singing, “Just As I Am.” My heart was pounding out of my chest; I was gripping the pew in front of me so hard that my fingers were hurting. I had been feeling conviction for quite some time but this time was more than I could stand. I heard uncle Adral beckon, “If you are out there and you are lost, don’t put it off any longer…come. If you leave here tonight without being saved, you don’t have the guarantee that you will ever get the opportunity again…come.” All of a sudden I felt the chains just fall from my shoulders. I practically ran up to the front. I was bawling my head off and it was right there on that altar, with my uncle Adral’s arms wrapped around me, that I uttered the sinner’s prayer and accepted Christ as my Savior. Never before had I felt such relief. Uncle Adral passed away on January 10, 1999. Now all I have to remember him by are my memories and a grave marker in Union Cemetery. I visit his gravesite occasionally and wonder if he would be proud of me today, or if I would be a disappointment. I wish that I had spent more time with him during his last days. Unfortunately, I don't have any of Uncle Adral's sermons to share, I sure wish that I did. 

Preacher Jamie Porterfield - Pastor Jamie is the man that I call "my pastor." He was the Pastor at House Mountain Baptist Church where my family and I attended. Jamie was one of the most talented singers you have ever heard and he could have made a living professionally singing. But not only was he a great singer, he was a great preacher and pastor. He always preached with great compassion in his sermons. Jamie took interest in me and would go out of his way to help me in my Spiritual walk. It was he that taught me how to lead congregational music and conduct a choir. He worked with me on how to keep proper time with my hands through all of the different time signatures. He would give me pointers and correct me when I would do something wrong. He always stressed that I needed to lead the songs with my heart and he gave me books that told the stories behind the hymns. He encouraged me to read the books and find out why the authors wrote them. It was during Jamie's pastorship that I received the call to preach. He encouraged me all of the time. He saw potential in me and would give me opportunities to preach. I will never forget the night we got the terrible phone call telling us that Jamie's 19-year old son, Joe, had fallen asleep while driving and had died in a car accident. Jamie and his wife Judy were so distraught. I took it upon myself to try and lead the church during this difficult time. One night we all drove to Jamie's house and stood in the driveway and prayed. He came outside and even in his grief and mourning, he told me how much he appreciated me and thanked me for stepping up. Jamie resigned from House Mountain shortly after that and went on to pastor at a Church in South Knoxville. I only saw Jamie one more time after he left our Church and he helped me tremendously with a struggle I was going through. Just three years later, at only 49-years old, Pastor Jamie passed away from cancer. He has been gone now for 11-years at the time of this writing but I still think of him nearly every day. He had a lasting impact upon my life. I loved him and miss him but I know I'll see my pastor again one of these days. I"ve got one of Pastor Jamie's sermons uploaded on the internet that you can listen to. It is titled, "Be Still and Know that I AM God," you can listen to it HERE. 

If you are interested, you can read the other 6 blog posts I have made of Men of God by clicking HERE.



Men of God Part 6

It has been nearly a year since I've wrote a "Men of God" post. Lately I have had my fellow local pastor's on my mind. Thanks to the internet we are able to listen to nearly every preacher or pastor that we would like to hear. There are many pastors in Knoxville that have their sermons online and I listen to them almost every week. I'm going to introduce you to three local pastors that really bless me and I also call them my friends.

Pastor of Cedar Bluff Baptist Church, James Burke. I actually got acquainted with Bro. Jamie through Facebook but have met him personally a few times at different events. I began listening to his sermons on Sermon Audio a couple of years ago and tremendously enjoy hearing him preach. He preaches with a lot of compassion in his sermons and is not ashamed to laugh, cry, sing, or shout out while preaching. Speaking of singing, Bro. Jamie has a tremendous singing voice and will really bless your heart with a song. There are several great sermons by Bro. Jamie that I know you would enjoy but I was really blessed by one that he just preached this past Sunday titled, "Is God's Grace Sufficient?"

Pastor of Walridge Baptist Church, Toby Webber. I first knew of Bro. Toby when I was being considered for the open pastor position at Walridge. I'm thankful that the Lord works in the ways that He does because Walridge called Bro. Toby as pastor instead of me and just a few months later I was called at Highland Baptist where I pastor. Bro. Toby has always been one to reach out to others to encourage them. He did that to me once by bringing me a helpful booklet by Charles Spurgeon that greatly blessed me. I have heard Bro. Toby preach many times and had him come out as a guest speaker at one of our men's Coffee and Christ meetings. Bro. Toby is a very knowledgeable preacher and tackles a lot of in-depth Scripture and expounds upon it with great fervency.  I enjoy all of Bro. Toby's sermons but one that I really enjoy is one titled, "Except Ye Repent."

Pastor of Valley View Baptist Church, Justin Pratt. Bro. Justin was called to Valley View after their long time pastor, Dewey Cooper retired. God sent the perfect pastor for that congregation as Bro. Justin has maintained the integrity of that church and has allowed God to greatly use him to expand and grow in a time when most churches are shrinking. Bro. Justin has always been very gracious to me and other local pastors and has always been a great encouragement. He is relentless in his pursuit to minister in every capacity that God can use him and has his hand on the pulse of the times we are living in and often preaches on subjects that some preachers avoid. You will enjoy all of Bro. Justin's sermons but I would like to encourage you to listen to one he preached just this past June titled, "What Would Jesus Do?"

These are not the only three local Pastors that I feel this way about and I will blog about them later on. With this being Pastor Appreciation month, I truly hope you let your local Church Pastor know ho much you love and appreciate him. You can read all of my "Men of God" blog posts by clicking on this link: Men Of God




Great message on God's will from Pastor Clarence Sexton tonight at Gospel Light's Southwide 2015.

"Obedience isn't simply doing God's will, it is delighting in doing God's will." ~Pastor Sexton



Final Doctorate Exam Submitted

I really don't know how to feel right now. I am excited, anxious, and tearful knowing that I just submitted my very last Seminary paper to be graded; NTBB8538 Exposition of 1 & 2 Thessalonians. This one took me a little longer than I expected. Even though there were only 19 exam questions, they were pretty lengthy and detailed. I've also been very covered up lately with work and ministry duties. It seems nearly half of my congregants are sick right now so I'm stretched pretty thin.

All in all this last course took 27-days. Below are the specifics of the course work:

  • Read all of 1 and 2 Thessalonians.
  • Listen to and take notes on 17 lectures containing 12-hours of instruction.
  • Complete a 19 question exam which ended up being 15 pages and 5,652 words.

It was so strange to click on the "send" button when I submitted my exam. It was almost like I could feel a load being lifted off of my shoulders. It is similar to after you have worked and practiced for hours for a large event such as a cantata or concert and when it is finally over you just feel overwhelmed.

I still have to wait for Crown to send my transcripts from my Master's program and then submit my diploma request and intent to graduate form to ATS and receive back my grades from the final two courses that I have submitted before I can officially graduate. Right now I feel like this is it for my education but you never know what the future holds. I never dreamed I would have went this far. I may still take some Greek and Hebrew courses for my own personal benefit.

I really appreciate the prayers from my family and friends and anyone that may have kept up with my progress. It is only by the Lord's good graces that I have been able to achieve my dreams.



THEO7340 Doctrine of Christ - Complete!

The past 27-days have been like a roller coaster ride. So many things going on yet I have relentlessly pursued completing this course. This was a tough one for sure. Below is an outline of the work I did:
  • Listened to 20 lectures totaling 14 hours.
  • Read over 300 passages of Scripture.
  • Took a 49-question final exam.
  • Typed out 26 pages of notes totaling 6,675 words.
It is only with the Lord's help I was able to complete this course in the time that I did. I have also studied, prepared, and preached 12 sermons and prepared and taught 4 Sunday school lessons in that amount of time on top of my other pastoral duties and father/husband duties and of course my full-time job. Again, this isn't bragging, I'm letting you know that obtaining an advanced degree is no easy task. Anyone who thinks so has never attempted it. I will tell you this, it will be worth every minute and dollar sacrificed having the satisfaction of completing this degree. It may not mean much to the rest of the world but it means a great deal to me. As always, I desire your prayers as I have only one more course to complete before I graduate.

Last but not least: NTBB8538 Exposition of Thessalonians



Much Learning Doth Make Thee Mad

"And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness." ~ Acts 26:24-25
I was listening to another preacher recently preach a sermon. He did a fine job capturing the attention of folks and his delivery was spot on, but as I carefully examined the content of his sermon I felt that I was being cheated because I hadn't really learned anything. Perhaps my view of preaching is not the norm but I have always believed that if a man of God preaches he should be preaching and teaching the Bible, not just pulling out a passage of Scripture to go with his own thoughts and ideas or spending 30 minutes telling cutesy little home-spun stories and anecdotes, but actually trying to relay to the audience the purpose of the written Word of God. 

All of the Seminary work that I have been doing for the past 6-years sometimes leaves me feeling that I may be going mad. My brain certainly feels like mush at times and my eyes are begging for a break from studying and staring at a computer screen. Sometimes I question myself as to whether or not it is all worth it or not. I know that's just my flesh speaking though.

When I first began preaching nearly 22-years ago I approached preaching much differently than I do now. I thought it was my job to dazzle the listening audience and to prove how witty I was. Most of my early sermons were topic based - topics that I had came up with on my own and used the Bible to back up my thoughts. How I wish I could go back and erase all of my mistakes of the past, but I cannot. But, I have learned over the years that nothing can substitute for good straight Bible preaching. There is nothing more satisfying than to take a verse of Scripture and expound upon it and letting the Holy Spirit do His work.

Expository preaching may not be popular or garner crowds of people but is that really what the ministry is about, some kind of popularity contest? I don't think that is what the Lord has called preachers to do. I know that one day I will stand before the Lord Jesus and answer for the way I have treated His Word and His Church and I would have to stand before him and try to find excuses as to why I wasted away the ministry telling jokes and stories instead of preaching the Word of God. Friends, time is too short and too many souls lay in the balance to water down the Gospel. We must teach and preach the Bible with great urgency, fervency, wisdom, power, and compassion in order to see lost souls saved and to please our Lord.
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."~ 2 Timothy 2:15



NTBB8102 Exposition of Matthew II - Complete!

I have to admit that I spent way too much time over the past 2-weeks working on this course. This course along with the 1st Exposition of Matthew are two of the toughest courses in this entire program. I wanted to get this one knocked out so it would be a little easier on my downhill ride toward the end of my Seminary studies. Only two more courses left to go!

Here are the details of the work I did in this particular study:
  • Listened to 28 lectures totaling 17 hours.
  • Read the Gospel of Matthew chapters 14-28.
  • Took a 100 question Final exam.
  • Read “Understanding Controversial Passages” by Dr. Hayes and wrote a 923 word summary on the book.
  • Wrote a 15 page graduate level term paper on the subjects of "The Last Days" and "The Characteristics of the Present Age." 
Like I said, I probably spent way too much time on this in just a short 2-week period. I filled every available slot in my days and nights to do school work and my brain is nearly mush. But I have a great feeling of accomplishment and am ready to wind this thing down! Please continue praying for my ongoing efforts. Up next: THEO7340 Doctrine of Christ. 



THEO7330 Doctrine of the Holy Spirit - Completed!

It has been 21-days since I submitted my last course so you know I have really been going at this course relentlessly. I will say this has been my very favorite course out of all of them I have taken so far. I've studied the working of the Holy Spirit for years but never on the level that I have been studying these past 3-weeks. I have learned a lot through this course especially concerning the work of the Holy Spirit during the Old Testament times as opposed to how He works in the New Testament times.

The Lord has already directed me to preach two sermons dealing with the Holy Spirit out of my studies and I feel that He wants me to preach more. I may end up doing a complete Bible study series on Wednesday night's concerning the Holy Spirit.

So, work involved in this course; I listened to 24 lectures totaling 17 hours of audio, typed out 78 pages of notes totaling 28,518 words, took a 9 page 2,293 word final exam, read a 223 page book and wrote a 1,206 word summary on it.

Next up - NTBB8102 Exposition of Matthew II - as always, prayers appreciated!



Exposition in Matthew I...COMPLETE!

I believe out of all of the courses I have completed thus far this one was the toughest of all. Just in case you are interested in what all was required in this course let me give you a run down:

  1. Read the entire 28 chapters of the Gospel of Matthew and write a 500 word minimum summary.
  2. Read course textbook, Matthew Thy Kingdom Come, by John Walvoord and write a 500 word minimum summary.
  3. Read course textbook, Matthew, by H.A. Ironside and write a 500 word minimum summary.
  4. Listen to 20 lectures totaling 13 hours and taking notes.
  5. Take an 81 question final exam.
  6. Write a 5 page minimum research paper on the Roman Catholic theology of Mary as Mediatrix aor Co-Redeemer explaining their beliefs, Scripture references, and to refute their beliefs. (this was by far the toughest of everything in this course.).

All in all it took me over 2-months to complete working nights, lunch breaks, and any available free time. My brain is completely fried right now but I am excited that I only have 4 more courses remaining before I complete my doctorate! Next up: THEO7330 Doctrine of the Holy Spirit. As always, prayers are appreciated.



Paul Haul

I took the day off from work today to do a few things that I've not had time for and also just to try and alleviate some stress. We took a trip to McKay's this morning and got there soon after they opened. I really do not like going to McKay's at all but I usually find some great buys on books. Today was a good trip. I had the "Religious" section all to my self. I spent my time going through each shelf carefully examining books I might consider reading. If you know anything about me at all then you know I have an obsession with the Apostle Paul and if I find anything related to him I will get it if possible.

Typically books specializing on the Apostle Paul are rather expensive but today I was thrilled to find four of them in excellent condition for really good prices. All four books together came up to $16.00 and since we had traded in 4 boxes of books it really didn't cost us anything.

So, whenever I find some free time between Church, Work, Family, and Seminary studies, I hope to get to start on these books.



NTBB8870 Epistles of John in the books!

I've been working nearly non-stop on this course. After 13 days, taking 22 pages of notes with 9,848 words, taking a 7 page final exam with 50 questions,listening to 14.4 hours of lectures, reading all of the Epistles of John plus reading a 296 page book by Zane Hodges about the Epistles of John, I have spent 65 hours total on this course.

Bear in mind, I am not telling you about this to brag, I am letting you know that acquiring an advanced education is very time consuming and not for the faint of heart. I will say that I do not regret a single second I've spent on my education through the years and although I still have more to go before I finish this doctorate course, I feel that I am on the downhill side from here on out!

Next up NTBB8101 Exposition of Matthew I



THEO7200 NT Theology in the books!

Acts 26:24  And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.
I think I understand what Festus meant now! Nine straight days of relentless studying listening to 15  hours of lectures, reading through all of the Gospels and most of Paul's letters, taking 48 pages of notes with 17,477 words and a 19 question final exam, studying, preparing, and preaching 4 different sermons plus working my full-time job at work and being a husband and dad... I believe I am truly beside myself and gone mad. I could use a vacation.. It was very challenging but very rewarding but I'm glad to have THEO7200 NT Theology in the books!

Next up is NTBB8870 Epistles of John. I'm ready to get to working on it. Keep praying!



NTBB8525 Exposition of Galatians in the books!

After 3-months of work, listening to 15 hours of lectures, writing 11,698 words on 27 pages of notes, taking a 25 question exam requiring 250 word answers for each question making it 9,556 words and 26 pages long, I am finally finished with NTBB8525 Exposition of Galatians! That along with the previous two expositions, wraps up the first section of three courses before completing my Th.D in Pastoral Theology. Lord willing I hope to graduate this time next year. Prayers appreciated.



It's A Quandary

I remember when it first began, we bought our very first hand-held video camcorder. It was made by Magnavox and it was a huge monstrosity of a thing that you had to hold on your shoulder while videotaping. I was always the one in charge of doing the taping. At first I thought it was the best invention ever made. I took that video camera around at every family event - getting into people’s faces, taping their expressions as they opened gifts, catching their mistakes, capturing every detail.

But, then I remember sitting and watching one of the video tapes I had recorded of a birthday party for one of my children. Hmmm, where was I? I was nowhere to be seen in the entire production. Oh, yeah, that’s right, I was behind the camera trying to get the best angle and lighting… And, suddenly I felt very left out. Even though I had been present in the same room and even though I was viewing through the camera lens, I missed the entire thing. It was as if I was never even there and I was some stranger watching someone else's family have fun.

Eventually the newness of the video camera wore off and it became a chore and I was filming less and less. Though it was nice to go back and watch the tapes later and see how everyone had changed and get a nostalgic feeling of the past, it was very rare that I ever re-watched any of those tapes, and there were hundreds of them.

Why am I saying all of this? Well, here recently I began noticing a repeat of the past. This time however it is through different technology; smartphones and social media. The latest statistics show that Facebook has 1.35 billion users a month and 250 million of those users access it from their smartphone. The average Facebooker spends 15 hours and 33 minutes a month Facebooking.

I’m as guilty as anyone else of spending way too much time on social media; Facebook, Twitter, Blogger eats up a lot of my time, and I hate it. I do use it for good purposes; inviting people to church, uploading sermons, sharing Bible verses and spiritual thoughts, etc… but really none of it is necessary. While I have been able to get to know some great people and fellow pastors through it, the thousands of invites I have shared on Facebook and Twitter over the past 5 or 6 years has resulted in around 3 people actually deciding to come visit the church, and in fact, has opened me and my church up to heavy criticism over our worship style, our Bible convictions, our mission support, etc…

Another downside to this new technology is that for some reason we all feel it necessary to share every little detail of our lives. Things that we used to just enjoy as a family and make wonderful memories, are now clouded with trying to take the perfect "selfie" or to make sure we check in at that popular place so that everybody knows what we are doing, or our heads buried into our phones during our meals. All of this time we waste trying to be “social” we have become one of the least social societies in history. You have to admit it, except for your immediate family or your very closest friends you wouldn't have a single thing to do with anyone on your so-called “friends list” and probably wouldn't recognize them if you saw them out somewhere.

And, of course you always have a handful of "friends" that are so self-absorbed that they have to give minute by minute updates and selfies of their latest diet or work-out routine. "Look at my washboard abs,.." Or there is that "friend" that provides every detail of their nasty divorce or perceived wrong-doing that has been done to them. Probably the one that kills me the most is the needy person that skips from relationship to relationship posting every new love interest as if they finally met the love of their life, only to suddenly a week later delete all of their pictures and post how tragic their love life is. Sigh...

I realize this post may come off as mean spirited but it's not meant to be. I stand accused as much as anyone else of allowing it to penetrate my life. The very fact that I am writing this to share on social media is ironic. It just goes to show just how deeply technology has rooted itself into our lives. But, my desire is to be less “on-line” and more “in-line” with the real world. How to achieve the perfect balance is something I am still working on.

 Any thoughts?



OTBB8865 Exposition of Daniel in the books!

I am so relieved to have this Daniel course completed! To say it has been challenging would be an understatement. I shared the following on Facebook today: "Well, after 90+ hours of work, listening to 13 lectures, writing 29 pages of notes containing 10,186 words, a 50 question final exam, and 4 detailed sermon outlines, I am officially finished with OTBB8865 Exposition of Daniel. That's two courses down and eight more to go. Up next; Exposition of Galatians. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!"

I started this course around Christmas time, shortly after I received my grades back from the first course. With work, family, and Church it has been tough finding the time to get it completed but working on it through my lunch breaks and slow periods as well as late at night, I finally got it done. 

As always, prayers are appreciated. 



Doctorate Update

Old Testament Theology Grade
It's been a while since I posted anything about school. I finished my first course, Old Testament Theology, This course was challenging but rewarding. I enjoyed getting deeper into the Scripture and listening to the lectures. I ended up with 100 pages of notes and I took a 27 question exam as well. I sent my work in this past December and received my grade back about a week later. I was thrilled to receive an A for my grade.

Next up is Daniel. I have been working on it off and on for the past 3 months. There are 13 assignments and I am on the 10th assignment. I have taken 20 pages of notes so far. There is also a 50 question exam at the end of the course that I have to take.

As always prayers are appreciated.



Thankful for family

Every year it's the same thing, what to get my parents for Christmas? This year my mother told us what she wanted, a CD of my family singing. It was a joy to be able to provide her with something we knew she wanted. After several hours of recording and editing we finally finished and gave it to her tonight for Christmas.

Sometimes I wonder why the Lord blesses me as much as he does. I sure am thankful for the loving family that he gave me and for the talent he distributed among all of them. We may not be professional singers but we love singing for the Lord. If you are interested you can listen here: Chesney Family Favorite Hymns, or from the link below.



Men of God Part 5

About 4-years ago I started blogging about several preachers/pastors that I enjoy listening to. I titled the posts, "Men of God." Now, 4-years later I am once again posting about more men of God. Since I've been through Seminary and earned my Masters in Ministry degree and am now working on my Doctorate of Theology, I have had the pleasure to get to know several preachers that I had not been acquainted with before but now enjoy listening to on a regular basis.

Probably the preacher that I've come to know and enjoy listening to the most is Bro. Scott Pauley. Bro. Pauley is the Vice President of Crown College which is how I come to be acquainted with him. Bro. Pauley is what I would refer to as a powerful expositor. His messages are saturated in Scripture and his delivery style is both comforting and convicting.

I've had the pleasure of meeting Bro. Pauley on a few different occasions and each and every time he has warmly greeted me as if I was an old friend. You can tell from talking with him that he is very intelligent yet he doesn't come off as arrogant as some would do. He is a family man has a very humble demeanor.

I've listened to nearly every sermon that I have been able to find of Bro. Pauley's and have heard him preach in person several times as well. I can honestly say that every message that I've ever listened to of his has been a tremendous blessing to me.

My very favorite Scott Pauley sermon is one that he preached at Valley View Baptist during their Men's Prayer Breakfast. It was titled, "There Was A Man," and it was based on the man, Simeon, in Luke chapter 2 who blessed Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem when Mary and Joseph brought him there as a child. I wish I could find an electronic copy of that message so I could share it but I haven't been able to. However, you can choose from any of Bro. Pauley's messages that are online and be guaranteed a blessing. May I recommend the message in the video I have embedded below, it is very powerful and there are many truths revealed in it.



THEO8100 OT Theology in the books!

It has been one month since I received my curriculum and syllabus from Andersonville Theological Seminary. Today while on my Thanksgiving break I was able to send in my first assignment, Old Testament Theology. I spent numerous hours (around 16 I believe) listening to lectures on each and every Book of the Old Testament and writing an outline on each lecture. At the end I had to take a test which had 37 questions that pertained to the material in the lectures. I also submitted 94 pages of notes.

I will say that this has been a very rewarding experience so far. I always love doing school work when it involves Bible study. That's what I do most of the time anyway so it feels very good to actually be working toward my doctorate while doing the thing that I love most.. I also love how the Lord deals with me in the different books and leads me to preach messages and sermon series based on the subject I'm working on at the time.

I tried to calculate how much time I will be spending on earning this degree. It is a little hard to put a specific date or number of hours on it because of the way I have to fit it into my schedule. I work on the assignments during my lunch break at work and late at night before bed after I have my sermon preparation finished. On days like this week when I'm on break from work for Thanksgiving I have been able to spend several non-stop hours doing nothing but school work. But, I think I should be able to complete everything in less than a year. Hopefully by this time next year I will be able to graduate.

Next, I move on to New Testament Theology. As always, prayers are appreciated for me and my family.


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