I just returned home from a five-day preaching and teaching ministry in Dallas, Texas.
My first stop was to minister at the annual Winter Conference of the Anglican Mission in the Americas, held at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in downtown Dallas, January 23-26.
There were a number of moving sessions for me but Sandy Millar, from the United Kingdom, was refreshing, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom and ministered deeply to me in his plenary sessions.
I also preached at a plenary session, from Acts 3 on the ministry of the Holy Spirit and Church renewal, did a seminar on the anointing of the Holy Spirit on preaching and led a discussion with my dear friend J. I. Packer
for a large number of younger pastors. I loved every aspect of this event but the highlight, for me, had to be the time with Dr. Packer. I made an MP3 tape of this dialog and will get it up on our site this week, God willing. It is, so far as I know, the only such recording of the event that will be clear and available so I will try to let you know when I make it available later this week.
This morning I preached for Trinity Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Plano, Texas.
This is a lovely congregation and one that has an obvious hunger for "both truth and life," as Dr. Packer likes to state it. Trinity is becoming a real missional congregation. The pastor, John McCracken, along with his lovely wife Mindy who I got to know so much better over dinner last evening, are wonderful people. John has a warm spirit, a keen mind and a desire to lead Trinity to become a serious missional church. The elders at Trinity are some of the best local church leaders I know. I preached from Matthew 3:1-12 this morning on: "Dealing with Religious Elitism." I will also try to make this sermon available on our Web site. I have purchased a small pocket recorder that allows me to make MP3 recordings of my speaking here and there and thus we can virtually guarantee now that I will have clear quality audio files of various addresses that I give. Soon we can make them more accessible via our ACT 3 site almost immediately after they are recorded.
If you want to see and hear more about the Anglican Mission in the Americas meeting
in Dallas this week there is a great article and video available on David Virtue’s Web site. I encourage you to check this out too. It is an exciting account of the movement and their plans for the future. I enjoyed sharing with these lovely Christians in this most wonderful event. It was my first trip out of Illinois to preach since the death of my mother and I found myself wishing today that I could call her and tell her about how excited I was about being used by God to declare the glories of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Another highlight for me was having loads of wonderful time with my dear friend S. Michael Craven for four days. Last evening we had dinner with his lovely wife Carol when she joined us for a fun time along with the McCrackens. Michael is the director of the Center for Christ and Culture in Dallas.
Michael is also a member of our ACT 3 board. I am now serving on his board too. I know of no one that I have met who better understands how to exegete culture and then how to provide Christocentric gospel answers to the challenges of modern culture than S. Michael Craven. I encourage you to check out this ministry and to subscribe to his weekly mailings as well. Michael will serve you personally by his insights. He could also serve your congregation powerfully in equipping people to think and live better, with solid apologetics, if you would like to make even deeper use of his teaching. He has a new book coming out from NavPress that will appear early in 2009. I pray that this will make his work even better known across the U. S. We need Michael for the renewal of the Church at large. I am proud to stand with this brother as my dear friend.
By the way, thanks to many of you who read these blogs who introduced yourself to me this week and made a point of thanking me very specifically for things you have gained from this ministry. More times than not people who appreciate something do not write the comments. I learned that very profoundly this week and it made me want to do an even better job with this site. It seems that some are helped by it so I will try to press on with it.