Workin' With Earl (for Jesus)

We have a great local ministry opportunity coming up Saturday May 1. We will be reparing a roof for an elderly woman and her family in the East End community. This project is funded by the 1 John 3:17 Ministry. We need volunteers to help get the work done. Chuck Braddock and the legendary Earl Laird will be leading the project so your skill is not required. Your back and willingness to work IS needed. Bring a hammer, some gloves, and a nail apron (if you have one) and come to 1909 12th Ave. Meridian, MS. We will start working at 8:00.

If you can come please contact Matt:
wk - 601-484-4600
cl - 601-616-5413

Shaggin' Fly Balls With Jesus

“Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 (NRSV)

Our friend Charla Jeter Milligan is the Associate Director of His Heart Ministries in Jackson. She’s a Carey and Truett girl and a good minister. From time to time she sends me “kid stuff” parables. I confess to stealing them for my sermons. She sent me one yesterday that is appropriate for this time of year. Baseball is in tha air and we have many lessons to learn from the great game. I admit – this one made me cry. Yes, there is crying in baseball. If you’ve ever played you know it’s true. Read ‘em and weep poker players.

From Charla -
Ethan was at baseball practice and for every ball they dropped, they had to run the bases. Well, after practice the kids were running the bases and each one finished except Ethan and another kid. Afterward, Dave asked him, "Ethan you must have dropped the ball a lot since you had to run the bases so much." He said, "No, Daddy, I just didn't want that other kid to run alone." We could all learn something from this.16 hours ago

Fellowship Church May 2

I've been invited to preach at Fellowship Church on May 2. I'm happy to be joining this very special congregtion for worship and I'm grateful to Dr. Leake for giving me the freedom to do it. My family has deep roots in that community. Please pray for Fellowship as they are beginning a season of transition.

Did you know that Jesus is God's Son and he spit in the mud?

Molly Katherine and Wes spend a bunch of time at church. I'm beginning to notice that Molly Kat is drawn to big concept theology while Wes is given to the concrete stuff of the bible. We have the classic divide of theology and biblical studies already forming in our house. When we got home from church last night I asked our kids what they learned in Movers and Shakers. Molly Katherine said, "Jesus is God's Son." Wes screamed over her, "and he spits in the mud." Gotta love it!

A Tune for the Lord and Everyone

I enjoyed my time with Starlight Baptist this past Sunday morning and will forever be grateful to Bishop McClellan for the invitation. It was also nice having a group of friends from FBC join the worship experience. God, I think, was pleased.

The best part of the service from my point of view was the extended testimony time. The church members shared their stories of God's faithfulness and grace. This set up Sunday PM well. We talked about the value of our stories Sunday night during our Spring discipleship series, "The Externally Focused Life." I've been thinking about the power of testimony alot the last couple of days.

The clincher for me was the quote I read very early this morning. I found it in Alvin Reid's new evangelism handbook. It's from a blog by Ken Keathley and paints a good picture of the collective power of our personal stories of God. Check it out and then tell your story -

“Think of your salvation testimony as a melody being played on a quiet instrument—a clarinet or oboe, perhaps. You play the tune for the Lord and to anyone and everyone who will listen. Now imagine that one day, while engrossed in the joy of playing your simple song, you are joined by an enormous, massive orchestra. And not just an orchestra of dozens or even hundreds, but thousands and tens of thousands—and a choir that is even larger.
Their sudden appearance is overwhelming. What’s more, you realize that they didn’t really join you. Rather, it becomes clear that your melody is actually part of a much larger movement of music—a piece marvelous in its intricacy and genius. At that point you realize that your salvation isn’t just about you; your redemption is part of a plan that encompasses heaven and earth.”

The Externally Focused Life

We begin a Spring discipleship series at FBC Meridian this Sunday night. It is based on Rick Rusaw and Eric Swanson's books the The Externally Focused Life and Externally Focused Church. I highly recommend both of these. Come for a cup of church house coffee and some important conversation. 6:00. Here is an outline for the first session -

The Externally Focused Life

L – Love
I – Intersections
F – Fortune
E – Eternity


Love Stories

Ephesians 2:8-9 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
8 For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God's gift— 9 not from works, so that no one can boast.
How can we tell others the good news? We (Rusaw and Swanson) suggest you think in terms of stories.
1. Listen to the other person’s story.
2. Ask permission to tell your story.
3. Ask permission to tell God’s story.

Spend some time outlining your story of faith –

Love and Service
Ephesians 2:10 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
10 For we are His creation—created (A) in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time (B) so that we should walk in them.

God saves us from and God saves us for. We need to be “two-testimony” Christians.
Think about this – Do you have a second testimony? What is it? –

Love, Service, and the Church
Ephesians 4:11-13 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
11 And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, (A) 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God's Son, (B) [growing] into a mature man with a stature (C) measured by Christ's fullness.

Every member a missionary

There are 4 Characteristics of an Externally Focused Church:
1. Externally focused churches are convinced that good deeds and good news can’t and shouldn’t be separated.
2. Externally focused churches see themselves as vital to the health and well-being of their communities.
3. Externally focused churches believe that ministering and serving are the normal expressions of Christian living.
4. Externally focused churches are evangelistically effective.

... of first importance: the good new of Jesus Christ


First Importance

Come to FBC Meridian Sunday Morning. I'll be preaching on the central theme of Christianity. Christ died. Christ is Alive. Read 1 Cor. 15:1-11 before you come. See y'all Sunday.

The Texture of His Love

The Maundy Thursday command calls us to love each other as Jesus loved his disciples. How did Jesus love? His love was patient, humble, and sacrificial. Ponder your own love as you continue to walk through Holy Week. Does it match the texture of his?


I will preach and help serve the Supper tonight at FBC Meridian. If you are in Meridian please join us for a special time of worship beginning at 6:00.

"I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciple, if you love one another." John 13:34-35 NRSV
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