General, Recommendations

Kevin Smith: Shepherding the Shepherd 2013 – Plenary 1

Over next several days I will be posting my notes, comments, and links to the audio of the sessions at the Shepherding the Shepherd Conference that Kaley and I attended last week. The first speaker was Kevin Smith. Kevin Smith has served as pastor of Watson Memorial Baptist Church in Louisville since 2004. A professor at Southern Seminary, in 2006, Smith became the first African American elected to the office of first vice president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. He also is a past president of the Kentucky Baptist Pastors’ Conference and former Martin Luther King Jr. Fellow. He spoke on “The Love of God — When Christians marvel in God’s love for His people, we have the model for loving our neighbor, the world, fellow believers, our families—and most intimately—our spouse.”

The audio of the message can be heard here.

JOY FOR THE JOURNEY

Notes and Quotes

We lose our joy in life when we forget the nature of the journey. He used the illustration of a biker.

Rain only makes a biker miserable if he forgets that sometimes it rains. However, a good biker just stops under the underpass & puts on his rain gear & moves on. He doesn’t get mad it’s rainy, because he knows that’s part of it.

Same thing with marriage. There is going to be difficulties in marriage, but you don’t lose your joy because you know it’s part of it, put some people see the storms in life & forget that storms end & that its just part of the journey.

– Sometimes we struggle with joy because we forget the Nature of the Journey.

– We must have an example of someone who has completed the Journey.

– Our Model and Example is Jesus Christ.

[7] Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. [8] Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. [9] In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. [10] In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. [11] Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
(1 John 4:7-11 ESV)

– One of the most misunderstood things in our culture and church is the Love of God.

– If you have a misunderstanding of Love, you will have a hard time finding Joy on the Journey.

– Verses 7-11 describes God’s love for his people.

– None of it is related to our temporary situation.

– God never promised us that we would never experience pain and death.

– But in this passage He demonstrates how He loves us.

– Love springs from God to sinners.

– Godly Love is proactive, not reactive.

– Too much of our misunderstanding of Love is reciprocal instead of unconditional.

– How often do we lose Joy because we loose sight of the Nature of Sheep.

– If you understand Biblical Love you can have Joy despite circumstance.

– Selfishness undermines Joy in the Journey

– God’s love is Active, functional, not just in word.

– God shows his love, not just tells us His love.

– Love is Active, not an emotion.

– Hook: If God so loves us, we should love one another (v. 11)

– Tell your spouse that you love the, but also show her.

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General, Recommendations

Why I love the Game of Baseball

With the weather being the coldest it has been all year and with the official close of football season coming this Sunday, my mind has already started gearing up for baseball season.  My passion was intensified with the announcement that the 2015 All Star Game will be coming to nearby Cincinnati.

Growing up, sports were always part of my life; I played baseball, football, basketball, and soccer as a child.  Played four sports in High School (Basketball freshman year, wrestling the other three years, and football and baseball all four years).  I also went to college and competed in three sports my freshman year before finally sticking with wrestling my final three years.  I also worked as the intramural director while at school, so not only did I get to direct all sorts of sports, but of course I would have to compete in every event as well.  After college, my involvement with sports did not end.  I coached high school wrestling and baseball while in Louisville, and baseball now that I have moved to Fleming County; I have even helped some with Montgomery County’s Wrestling team this year.

I say all this to point out that of all the sports that I have played, two have stuck out to me: Baseball and Wrestling.  That is because, not only do I see the physical value of the sport, but they also have helped me spiritually in developing me into the Godly man that I am today.  Not that I am perfect, but I am more like Christ because of the discipline that comes through sports.

Today, I will address why I love the game of Baseball and maybe someday I will try to communicate the same for the sport of wrestling.

I see baseball as an illustration of the Gospel.  I see the perfect manicured fields and the simple game that a child can play at the age of five in his backyard with sticks and rocks as what God planned this world to be back in the Garden of Eden.

However, baseball also reminds us of our failures.  It is a game of errors, strikeouts, and mistakes.  You are considered one of the greats if you are successful 3 out of 10 at bats in your career.  Therefore, anybody that has ever played the game knows that we all make mistakes, we all fail.  Baseball is a game of failure, and it is because we all fail is why we need a Savior.  And, that Savior is Jesus Christ and if we repent and believe then we can have a right standing with God once again.

Once we repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord, Savior, and Treasure, the God of this universe will through His Spirit start making us look more and more like His Son Jesus Christ.  Therefore, we will start to grow in our faith.  Jesus told us that if you love me then you will keep my commandments.  I see baseball being an image of that as well.  God did not give us commandments to be burdensome to us, but to help us get the most joy out of life.  Just like in baseball, if there was no rules it would be total chaos with people running around with bats and throwing balls.  However, we have rules to get the most joy out of the game of baseball, just like we have commandments to get the most joy out of life.

Therefore, I love baseball because it points me to the Gospel.  Not only that, but it is also a tool for discipleship.  Dr. Stinson has produced a four part article on how baseball can be used to help develop Biblical Masculinity and Godly Character.  Therefore, not only does baseball point me to the Gospel, but it is also a training tool to make me more like Christ.

Even if you are not a baseball fan, and even if your children do not play the game, there would still be good wisdom and take-away value in these articles for you as a parent or as a man. There are opportunities all around us for us to see the Gospel and to teach our children how to understand reality and make decisions in light of the gospel. I hope you find Stinson’s words to be as helpful as I have.

Take Me Out to the Ball game (Part One)

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

This article is also contained in the book A Guide to Biblical Manhood which I highly recommend.

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