I've just concluded a bible conference at the New Zion Baptist Church just outside Bonham Texas. It is not a large church in attendance with about a hundred or a little better in regular Sunday attendance I'm guessing, [Who cares!!] but it is large in heart and spirit. I came away refreshed and humbled by the response in so many ways it would be difficult to speak of them all and it's unusual for me to speak about any of my meetings in this fashion, meaning, as blog material. But I'm going to do just that albeit briefly. Then we'll get the third and final principle on biblical interpretation next time.
Rodney Sprayberry is the Pastor of this fellowship. Rodney and I had never met until last Saturday except through the internet. I accepted his invitation to come a few months back not knowing anything about the church. What I found was a group of people who are the proverbial salt of the earth as well as the Kingdom. The church is made up of people who have a history of being mission-minded and are still involved personally with providing places for furloughing Missionaries as well as making trips for ministry.
The Pastor and the new worship leader of that Church are men of heart, sound mind and genuine Kingdom concepts that transcend denominationalism or rigid structures whether in worship or church life. They are truly KINGDOM men.
I spoke at a banquet honoring widows, the Sunday school hour to the whole church, the morning worship hour, and twice on Sunday evening. The conference concluded with a Monday noontime and evening and Tuesday evening service. There were eight speaking times in the conference and I do not remember being any more free in giving the Word and with a sense of worship in praise as I was this weekend. I forged a friendship with the entire fellowship that will cause me to rejoice for sometime to come.
A serendipity to it all was the opportunity of also meeting Rex Ray who frequently comments on this blog and is a member of that fellowship. He is unique person who is well versed in an understanding of the struggles of years gone by denominationally and has both a heritage and a written legacy of stories of family members who were used of God in the mission field including his own Dad in the second world war.
I also spent Tuesday morning from 9 til noon with the pastors of that Association under the leadership of my long time friend Jerry Christopher. The same atmosphere prevailed with those men. I realized anew why I LOVE ministering to ministers and speaking to them about what I've learned in my years of pastoring.
Why I wanted to pass this report along is not completely clear to me. But I can't get away from the idea that in the midst of so many struggles, even in Kingdom living, brief times like this do make the journey easier and it reminds me of so many good things, and people, that we are linked with by both hands and heart. I'm refreshed and rejoicing this morning because of some new relationships built in a short time. But that is just the Kingdom being the way God intended it I think.