What Mean These Stones?

If you have more memories than dreams, you are looking in the wrong direction.

Sermon preached by Rev. Glenn Brock, January 21, 2018

Glynwood Baptist Church, Prattville Alabama

Text: Joshua 4

Our church, Glynwood Baptist Church, was constituted on January 20, 1991. On January 21, 2018, we celebrated our 27th anniversary. We baptized five people. Diane Causey, one of our charter members, read the history of the church. And Mel Johnson, Director of Missions for the Autauga Baptist Association, led the opening prayer. Following the worship service, we shared lunch together as a church family. It was a great day!

 

Five G’s #2: Strengthened in Groups

In one day in the early church, three thousand people got saved. Now what?

Sermon preached January 14, 2018, Glynwood Baptist Church, Prattville, AL

James Jackson, lead pastor

Text: Acts 2:42-47

Click here for PowerPoint:THIS IS US 2. Strengthened in Groups

Click here for sermon manuscript: THIS IS US 2. Strengthened in Groups Manuscript

Bonus links: Read Eric Geiger’s blog post on iGen:Who Are the iGeneration and What Does the Research Tell Us?

Also, I didn’t get to this in the sermon, but another really helpful article that I found while preparing for this sermon was this from the Washington Post:

Want Millenials Back in the Pews? Stop Trying to Make Church ‘Cool’

Five G’s #1: Saved By Grace

What can an obscure story about a guy with an unpronounceable name teach us about our standing in Christ? Everything.

Preached January 7, 2018

Glynwood Baptist Church, Prattiville, AL

James Jackson, Lead Pastor

Click here for PowerPoint: THIS IS US 1. Saved by Grace

Click here for manuscript: THIS IS US 1. Saved by Grace Manuscript

 

Book Review: A Column of Fire by Ken Follett

Challies Challenge Category: Novel

A Column of Fire (Kingsbridge, #3)A Column of Fire by Ken Follett

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had high hopes for this one, because I loved Pillars of the Earth  and World Without End so much. But this one was just okay. Other reviews have pointed out how the scope of this one was harder to get into– rather than staying in Kingsbridge, or even with people who have a connection to Kingsbridge, this one went literally all over the world. Characters were introduced that had very little to do with the overall plot. And I agree with the reviewer who pointed out that in historical fiction, the made up characters should never have such a pivotal role in actual events. But when the fictional characters are the primary instigators in actual conspiracies, and other fictional characters are the primary heroes in foiling said conspiracies, then everything just gets muddy.

But here’s what I think left me cold on this one, in comparison to Pillars of the Earth and World Without End: no one built anything. In Pillars, Kingsbridge Cathedral became a character in and of itself. In World Without End, Carris’s quest to reform the way medicine was practiced was so compelling, and the hospital, and Merthin’s bridge, and the revolutions in engineering and philosophy that marked the end of the Middle Ages and the dawn of the Renaissance (not to mention the Bubonic Plague) gave you a sense of history being told in microcosm.

Not so with Column of Fire. I thought Carlos and Ebrima’s iron-smelting forge was going to be that thing. Or maybe there was going to be a genius ship designer who would help turn the tide for the English in the defeat of the Spanish Armada. But no. None of that happened.

If you read Follet’s introduction to the anniversary edition of Pillars, you understand that the book came out of a fascination with the cathedral builders– how they wanted to start something they knew they would not live to complete, but would pass their skills to the next generation. He had visited these cathedrals that took decades to build, and imagined all the stories that could be told of the builders. As a result, Pillars felt like a work fueled by the fascination of its author. In disappointing contrast, “Column” feels like it was fueled by fans wanting more Kingsbridge stories. Not a bad motivation for an author, I guess, but it just didn’t seem like his heart was in it.

View all my reviews

Unto Us, #3: Eternal Father

What it means that God is our eternal Father, and why your earthly father has everything and nothing to do with it.

December 24, 2017, Glynwood Baptist Church, Prattville, AL

James Jackson, Lead Pastor

Click Here for Powerpoint: 3. Eternal Father

Click here for Sermon Manuscript: 3. Eternal Father Manuscript

Prayer for 2018

giphy-3Teach us to number our days carefully
so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.[e]

Psalm 90:12

 

 

One of my favorite things to do in a new year is to begin a new journal. I love the point when the blank pages before me outnumber the filled pages behind me.

And yet, on balance, I am also facing the reality that there are more filled journals in my past than there are blank journals in my future. 2018 marks my 52nd year on this planet. My 32nd year in ministry. My 26th year as a married man. 21st as a father. 3rd as an Alabamian. And first as a lead pastor.

I believe there are still new adventures to be had. New lessons to be learned. New insights to be gained. And I pray, Lord, that I will come to the end of 2018…

  • More at peace with You yet more broken by You;
  • More in love with my wife yet more aware of how fragile and delicate a God-honoring marriage truly is;
  • More dedicated to my role as a father, yet more aware of my diminishing impact and years to influence their lives;
  • More confident in my leadership at my church, yet more mindful of my utter dependence on You.

Let me journey without arriving, mature without mellowing, stabilize without stagnating, and study without graduating. And let me live 2018 only for the glory of God.