The Tuning Fork

“Has it ever occurred to you that one thousand pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one thousand worshipers meeting together, each one looking to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become unity conscious and turn their eyes away from Jesus to strive for closer fellowship.”

~ A. W. Tozer

Springing

It takes Spring a while to take hold up here. But I think we’ve finally hit it. The purple Iris along our back fence exploded sometime in the past two days.

Trust the Lord with the Future

“On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.” ~2 Corinthians 1:10

God’s promise in Jesus Christ is that everything is going to be made right. All will be well. Jesus came here to fix everything in your life that’s broken and to make right everything in your world that has gone wrong. Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, all things are being redeemed and restored so we can live together forever in his holy presence.

So if things are not well with you today, it just means it’s not over yet. It’s not done. This is Good News! God is still at work in you and through you!

The Spirit says God will bring to completion that good thing he has started in you. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it. In fact, I would say it’s already done!

Our Lord never calls us to do anything he hasn’t already done or go anywhere he hasn’t already been. He told the Israelites, The Lord himself goes before you! He’ll wipe out all your enemies before you even get there! Your future is being secured because God is going first!

When the people came out of Egypt, it was God who went before them in the fiery pillar. It was God who took care of his people along the journey. The Lord prepares the path through the journey and he secures the conditions on the other side.

That’s why Jesus came: to take care of your eternal future. He died on the cross to give you his righteousness, his holiness, and his redemption. The sin that separates you from God, he has taken it all away. Jesus was condemned so you would be acquitted. Jesus was found guilty so you could be forgiven. He died in your place and then three days later God’s Spirit raised him from the grave to prove that everything Jesus says is true and everything he does is right.

The Bible calls Jesus the pioneer, the trailblazer of the faith. He went to death and back and conquered all of it for you already – he’s already done it! The way through for you has already been worked out. He has delivered you, he is delivering you, and he will continue to deliver you into his glory on that last day!

Peace,

Allan

C-A BDay

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday to my darling wife, Carrie-Anne.

Someday you’re going to be one of those super-cute old ladies. But right now you’re still rockin’ it!

I hope your students are being extra good to you today, sweetie, and that you are having an awesome day.

I love you!

Allan

A Preaching Event

I am so grateful to my brothers and sisters at St. John Baptist Church for the way they love me and honor me and make Carrie-Anne and me feel right at home and an important part of their fellowship. Anthony Harris, the powerful pastor at this faithful church, invited me to preach in their pulpit yesterday and it was an absolute thrill! Anthony and I have become great friends and partners in the Gospel together over the past year or so. He is a tremendous encourager and a bearer of God’s image to me. And I was so humbled and, frankly, excited, to preach in their church. I’ve never preached in an African-American church before – it felt like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

You can watch the whole church service on St. John’s Facebook page (the service begins at the 10:30 mark, the sermon starts at the 37:25 mark). But it won’t do justice to the energy and the love and the unity we all experienced together yesterday.

Delivering a sermon in a Black church really is a “preaching event.” And, I must admit, it took me a few minutes to adjust. There’s a timing and a groove, it’s a back and forth, there’s a call and response – the sermon truly is a congregational event. Everybody participates!

First, Anthony arranged for Stephanie Michaels to sing “Because He Lives” right before the sermon (at the 31:05 mark). Goodness gracious! The mighty force of her voice, the conviction in her heart, the compelling connection she makes with every person in the room – whoa! Anthony calls himself my friend, but he cursed me by making me follow her. As I made my way to the pulpit and waited for the piano to finish playing…

…the piano didn’t stop playing. I waited. And waited. I smiled. And then I realized Isaac was not going to stop playing the piano until I started speaking. He’ll fade out once I start speaking over him. And that’s the way it was for the next 30-minutes. I needed to stop after every other sentence as the church responded to what I was saying. I had to learn on the fly how to acknowledge the church as they clapped and shouted “Hallelujah!” while I was in the middle of a thought. I quickly discovered there is no such thing as a rhetorical question during a sermon in a Black church – the church answers out loud! I also realized that if I don’t get a handle on this, it’s going to be a 90-minute sermon!

My brothers and sisters at St. John Baptist come to church expecting to hear a word from the Lord. They’re geared up for it, anticipating it. God is going to speak through this servant in front of us and we want to listen to him and be moved. It’s not just a head thing at St John Baptist, the Sunday sermon is a heart thing, too. The sermon contains facts and truth, but it’s just as full of emotion and feeling. The congregation was preaching the sermon with me, finishing my sentences when I quoted Scripture, answering my questions when I dared to ask them, speculating out loud during open-ended paragraphs, discovering with me the points I was trying to make – I waited on them a couple of times and they slowed down when they got ahead of me a couple of times – exalting in them and praising God the whole time. And it was an absolute blast!

It was thrilling! Completely thrilling! And exhausting. I loved every minute of it, but I’m not sure I could do that Sunday after Sunday, week in and week out.

I am so grateful to my godly, big-picture, Kingdom-view elders here at Central for allowing me – no, encouraging me! – to preach in other churches like this. My shepherds know that anytime our churches can put aside our denominational differences, our racial differences, our puny little insignificant differences, and come together in the presence of God, in the name of Jesus, and by the power of the Holy Spirit to do anything, it’s a big deal. It is so important that people see this and know that it’s happening and experience it for themselves. If we believe Ephesians 2, that Christ died on the cross to destroy the barriers that separate us from God and us from each other, we’d better be all about it. What happened at St. John Baptist yesterday matters. It was a Kingdom of God moment. And I want to be in on more of those kinds of moments.

Thank you to Anthony and Tonya and Isaac and Stephanie and Jasmine and Ed and Trina and all the glorious saints at that important church on 14th Street. I thank God for your faithful witness in our community and for your sacrificial service in the Kingdom of our Lord. I spent all day yesterday relishing the sweet fellowship and Christian unity we experienced together. And I’ll spend a lifetime in gratitude to God.

Peace,

Allan

Delta Doll

Carley was awarded the Delta Doll of the Year at the Delta Gamma Sigma banquet over the weekend. Delta is the Oklahoma Christian University men’s social service club of which I was a member for four years back in the late ’80s. But I’m not completely sure what it means to be the Delta Doll of the Year. I know it means designing their T-shirts and cheering them on during intermural events. I hope it hasn’t involved doing homework for those guys or bailing them out of jail. We had Delta Dolls back then – typically they belonged to our unofficial sister club, Theta Theta Theta. But I don’t remember the awarding of any certificates. Also, at what point will the term “Delta Dolls” be banished from use? If Nancy Inman were still around, that wouldn’t fly anymore.

Congratulations, Carley! Your dad and your Uncle Paul and Chris Adair are really proud!

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