Monthly Archives: February 2013

Eighteenth Century advice to preachers

John Berridge advice to itinerant preachers
John Berridge of Everton was an ordained preacher in the Church of England in the eighteenth century, a contemporary of Whitefield, Wesley, and Howell Harris. After several years of preaching while still unconverted he was born again and upon seeing God’s grace in his life he began to preach wherever he could find a crowd, six days each week and still Pastor his flock in Everton. He advises those that preach with the following exhortation:
As Paul was, so be thou a fool for Christ’s sake, yea the very scum and off-scouring of all things. The preacher must be prepared to lose the world’s esteem. Happy is the man who has lost it wholly and honestly. Secret prayer and the study of scriptures are foremost when preparing to preach. His advice was to ‘ Look simply unto Jesus for preaching food;’ and what is wanted will be given, and what is given will be blessed, whether it be a barley or a wheaten loaf, a crust or a crumb. Your mouth will be a flowing stream, or a fountain sealed, according as your heart is. Avoid all controversy in preaching, talking, or writing; preach nothing down but the devil and nothing up but Jesus Christ. Much reading and thinking may make a popular minister, but much secret prayer must make a powerful preacher.
Berridge had simple rules in preaching;
The open-air preacher must be wise and not preach in working hours. He must conclude before six in the morning and live as his host usually lived. He was not to allow people to give him treats. He was not to rail against opposing clergy. A host must not be kept up late at night in order that they can rise early in the morning. An itinerant preacher should leave immediately after breakfast and morning family prayer are over. If possible he should not dine where he preaches in order to save the people expense. The preacher must be prepared to trust God to open the way as He did for the children of Israel through the wilderness. A rural dean or rambling bishop must be able to preach without notes and have a great desire to spread the Gospel. Overall the preacher must feel the need of God’s grace throughout the whole of his life.
I see it now, and do confess,
My utter need of Jesus’ grace,
And of his Spirit’s light;
I beg His kind and daily care.
O Lord my heart and tongue prepare,
To think and speak aright.
Prepare my tongue to pray and praise,
To speak of providential ways,
And heavenly truths unfold;
To strengthen well a feeble soul,
Correct the wanton, rouse the dull,
And silence sinners bold.
The theme of Berridge’s Gospel preaching was regeneration, in contrast to what he considered the normal preaching of morality. A moral conduct shall avail him nothing, without a new birth, a new nature from above. He firmly believed that the preaching of the law was important, for that will ‘make you feel the scores’. The law was preached before the Gospel: ‘Fresh plowing also must go before every fresh seeding’; the law before the Gospel. His advice to a young preacher is this: Begin with laying open the innumerable corruptions of the hearts of your audience; Moses will lend you a knife, which may be often whetted at his grindstone. Lay open the universal sinfulness of nature; the darkness of the mind, the frowardness of the will, the fretfulness of the temper, and the earthliness and sensuality of the affections. Speak of the evil of sin in its nature; its rebellion against God as our Sovereign, ingratitude to God as our benefactor, and contempt both of His authority and love… lay open spirituality of the law, and its extent, reaching to every thought, word, and action, and declaring every transgression, whether by omission or commission, deserving of death. Declare man’s utter helplessness to change his nature, or to make his peace. Acquaint them with the searching eye of God, watching us continually, spying out every thought, word and action, noting them down in the Book of remembrance, and bringing every secret thing into judgment, whether it be good or bad.
When your hearers are deeply affected with these things ( which is seen by the hanging down of their heads ) preach Christ. Lay open the Saviour’s almighty power to soften the hard heart, and give it repentance, to bring pardon to the broken heart, a spirit of prayer to the prayerless heart, holiness to the filthy heart, and faith to the unbelieving heart. Let them know that all the treasures of grace are lodged in Jesus Christ for the use of the poor needy sinner, and that He is full of love as well as power; turns no beggar from His gate, but receives all comers kindly; loves to bless them, and bestows al His blessings tithe free. Farmers and country people chop at that. Here you must wave the gospel flag, and magnify the Saviour supremely, Speak it with a full mouth ( ore rotundo ) that this blood can wash away the foulest sins, and His grace subdue the stoutest corruptions. Exhort the people to seek His grace, to seek it directly, seek it diligently, seek it constantly, and acquaint them that all who thus seek shall assuredly find the salvation of God. There are many distractions but Christ is all powerful. Not only is Christ the message but He is also the reaper.

A pastor’s Sketches NEW !

 

Ichabod Spencer was a pastor in Northampton, MA, in the early to mid 1800s. He wrote A Pastor’s Sketches which he described as conversations with anxious inquirers respecting the way of salvation. One of his experiences was with a young woman dying with consumption and not expected to live but a few days. This young woman and her husband had rented a room in an aged widow’s house. The widow’s name was Mrs. Williams. The young lady and her husband were unnamed. The Pastor is called by the husband, at the request of Mrs. Williams, to come and talk with this young woman, who had never read the Bible or been to church. The Pastor goes to the widow’s home, sees how desperately ill the young lady is, how exhausted she becomes when trying to speak, and asks the question are you prepared to die? The young lady explains Mrs. Williams had been so kind to read to her from the Bible but she did not understand and she had never read it before. The Pastor learns from Mrs. Williams the young lady has been kind and dear to the widow, and tried to make her happy in the midst of her pitiful situation. The Pastor makes several visits to this young woman over the course of time and here is the main points of their conversation concerning salvation:

The Pastor: Here what GOD says, we are sinners. Sin is transgression of the law; the law is holy, just, and good. We have broken the law because we have not loved the LORD our GOD with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves. Sinners are worldly, proud, selfish, and our sin alienates us from GOD. The law does not justify,’ By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified’ (Romans 3:20) but ‘the carnal mind is enmity against GOD, for it is not subject to the law of GOD (Romans 8:7). Man is, in himself, a lost sinner. GOD is angry with him and he (man) has a wicked heart. Sinners may be saved because JESUS CHRIST came to seek and save the lost. ‘The blood of JESUS CHRIST cleanseth us from all sin’ (1 John 1:7). ‘HE was wounded for our transgressions, HE was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon HIM’ (Isaiah 53:5). ‘The LORD GOD hath laid upon HIM (JESUS CHRIST) the iniquity of us all’ (Isaiah 53:6). Lost sinners will be saved by CHRIST, if they repent of sin and believe in HIM. ‘GOD now commandeth all men everywhere to repent’ (Acts 17:30); except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish’ (Luke 13:3); ‘As many as received HIM, to them gave HE power to become the sons of GOD, even to them that believe in HIS NAME’ (John 1:12); ‘ CHRIST is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth’ (Romans 10:4); ‘though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow; though thay be red like crimson they shall be as wool’ (Isaiah 1:18). We need the aid of the HOLY SPIRIT to renew our hearts and bring us to faith and repentance. ‘Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of GOD’ (John 3:3); ‘that which is born of the flesh is flesh, that which is born of the SPIRIT is spirit’ (John 3:6); no man can come unto ME except the FATHER which sent ME draw him’ (John 6:44); ‘ in ME is thy help’ (Hosea 13:10); ‘let him take hold of MY strength that he may make peace with ME, and he shall make peace with ME’ (Isaiah 27:5). Man is helpless without the HOLY SPIRIT. Salvation is freely offered and it is our duty and interest to accept it on the spot, and just as we are, undone sinners. ‘Hear and your soul shall live’ (Isaiah 55:6); ‘ Seek ye the LORD while HE may be found, call ye upon HIM while HE is near’ ((Isaiah 55:6); ‘let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts and let him return unto the LORD, and HE will have mercy upon him, and to our GOD, for HE will abundantly pardon’ (Isaiah 55:7); ‘if ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more will your heavenly FATHER give the HOLY SPIRIT to them that ask HIM’ (Luke 11:13); ‘behold now is the accepted time, behold, now is the day of salvation’ (2 Corinthians 6:2); ‘come unto ME, all ye that labour and are heavy laden (burdened with a consciousness of transgressions) and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28); The SPIRIT and the bride (the church) say Come and let him that is athirst come and let him that heareth come, and whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely’ (Revelation 22:17).

The young lady: I have been thinking of what you read to me – those things must be true but I don’t know that I should believe them, if they were not in the WORD of GOD. I understood some of them. I know I am a sinner, I feel it. I never knew it before. I have not loved GOD. I have been wicked and foolilsh. I am undone. And now when I know it, my heart is so bad, that instead of loving GOD, it shrinks from HIM and I am afraid it is too late for me.

The Pastor: Your heart is worse than you think. You can make it no better. Give it to GOD. Trust CHRIST to pardon all. HE died for just such lost sinners.

The young lady: What is it to believe? I do not understand. You said I must repent of sin and must believe in JESUS CHRIST. To repent is to be sorry for my sin and to leave it. But what is it to believe in JESUS? I cannot understand.

The Pastor: It is trusting HIM to save you. It is receiving HIM as your own offered SAVIOUR and giving your self to HIM, as a helpless sinner to be saved by HIS mercy. HE died to atone for sinners. You must trust HIM. ‘As many as received HIM, to them gave HE power to become the sons of GOD, even to them that believe on HIS NAME’ (John 1:12). You see that believing and receiving express the same thing. You are to take CHRIST as GOD offers HIM to you and you are to rely on HIM to save you. That is faith. Take CHRIST for your own and give yourself to HIM to be HIS. It is union with CHRIST as if HE were your husband and you were HIS bride.

The young lady: I do want to come to CHRIST, but I am wicked and do not deserve it.

The Pastor: HE knows that and died to save you.

The young lady: My heart is afraid; what a distant heart I have. She seems to think out loud of the things the Pastor has said – lost sinner, anger, GOD, CHRIST, blood, love, pardon, heaven, help, Bible, now come. I do want to come to CHRIST and rest on HIM. If my GOD will accept such a vile sinner I give myself to HIM forever. Oh! HE will accept me by CHRIST WHO died. LORD, save me, I lie on THEE to save me. She sank back upon her bed with her eyes lifted to heaven and her hands raised in the attitude of prayer, while her counetnance indicated amazement.

The young lady continues: The LORD has made me happy. I was afraid my wicked heart never would love GOD. But HE has led me to it. CHRIST is very dear to me. I can lean on HIM now. I can die in peace. All you (the Pastor) told me is true, my heart finds it true. How good is JESUS to save sinners. I was afraid to fall upon HIM, but I know now that believing is all. My heart is different. I do love GOD. JESUS CHRIST is very dear to me. I wonder at GOD. Never was there such love. HE is all goodness. I want to praise HIM. My soul loves HIM. I delight to be HIS. HE has forgiven me, a poor sinner and now HIS love exhausts me. The HOLY SPIRIT helped me or my heart would have held to its own goodness in its unbelief. GOD has heard me. HE has come to me and now I live on prayer. Pardon me sir (to the Pastor), I forgot to thank you I was so carried off in thinking of my GOD. HE will reward you for coming to see me. I am going to HIM soon. Dying will be sweet to me for CHRIST is with me.

The Pastor: At my last farewell she, full of tenderness said to me “may I hope you will always go to see dying sinners?” It was impossible for me to answer audibly, she answered for me, “I know you will, farewell”.

The Pastor: In her last conversation with her widowed landlady, Mrs. Williams, the young lady said “my delight is that GOD is king over all and saves sinners by JESUS CHRIST”.

This is a lesson of reproof to Christians that this young woman, living for twenty years among her community, in the sight of five or six Christian churches, should ‘never have been inside of a church in her life’ and that ‘nobody asked her to go’. Year after year she knew Christian families and yet she never had a Bible, she never read the Bible, she never was exhorted to seek GOD. And probably she would have died as she had lived, had not divine Providence sent her, in her poverty, to be the tenant of an old woman who loved her, read the Bible to her, sent for a preacher, and prayed for her in faith and love.

The Pastor named this “And Her Tenant” in his book.

 

Abortion in Tidewater

Abortions are done in Tidewater 6 days per week, in Newport News, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach. In Newport News every Thursday morning from nine Am until last baby aborted. The Southside clinics are open at varying days and times. For information or to assist below are the following contact numbers.
Help in needed with local sidewalk counseling, local sidewalk prayer/presence, and prayer from home during the times of murder or for God’s blessing on the endeavour. Prayer is powerful. Please pray that God would bring an end to abortion here locally and around the country

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Newport News: Suzanne Saunders 757 725 4111

Southside : Cheri Britt 757 3346149

Address of clinics :
Peninsula Medical Center for Women : 10758 Jefferson Ave.

Hillcrest Clinic : 1600 E Littlecreek Rd, Norfolk Va

Tidewater Women’s Health Clinic : 891 Norfolk Square, Norfolk Va

Planned Parenthood : 515 Newtown Rd, Virginia Beach, Va.

Heavens declare the glory of GOD

Heavens declare glory of GOD

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Psalm 19:1-6 (NASB)
1  The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
2  Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge.
3  There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard.
4  Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their utterances to the end of the world. In them He has placed a tent for the sun,
5  Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; It rejoices as a strong man to run his course.
6  Its rising is from one end of the heavens, And its circuit to the other end of them; And there is nothing hidden from its heat.

South Padre Island Spring Break 2012

Padre Island Photos

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VCU preaching 2012

Virginia Commonwealth University preaching

Preaching at Virginia Commonwewalth Univeresity

New York New Jeresey preaching Fall 2012

Spring 2012 campus preaching

Preaching in Jamaica 2013

We traveled back to Jamaica in January. With men and women in our group as many as 21 at times. We passwd out approximately 100,000 Gospel tracts, many Bibles, and we were blessed to preach to those in Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Kingston, and Falmouth. We preached at the town centers, the open air market, a taxi lot, and at an infirmary. We pray now that Almighty God will protect all these seeds that were sown and give growth and increase. Jamaica has more than enough church buildings and church go-ers, but what they need is the Gospel and a movement of God upon them bringing about a fear of the Lord and a conviction of sin that would bring them to a place whwere they would cry out to God, praying He would grant repentance and saving faith in the Perfect life, death on the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ so that as many as receive Him to them would be given the power to become sons of God by the will of the Father. My prayer is for the Holy Spirit of God to fall upon this island, and to draw the Jamaicans to Christ.

jamaica 2013

We traveled back to Jamaica in 2013

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