Gantz Jaunt 15.1

Jaunt BannerThis post is a return to a feature I ran a few times in the past. I plan on posting more of these in the coming days, but no more than once a week. The name of this feature comes from my days of playing football. As the quarterback of my high school team, I had the privilege of scoring a game winning touchdown. The next day one of the newspapers ran a headline “Gantz TD Jaunt Lifts Chiefs”. I took a little ribbing from my teammates for that headline and from that point on I only jaunted. I never ran.

For the purposes of this blog, this feature will be some running comments about various subjects that have been on my mind. I fully understand that these comments may only be of interest to me.

1. I’m not the world’s biggest bluegrass music fan, but I now have a favorite bluegrass band. The Misty Mountain String Band consists of four guys from either Kentucky or West Virginia who met at Southern Seminary. One of the members is my good friend, Brian Vickers. Brian lives and works in Kentucky and hails from West Virginia. During my dark years, Brian regularly met with me over a cup of coffee. His Christlike love for his erring brother was used by God to bring me back into the fold. Brian now teaches New Testament at Southern Seminary and is the author of two books including Justification by Grace Through Faith: Finding Freedom from Legalism, Lawlessness, Pride, and Despair.

They have a YouTube page and I am including this video of Three Men on a Mountain. Brian is the one playing the guitar.

2. Are modern evangelical worship services too cheery? Are we really missing the boat on being able to share in the sorrows of our brothers and sisters who are walking in the valley? It is easy to rejoice with those who are rejoicing, but is that enough for the church? Bible worship also seems to include times of lament that would be foreign in many churches.

3. The most recent Facebook folly has probably turned your newsfeed into a landslide of people thinking or hoping for Mark Zuckerberg to make them millionaires. I suspect this might reveal some heart issues for those of us who claim the name of Christ.

4. I have been digging into the book of Deuteronomy at home. I am amazed at how words given by Moses to the people of God at the end of their wilderness journey still speak loudly and clearly to this man. I guess that is because these words are the very words of God himself. I am reminded as I read through these chapters that Jesus most likely saturated himself in the same book during his forty days in the wilderness after his baptism.

5. Awake in the middle of the night recently, I watched this sermon from Alistair BeggIn the Likeness of His Resurrection: The Bodily Resurrection of the Believer. I had thought I might doze off, but Begg gave me much on which to chew. I’m still thinking about the manner in which we handle death. Issues like funerals, cremation, and sorrow are part of the meaty sermon. Also, what would you say is the difference between moaning and groaning. Begg thinks that a difference does exist.

6. I’ve been reading about The Great Awakening. This movement of God probably has been the most powerful display of God in the history of our nation. Through the ordinary, yet fervent means of grace – Bible preaching and prayer – God demonstrated his mighty hand to our infant nation. Did you know that Princeton University had an influential role to play during this chapter of history?

7. Not only am I grateful for our church family as a whole, but thank the Lord for some of the brothers who strengthen me in my journey. I had an early morning cup of java recently with Matthew McDaniel. Of course, I left the coffee shop better off than when I went into it. Do you have some close brothers or sisters with whom you can talk of spiritual matters?

8. My wife, Suzie, and I are spending more time together than ever. We increasingly enjoy talking together, praying together, reading our Bibles together and sometimes just being in the same area together. Real intimacy enjoys the being without having to constantly be talking or doing.

9. I get stoked when I get to teach a group of folks on most Sunday mornings in a Bible Study class. We are currently studying Paul’s Farewell Letter of 2 Timothy. I am certainly gaining much insight from the apostle who knew he was at the end of his earthly life and passed on what is important to his young protege, Timothy (and to us).

10. On Christmas Eve, I will have the wonderful joy of preaching at the Christmas Eve service at First Boynton. As of now the title of the sermon will be I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas. Don’t worry. It’s not a sermon from or about Bing Crosby. It will be a biblical message. Pray with me about it.