Pastor Chad's Itinarary

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Humble Thank You From the Beck's

This past year has been one of "ups" and "downs," with that said we bless the Lord and thank Him for friends like you. Meditating upon so many brothers and sisters contacting us with prayers, kind words, and financial support was just overwhelming and humbling. I just wanted you to know from our family to yours, the Lord heard your prayers and seen your support for our family, and all of it ministered to us more then you will ever know. Therefore, I say, "thank you." Thank you for being supportive of our family and being a friend when we needed you the most. May the Lord bless you and your family during this holiday season. May you have a Christ-centered time of fellowship with your family and enjoy the blessings He has richly bestowed on all of His people through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May God be greatly glorified in and through you this coming New Year! Sola Deo Gloria...

Thursday, December 19, 2013

"Warning Signs" (pt1)

I remember when I drove an eight-teen wheeler the importance of watching, reading, and knowing the road signs. Those road signs were very important as they directed, navigated, and most of all warned me as a driver of what was to come. These road signs became very important, especially in the hills of West Virginia or Virginia. It was in these states the hills became very steep mountains, so steep there were 'run away' truck ramps for trucks that did not heed the 'steep incline' warning signs to be saved. The end result for not heeding these warning signs left 'big trucks' stuck in a ramp full of pea gravel along with a high dollar wrecker bill in order to be pulled out from the ramp.
     As Christians, God has graciously given us 'warning signs' as it pertains to our walk with Him. God has given us 66 books of the Bible, the Holy Spirit, as well as other believers to encourage, exhort, and warn others in their everyday living. The book of Hebrews is one book in particular, which gives several 'warning signs' for the believer to heed and to listen, lest they find themselves 'fallen away' or 'apostates.' We live in a time and day quiet similar to that of Paul and Timothy. Listen to Paul as he instructs and warns Timothy of the last days in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
     We live in a society today, which people claim to be followers of Christ, yet they have no desire for the things of God. Our society teaches us from an early age to be secular humanist or in other words, that life is all about us. We are also taught at an early age to be prideful, to do whatever we think is right in our own eyes, all the while 'tacking' God on at the end, because of course we are Christian. Yet, God's Word reminds us as true believers this is not what pleases Him. Matter of fact, God warns us in His Word about being prideful, James 4:6 "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." God also warns us about doing whatever we think is right in our own eyes as in Judges 21:25, "In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes." This is a sober reminder God is more concerned about His glory and our obedience then our pride or our secular way of thinking.
     Therefore, for the next several weeks I want to take the book of Hebrews and look at the warning signs God gives His people. I believe these warning signs are timely, as many who profess to know Christ live a life which contradicts their profession. My aim in writing this is to encourage us as believers to "examine our lives," according to the Scriptures (2 Cor.13:5). But, also to expose those who are false professors who believe themselves 'regenerate or saved,' yet their lives are so similar to that of the unconverted in the world. I pray God would encourage one and all for His glory and that we as God's people would examine our own hearts, as God would be kind and gracious in exposing our sin lest we fall away. Also, believers and unbelievers both will see and taste the sufficiency and supremacy of Jesus Christ, therefore causing our lives to be conformed more into his image (Rom.8:29). For our good and His glory!

Hebrews 2:1 "Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it."

Monday, December 9, 2013

"A New Year's Revolution"

     Early this morning as I awoke, I was reminded just how quick time flies. I received this blog from Dr. Jason Allen, President of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, reminding us that the the new year is quickly approaching and many resolutions will be made, namely for spiritual growth as Christians. Dr. Allen gives a brief and concise way to 'revolutionize' your spiritual health. If you are like me so many things competes for our time and often the thing which is the most important gets neglected the most, our spiritual health. As we approach the new year may the Lord help us at PHBC to be recommitted to our intake of God's word by these 'six simple steps to revolutionize your spiritual life.' Click on the link to read article. Be challenged and be encouraged!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

"Why You Should Carry Your Children to Visit Shut-Ins?"

1 Peter 4:10 "As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:"

     As a 8 year old boy I used to spend the weekend with my great-grandfather to keep him company after his wife passed away. The weekends with my 'old pawpaw meant several things. First, was WWA wrestling on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. Secondly, we would go to my great aunts house where I played with my cousins. Thirdly, we went on Saturday visitation for the church. This time of visitation meant visiting children for church on Sunday, helping around the church house, and visiting the sick and shut-ins. This is where I learned the importance of ministering to God's people who were unable to attend church anymore.
     With that said, this evening my family and I went to an assisted living facility where a couple from our church now lives. They have been living in this assisted living facility for about a year and a half now and have been unable to attend church during this time. Prior to their sickness they were faithful to the weekly meetings of the church for several years. One thing that often broke my heart when I was a hospice chaplain was to visit terminal (shut-ins) patient and they tell me, "no one from my church visits anymore." By God's grace I never want that to be said about PHBC. 
     The reasons why I am glad I carried my children to the assisted living today and the reason you should carry your children to visit shut-ins:
1. It teaches your children that shut-ins are still apart of the local church. Although this couple has been unable to attend the weekly meetings they are still a vital part of the Lord's church. They are vital in the sense they pray for the church and the advancement of the gospel of Christ by PHBC.
2. Your children can learn how saints still persevere in their faith. The dear brother spoke of his continual walk with the Lord, his desire to be in worship, and how he continues to pray for the church daily. The gentleman was ecstatic about the new dvd from our last worship service PHBC, which he will soon get to watch.
3. Your children can learn how to minister by just being there. When we walked in the door both their eyes lite up and smiles came upon their faces. My children's presence was priceless, which brought much joy and happiness to their day. Your children can encourage shut-ins in ways you will never known.
4. Your children can learn how a husband is to care for and love his wife until death do them part. Although I try and demonstrate this before them daily with their mother, my boys got to hear and see how this gentleman is loving his wife until the end. The gentleman is able to go home and live, but his wife is not. Therefore, he decided to live unselfishly in the facility with his wife. What a picture of Christ and his church!
5. Your children can learn sacrificial giving by visiting shut-ins.  My children learned this evening that life is not all about them. They learned that being a Christian is a life of sacrificial giving, particularly of their time. But they also learned the importance of serving other Christians.

      In closing, as usual, I left the there more blessed than the couple I visited. I believe my children sensed the same blessing by being able to minister to this shut-in couple. How do I know? This precious couple was the conversation for most of our evening.

What about you? How often do you minister to the shut-ins in your church? Do take your children to visit and minister to them? Does your church have ways set up to minister to shut-ins? 

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Motivation of A Half Marathon

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

     Many of you may or may not know, but I have been training for my first ever 'half marathon.' The race will take place in Clarksville, TN tomorrow morning beginning at 7:30 a.m. I started this adventure over a year and a half ago, when I went to the doctor for a check up and he told me I  had borderline high blood pressure, extremely over weight, and need to do something about it. He suggested I walk 3 times a week for 30 minutes a day. I contemplated that advice for awhile and after 3 months of contemplation I heeded his advice! 
     I begin to walk a little every other day, which was very difficult to do. At the time I weighed an enormous 289 pounds and had not exercised since high school days. After walking for a couple of months I got the hankering to jog a little also. I worked my way up to running for a minute and walking several minutes at a time. Over a period of 6 months I built enough stamina up that I was able to run/jog for 30 minutes. This is when I decided I really enjoyed my new found hobby  and so I registered for my first 5K, last August. 
     Since then I have averaged at least 40 miles a month. I built up to run a 10K, which is 6.2 miles and wanted to run 10K race. After looking for that specific race, I was unable to find one but about the same time one of my pastor friends had signed up for the Go Commando Half Marathon causing me to inquire of this race. My question though was, can I do it? 13.1 miles is a long way, but I knew I had went from walking in 20 minutes to running 6.2 miles in less than a year surely I could do this 'half marathon.'
     With that said, by God's grace I have built up to 10 miles (the farthest in my half marathon training) over the past 3 months of training  Tomorrow, if I am able to finish the race it will be a great achievement for me personally. For so long I have always been one who set goals, but unable to achieve them. I have set this as a personal goal for me and by God's grace He has allowed me to achieve the training, even in the midst of my youngest son's sickness and alot of other responsibilities that I have. 
As with so many other sports running is largely a mental one. You must prepare mentally for running races, especially 13.1 miles. So, tomorrow I have come up with 13 motivational prayers and reminders. I will dedicate each mile either to the memory of a loved one, a prayer for specific individuals, or a praise to God Almighty for His mercy and His grace. I would like to share my list with you:
  My first motivational prayer, praise, or in memory if will be:

Mile #1 To the Glory of God. I will dedicate my very first mile to the glory of God, as He has given me the desire and the ability to take seriously in taking care of my temple which the Holy Spirit of God dwells. I will meditate on God's grace toward me in saving me and calling me to the ministry.
Mile #2 In memory of my great grandfather W.W. Cummings. W.W. Cummings is one of the most influential man God used in my life to tell me about Jesus and His church. As I run tomorrow I will think upon the time he and I shared together.
Mile #3 I will pray for C.J. Jackson and family. C.J. is a young man who was on Dylan's baseball team a few year back and has recently diagnosed with leukemia. I will dedicate this mile to praying for him and his family.
Mile #4 I will pray for Barry Carpenter and the church planters in the Philippines. Barry is a missionary whom PHBC supports in his efforts in getting the gospel to the ends of the earth. Also, Barry trains pastors in order they have a better understand of the church and the gospel.
Miles #5 I will pray specifically for the lost in my family and community. I am reminded each day the brevity of life and so many in my family and community who are without Christ and eternal salvation.
Mile #6 I will pray for Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, patients, nurses, and doctors. I have grown fond of this place over the last several months. God has used them in our lives in a mighty way. Therefore, I want to dedicate this mile to them.
Mile #7 I will pray for a wedding taking place in Montana. A church member's brother and best friend are getting married tomorrow. They have visited out church on several occasions  so I want to dedicate this mile that God would bless their marriage.
Mile #8 I will run this mile in memory of my Uncle Wade. The second man I holds a special place in my life is my uncle Wade who died 18 years ago in a 18 wheeler wreck. I will think on the times I shared with him as I run.
Mile #9 I will praise God for the work of His grace at PHBC. I am overwhelmed by God's grace in how He has called men, women, boys, and girls to Himself for salvation. How He has been growing His church by drawing people to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. So, I will praise my God throughout this mile.
Mile #10 I will praise God for the gift of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary during this mile. I have been fortunate to receive a theological education at one of the best seminaries in the world. I will praise God for the gift and privilege of attending this institution and the leadership God has raised up for this particular season.
Mile #11 I will pray for the future of PHBC. There is a lot to pray over and for as we move forward for the future of PHBC. I will dedicate this mile to prayer for the future of PHBC and to the members who make up the church at Pleasant Hill. I am thankful and love each one of you.
Mile #12 I will praise God for my family. This mile is dedicated to my family for putting up with all my training. I am so grateful for my families patience with me and how they have supported me, especially my wife, by encouraging me along the way when I wanted to quit. I love you, Sam and thank you for you support in my endeavors. Without you I could do nothing!
Mile #13 I will praise God for my eternal salvation and giving me a desire to persevere in sanctification. I wished I were perfect, but unfortunately I am not. Therefore, I stand in need of God's grace and the forgiveness which is offered through the gospel of Jesus Christ each day. I stand amazed in the power of the gospel...How God can take a man like me, dead in my sins and trespasses and give him a new desire to serve and love Him. I am so unworthy for such a work of His grace, but that is what makes it SO amazing. Tomorrow as I enter my last mile (Lord willing) I will be reminded of the persevering grace of God in salvation that He gives His children. Thus, reminding me of the persevering grace He will give me to finish that last mile.

So, I covet your prayers for tomorrow as I run my first 'half marathon.' Thank you and God bless!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Two Kind of Tongues

1st Corinthians 12:27-31 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts.
And I will show you a still more excellent way.

From the outset I want it be known this is not an attack on my charismatic friends. Rather this is an honest look at the Scripture to see what it says concerning the 'gift of tongues.'
So, how does one interpret text such as Acts 2, 1st Corinthians 12,14? Are tongues possible still today?  Were they "angelic" language or "ordinary" language? Well, it would serve us well to look at "What saith the Scriptures?" Nathan Busenitz gives biblical overview of the gifts of tongues by comparing text concerning tongues.
Nathan has written a timely blog post concerning this matter of tongues. Nathan serves on the pastoral staff of Grace Church and teaches theology at The Master's Seminary in Los Angeles.

Click link to read blog post:

Friday, September 13, 2013

"Learning As I Go"

Matthew 23:27 "And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."

The last several weeks have been a very trying time in our family's life. In the month of July we learned our youngest son, Dylan, has a rare type of diabetes called 'diabetes insipidus.' This led to a number of test and procedures concerning his bladder and kidneys. You can read more about that here "Practicing What I Preach." Needless to say, the last two months have been overwhelming with everything from taking care of Dylan's catheter to homeschooling for the very first time. There have been A LOT of changes in the Beck family here lately.
     Yesterday during Dylan's surgery, I meditated on what God has been teaching me the past few months. By the way, if you are a Christian, God should be teaching you things about both Himself and yourself everyday. As I reflected on what God has been teaching me, I thought of areas in my life where I have grown and strengthened as a husband, father, and a pastor.

1. My family needs me more than my church. 
     Please don't misunderstand that sentence. I love the Lord's church at Pleasant Hill Baptist, but as pastors we often place the church before our families, which can be sinful.
     The Apostle Peter reminds the elders in 1 Peter 5:1-2 to "shepherd" the flock God, a flock which He has placed the elders "over," "exercising oversight..." The word "shepherd" means "to feed, tend to, take care of." Peter is exhorting the elders to give spiritual care to God's people. Paul reminds Timothy of the qualifications of an elder, overseereer, or pastor is one who "manages or rules his own household well with all dignity keeping his children in submissive" (1 Timothy 4:4). It is plain to see that an elder's first and foremost responsibility (after his relationship with God) is "managing" or "caring" for his family. 
     I have failed in this area in many ways as a husband, father, and as a pastor by placing my family on the altar of sacrifice for the church. In a recent blog on Nine Mark's website entitled Leading the Church While Leading Your Family, Bob Johnson made a profound statement which shook me to the core of my soul. He said, "Your church can get another pastor, but your kids can't get another dad." I would also add, "My wife can't get another husband." By God's grace, I have tried to be more aware of protecting my time with my family. Overseeing the temporal needs and eternal future of my wife and children can not be disconnected from what I do as an elder. Rather, it is the very work of the pastor in managing his own family well! I know of too many men who have disqualified themselves from being an elder because they have failed at giving themselves more to their families than their church.
I am learning my family needs me more than my church.

2. Christ is sweeter in my struggles. 
      Writing on his trials, Charles Spurgeon said, “It would be a very sharp and trying experience to me to think that I have an affliction which God never sent me, that the bitter cup was never filled by his hand, that my trials were never measured out by him, nor sent to me by his arrangement of their weight and quantity.” 
The greatest comfort for me as a believer in Christ is everything which I face or will ever face has passed through the sovereign hand of my God. Knowing this causes me to flee to Him. By His grace, the Lord is teaching me more of His mercy, grace, and love during this season of my life, especially during these last couple of months. The Lord is allowing me not to focus so much about MY trials or problems, but more on the God who has given this to me as a "good and perfect" gift from Him (James1:17). Knowing God has entrusted me with the season I am in now, I am to receive it with a heart of gratitude and give Him the glory for such a gift!  The sweet communion and fellowship I have enjoyed the last few months, and in particularly the last few days, have been at the feet of Christ acknowledging He was tempted and tried in every way, and yet, He was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Knowing Christ struggled, was tempted, and is yet without sin brings me to a place of sweet communing with my Savior.
     My walk with Christ is sweeter in my struggles as I grow more in the grace and knowledge of my Savior.

3. God's gospel is enough.
     Trying to explain to my 9 year old why he is sick and has endured 3 surgical procedures in less than two months has opened the door to share the gospel with him multiple times. I have been able to explain we live "in the already, but not yet" world. We live in a fallen world as he learned from Genesis 3. He has the understanding that something is wrong with his body, but that was not the way it has always been. For in the beginning God made man "perfect and upright." Man was in a relationship with God and there was no sickness or death. Yet, because of disobedience to God's Word and rebellion of man's own heart, man choose to sin. Thus, "just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned" (Romans 5:12).
     "But God" (Eph.2:4)...(I love those two words!)... being rich in mercy and perfect in grace, God provided a way outInstead of killing the man and woman, he substituted them for an animal and covered them in the skin. What a picture of God's "grace," "mercy," and the "penal substitutionary atonement." Where God should have killed the man and woman, He provided a way out; He provided a substitute. This was pointing to the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, Who would be provided as a "substitute" for God's elect. Christ lived a perfect, holy, sinless life, and where I should have been placed on the altar as a sacrifice, God provided "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).
     Now for all those who have repented and placed faith in the finished work of Christ and Him alone, we are awaiting the return of the Bridegroom for His Bride. At that time, He will make all wrongs right. There will be no more suffering, crying, surgeries, or catheters. For He will and He is making all things new for our good and for His glory! And so my prayer is, "He who testifies to these things says, 'Surely, I am coming soon.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!" (Rev.22:20)

God is teaching me and my family a lot in this season of our lives. 
1) My family needs me more then my church.
2) Christ is sweeter in my struggles.
3) God's gospel is enough.
What do you think? What is God teaching you today, right now in this season of your life?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

"A Testimony of God's Saving Grace"

This is a testimony of God's saving grace sent to me via e-mail from a gentleman who has been attending PHBC since 2004 (he is currently out of the country working). The Lord has radically changed his heart and granted him 'repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.' A testimony such as this gives me reassurance God is still saving His elect through the simplicity of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray you would take the time to read and pray for this new brother in Christ. Prior to his baptism he will stand before the congregation at PHBC and read his testimony of God's saving grace. 

Wow! A testimonial before GOD, the body of his Church and my Family! Where do I begin, because this has been a journey that has encompassed not just one incident but, many. Like mini strokes, but with tears of confusion, a softening of my heart, and finally a feeling of Love, acceptance and devotion for GOD, the Almighty!
I remember sitting across from Brother Chad one morning at 109 Restaurant about 2 years ago, explaining to him how (at that time) seeing was my way of believing, and because I couldn’t see God, how could I believe in him? Wow!, what a mistake, because if it were not for GOD, I might not have gotten up that morning, let alone be sitting across from my Pastor, making statements that (I am sure) promoted a prayer for my mislead, unbelieving behalf.
This was the beginning; Thank you GOD for introducing me to my beautiful wife, Christi, bless her heart, for she loves YOU and your Church and me enough to convince me to come and hear the Gospel, without fail. Yes, here in GOD’s Church, is where I began hearing the words of GOD, out of HIS BIBLE, seeing men Pray aloud, read Scripture, Sing, have Fellowship!
Then it started; I actually began reading books that Brother Chad offered me, I began reading the Scriptures in my Bible, started enjoying the fact that Wednesday nights were like a kick start for Sunday, and then my first mini stroke of GOD’S power!
I can’t remember exactly which Sunday it was, because I wasn’t quite sure, or wasn’t quite ready to accept this phenomenon, but for GOD’S sake, this was my first indication that HE was working me, testing me, waiting for me! It was a tightening of my throat, like holding back a cry, and then came the tears, running down my cheeks while sitting in the pew! I couldn’t quite figure it out, but after hiding it the best I knew how, and after a couple of deep swallows, I had a feeling I had been touched, by a power, that I could not see.
I went home after that Sunday’s fellowship meal, keeping to myself, trying to figure out what had happened and then it came to me. I had been touched, softened maybe, and it scared me a little.
I continued to read my Bible first thing in the mornings after awakening throughout the weeks to come, more Wednesdays and Sundays went by, more Gospel, (praise the LORD), Scripture reading, Singing, Fellowship; and then it happened again!
This time I was standing, singing and out of nowhere, I begin crying, tears flowing, but this time, I am feeling relieved, happy, wanting acceptance from HIM! Wow! Can this be true? A crusty old retired Seal, who has experienced wars, seen death, caused others lives to end, hard, a sinner, not deserving of this change, but there is was, this feeling from within my heart, to just accept the HEAVENLY  FATHER, its okay!
I can’t believe that I kept that incident from Christi, but I just couldn’t tell her, not yet. I was still a gambling man, being patiently, on HIS terms, persuaded by GOD to change, but not quite there. Then reality struck (praise the LORD) and I realized that if I would just stop gambling with life, and accept JESUS CHRIST as my true father and believe that HE will Forgive me of my Sins, as long as I am honest to HIM about my sins that I have committed, and through HIS Graciousness, allow me to be one of his Saints forever!
Then it happened again! It was on the Sunday of VBS, when the youth were up front, singing and quoting Scriptures. I just broke down, my heart felt so softened, I wanted CHRIST in my life, I wanted to serve HIM, I had to sit down and take it all in. HE was SAVING me!  HUMBLING me! ACCEPTING me!
I ask myself now, why did I not believe earlier in my life that there is a power huger than any war, any explosion, and any powerful storm? GOD MADE ALL! HE IS IN CONTROL!
If there is anything that I could say to those that are struggling, or feel bashful, or just might be almost there; let HIM in, HE wants you, HE loves you, all you have to do is believe in HIM and accept HIM, and changes will come; look around you at those who can attest to being Saved; join GOD’S Love and through HIS Grace, HE will take you in. I love GOD with all my heart, and want to become a member of this, his BODY and be BAPTIZED before HIM and HIS BODY, GOD WILLING as soon as I return!

I love you all, and will miss your fellowship while I am gone, Pray for me, Praise the LORD, in JESUS’ name, AMEN.

Monday, August 5, 2013

"Practicing What I Preach"

  "Poverty and affliction take away the fuel that feeds pride." -Richard Sibbes 
The definition of God's Sovereignty is God, as the ruler of the Universe, has the right to do whatever he wants. Further, he is in complete control over everything that happens. A few verses which speaks of God's sovereignty are;

Psalm 115:3 "Our God is in heaven and does whatsoever he pleases."

Daniel 4:35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand  or say to him, “What have you done?”

Romans 9:20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?”

     Many of you who are reading this already knows our youngest son Dylan has been diagnosed with a rare type of diabetes. The name is diabetes insipidus. This type of diabetes affects the kidneys by not concentrating urine. Not only has he been diagnosed with this type of diabetes, doctors also have found that his bladder and kidneys are retaining urine and are not emptying completely. This past Friday, Dylan had exploratory surgery to see if he had any blockages in his urinary tract. The doctors found no blockages, then they proceeded to do an 'urodynamic test' on his bladder. The urodynamic test checks for the amount of pressure that is found on the bladder. What they found was Dylan's muscles, which surrounds the bladder are unable to release enough for him to empty his bladder. This has caused urine to back up into his kidneys causing damage over the past several years. 
     Dylan was supposed to go in the morning (Tuesday) back to Children's Hospital in Nashville to have a 'renal analysis' to determine the extent of the damages done to the kidneys. This morning his doctor called to tell me he wants to do a MRI first to eliminate any spinal damages, which would cause the nerves and muscles not to properly function in allowing the bladder to release. Although the MRI would detect or eliminate his concerns for a 'tethered' spinal cord, correcting the problem (if it is actually the cause) would only increase the chances for Dylan's bladder to function properly by 25%. Also, after the MRI is completed they will surgically place a catheter in Dylan's bladder in order to "empty and compress" his bladder. This will be left in for 7-10 days so the 'renal analysis' will not be skewed when the test are ran on his kidneys and the doctors can get a 'true' reading. The doctor also stated, "we should be preparing ourselves and Dylan to have a permanent catheterization in the near future, although it is not set in 'stone' yet."
     I say all of that to say this...I am struggling! I wish I could say, GOD is SOVEREIGN...have a nice day. I am struggling not because I do not like what is going on, as much as I am struggling because this is my 'little boy.' It breaks my heart as his father to see him weep over his condition. It breaks my heart to hear him cry at night when we pray together and he acknowledges to God, "You are able to fix this problem if it is Your will." It breaks my heart to see his mother weep over her sons condition and as a husband know there is nothing I can do. As a father and a husband I have tried by God's grace to teach my wife and children, through the Scriptures, God is SO much bigger than we are and "His ways are not our ways, just as His thoughts are above our thoughts (Isa.55:8)!" But, I am reminded God loves Dylan more than I ever will, for He created him. God cares for my family more than I will ever care for them, for He gave them to me, as a gift of His grace. This gives me comfort in resting in His sovereignty.
     So, it is here that I find myself as a husband, a father, a pastor who believes, preaches, and teaches in the absolute sovereignty of God, now it is time to live it, that is the hard part. I have often told the church at Pleasant Hill Baptist preaching and teaching on God's sovereignty is the easy part, the difficult part is when you have to 'practice what you preach.' I preach God's sovereignty because first of all, it is Biblical. Secondly, He is! But, how do we live out God's sovereignty in practical everyday life? I believe teaching and preaching God's sovereignty should be done, not when trials comes our way, but rather when things seem to be going well. This prepares us for the trials and tribulation that comes are way. Trial will for sure come, it is just a matter of when! God's sovereignty is like an anchor firmly placed at the bottom of the ocean floor ... hold on to it (God's sovereignty), trust in it, and as long as your grip is firm you will not be moved. 
     As I move forward as the husband and father of my family God has given me, I will lead us courageously in this journey, which God has sovereignly placed us on and I will by God's grace 'practice what I preach.' Praying every step of the way that the Beck family would bring great glory to our God who is loving, kind, gracious, and SOVEREIGN, even in the midst of health problems in our children! To God Alone Be the Glory!
Colossians 2:6-7, "Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught abounding in thanksgiving." 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

"Confronting and Engaging Jehovah's Witnesses In Our Community For God's Glory"

Since I have been on 'vacation' I have had 2 very interesting encounters with Jehovah's Witnesses, 2 days in a row! Yesterday, while my family and I were at the pool I spoke with a gentleman who was from Bosnia, who moved here to spread the 'so-called good news.' After listening to him share with me his 'so-called good news,' I told him he left me totally hopeless. Without Christ being 'fully God' and 'fully man' atoning for my sins there is no way I can be made right with Jehovah God! He kept taking me to our 'inheritance' the 'new heavens and new earth' but I kept directing him back to his sins and how he is unable to know Jehovah apart from the finished work of Christ. So, after 30 minutes I left him with the gospel and prayed for God to open his eyes and heart to the 'true gospel of Jesus Christ.'
So, this morning I went to our local Dollar General Store to pick up a few items. Before making my turn into the parking lot I noticed Jehovah's Witness' speaking with a gentleman on the sidewalk in Cross Plains. So, I being the nosey person that I am pulled over and got out just to listen to what they were saying (of course I knew their spill). After a few minutes they turned to me and asked me if I was a religious person. I told the gentleman, "NO," I was not a religious person...RELIGION sends people to hell. Of course, he disagreed because Jehovah Witness' do not believe in 'eternal damnation.' I told the gentleman who they were speaking with on the sidewalk 'NOT' to listen to their 'poison,' because they were heretics which will lead him away from the true God of the Bible. In neither presentation of their 'so-called good news' did they mention "repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21)." The reason why they did not mention 'repentance or faith' is because they are works based. You have to try and do good works' to earn Jehovah's favor. This to goes right against true Christianity, as Paul reminds us in Romans 3:10-18, where no man is good, no man seeks God nor does man desire to and Ephesians 2:1 says, "we were dead in our sins and trespasses and unable to seek God" Therefore, Paul tells the Ephesian's their salvation is by "grace through faith," and that even faith is a gift of God's grace.
So, if you live in the Cross Plains, TN area and profess to be a Christian, the Apostle Peter reminds us 1 Peter 3:15 "...but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect..." With that said, I allowed these men to share with me their view of who God is and then I by the leading of the Holy Spirit, by the grace of God, and love of Christ which constrains me shared the 'gospel of Jesus Christ' with both of these men. Please do not be a 'jerk for Jesus,' do not run from them, but lovingly engage them with the gospel and the Bible.  Yet, share the gospel with compassion, care, and love for their good and for the glory of God!
     This will force you as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is get in His Word. Instead of being afraid of these people (Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Muslims) we need Christians who are sold out for the gospel of Jesus, who know the Scriptures, and who will lovingly confront them with their heresy. I pray you will not run from heretics if you are a believer, but confront them, engage them with God's Word, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because we know "the gospel is the power of God to salvation to everyone who believes...(Romans 1:16)." May God give us all the boldness to be a 'true Jehovah's Witness' for His glory!

For more information on witnessing to Jehovah's Witnesses click here:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Testimony of God's Faithfulness

     Through discouraging attacks by the "accuser of the brethren" times like tonight makes it all worth enduring. Tonight After our mid-week service I met with a gentleman who has been coming to PHBC for 3 and a half years share with me the Lord has brought him from being an atheist to graciously granting him repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. When I first met him I (3 and a half years ago) I thought I would argue or persuade him into the kingdom, but I was reminded tonight "salvation belongs to the Lord" and only He can save. I can not persuade or debate someone to be saved, rather salvation is a sovereign work of Almighty God.   
     Tonight in my time with him I rejoiced with him, as I shared how I have prayed for him over these last years. He knew as well that many in our congregation has called his name specifically to the Lord in prayer for his salvation. Listening to him speak of how God has changed his heart, given him a heart which convicts him of his sin, but also he has a desire to seek God for repentance and forgiveness of that sin. To see the joy in this man's heart and testimony for the desire to live for Christ the rest of his days was so overwhelming.
     As I sat there I could not help to contemplate, how could this really happen? So, I asked him, "what was it that help you see your need for Christ?" He said, "it was simply, through the preaching of the Word, week in and week out." Hearing statements like that brings reassurance to a young pastor who believes in the sufficiency of Scripture, that God's Word is enough!
      So, I close with some observations and encouragements to pastors:
1. Preach the Word. There will be times when people will not like you, your message, your delivery, your leadership style, what you wear, or what you do, but as long as we stick to His Word we have nothing to be ashamed of.
2. Care for the Flock. At times this is easier said than done. Sometimes the flock can be abrupt or at times rebellious. God has called us as pastors to "oversee" them and to "shepherd" them. Do this knowing one day you and I will give an account of their souls (Heb.13:17). No one else in the church will give an account for souls, only the pastor. So, take time to know them and care for them, individually.
3. Encourage those who are not yet believers. Do not give up on those who you think are "hopeless." Is there really any who are "hopless?" The answer is, "no!" Nothing is impossible with God. Take time to get to know those without Christ. Take time to find out who they are, where they come from, and where they are going? How will you know how to minister to or to encourage those without Christ if you do not stop and take time to help them. As believers we should be seeking someone out who we could invest into their lives for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
4. Rejoice in the Lord when a sinner experiences God's grace of repentance and faith. I rejoice in the face that God is working bringing sinners to Himself and for His glory through the simplicity of the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ. So, through all the trials and sufferings as a pastor (although my suffering is nothing), I rejoice in God's goodness in gracing His people with salvation, which brings me to a place of worship of who He is!    Sola Deo Gloria!

Thank you Father for your faithfulness to your people, even when we are faithless.

     Through many dangers, toils and snares
     I have already come;
     'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
     and Grace will lead me home.
     The Lord has promised good to me.
     His word my hope secures.
    He will my shield and portion be,
    As long as life endures.