Pastor Chad's Itinarary

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."