Matthew R. Perry

Archive for October, 2008|Monthly archive page

Bro. Matt’s E-Newsletter For The Week of 10.27.08

In Uncategorized on October 27, 2008 at 5:06 pm

(Note:  I send a newsletter out to the members of Boone’s Creek Baptist Church, Lexington, KY.  It’s received a good response.  Here’s this past week’s newsletter.)

Bro. Matt’s E-Newsletter
From Bro. Matthew Perry, Pastor
Boone’s Creek Baptist Church, Lexington, KY
For The Week of October 20, 2008
http://www.boonescreekchurch.com – church homepage
https://bromattsblog.wordpress.com – my blog
http://expositionalogistix.wordpress.com – my blog geared for preachers

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TAKE OUR SURVEY
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We have developed a survey to help us understand patterns and trends in church attendance. Won’t you help us out? It’s just ten questions. Closes on Wednesday, the 29th, so you’d better hurry!

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=FDczMy0j3Ay5nedIys9e_2bA_3d_3d

Thanks so much. We have 37 respondents so far!

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WHAT’S INCLUDED?
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  • • This Past Sunday’s Sermon: “Remember With Joy”
  • • Boone’s Creek Fighter Verse: Romans 5:1-5
  • • Your Weekly Tuning
  • • NEW! Digging Deeper In the Word: Devotions From Our Sunday Morning Sermon
  • • Must-Read Articles and a Must-Listen Sermon
  • • Fisherman’s Net: Featured Website for the Week
  • • What’s Coming Up At Boone’s Creek? (Look for info about Trunk For Treat on 10/29, help with our Election Day Ministry!)
  • • Some Good Medicine: Closing Cheer for Your Week

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THIS PAST SUNDAY’S SERMON
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This past Sunday, we celebrated 223 years of kingdom work at our Homecoming. Praise God, we had 217 in attendance with many old friends returning, new attenders visiting, and many hearts and minds touched by the Word and Kristian Booth’s wonderful testimony. I preached on “Remember With Joy” from Philippians 1:3-11. You may access the mp3 file here: http://sermoncloud.monkserve.com/EKK/256/2008-10-26.mp3. To listen to more sermons, log on to http://www.sermoncloud.com/bcbc .

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Boone’s Creek Fighter Verse: Romans 5:1-5, ESV
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Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

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Bro. Matt’s Weekly Tuning:
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I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now (Philippians 1:3-5, ESV).

I’ll never forget the time when I went to visit Bro. Mahanes while he was in the hospital. It was either around Christmas or New Year’s Day 2004. After I exchanged pleasantries with the family and was caught up on the situation, I remember Bro. Mahanes telling me, “Bro. Perry, remind those beautiful people at Boone’s Creek to be partners in the Gospel!” The very thought of that brought him great joy even in the midst of his ailments. No matter where you put a true preacher of the Gospel, either behind a pulpit or in a hospital bed during the holidays—they still have that heart to preach.

The book of Philippians was written to them by Paul from prison. Bro. Mahanes found joy in this notion in a hospital, Paul found joy in this actuality among the Philippian church while incarcerated! Why did this bring Paul (and Bro. Mahanes), this partnership in the gospel?

The word ‘partnership’ comes from the Greek word koinonia which is often translated “fellowship” or “communion.” Think about partnerships – comedy teams such as the Three Stooges, Abbott & Costello, Martin & Lewis. Even business partners fall into this. You are one act, one entity under the same umbrella seeking the same goals and vision. It’s a sharing something in common. We have a fellowship with one another based on the gospel! And this partnership shows itself in many different ways!

But the first understanding we must see is this—as churches, we must understand what the Gospel is! Through God’s electing love, He comes to redeem sinners from his wrath into his mercy through the substitutionary work of Christ on the cross for our sin. It is a moving from fellowshipping with the world, with sin, and with the devil and fellowshipping with Christ! 1 Cor. 1:9 says, “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

So we are partners in the Gospel because of what the Gospel of Christ has done in redeeming and transforming our hearts from darkness to light, from sin to salvation! This is the fellowship! This is the commonality!

What is dangerous for so many churches is that they have exchanged the commonality and fellowship of the Gospel for fellowship on the basis of family, friends, denominational ties, and other earthly things. When the fellowship and partnership of the Gospel is lessened or compromised, that leaves an open door for Satan to introduce false teachings and practices in the church. I am thankful that Boone’s Creek Baptist Church has a history that has shown both a partnership in the Gospel and times when there was a partnership with earthly things – this the Lord did not bless and prosper.

Partnering with the Gospel is about linking arms with a body of believers who are passionate about sharing Christ, about strengthening His people, about spreading God’s glory, about giving to the Lord’s work (again, not to pay bills, but to help the Gospel spread, as the Philippians church had done – Philippians 4:10-11).

What do we partner with? Hobbies that we cannot do without? What do we identify with most of all? If your answer does not have Christ or His Word as priority, take time to repent right now and ask God to give you a heart that would be joined to Him and His mission!

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Digging Deeper in the Word
Devotions From our Sunday Morning Sermon
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(These are included on the back of our sermon notes each Sunday to help you reinforce what you learned during our Sunday Morning sermon.)

Monday, October 27, 2008: Read Philippians 4:10-20. The Philippian church entered into a partnership with Paul to help him advance the Gospel on his missionary journeys. In what way did they demonstrate their partnership with Paul? What does it mean to “share” in Paul’s “trouble?” Do we share in the labor of not only sharing the Gospel, but contributing to our church to help the Gospel reach further?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: Read 1 Corinthians 1:4-8. According to this passage, how do Christians come into fellowship with Christ? When we come to Christ, do we lack any spiritual gift at all? Has Christ changed your heart to where He is your life and breath, to where you hunger and thirst after Him? Take time to thank God that He has provided everything you need and will “sustain you to the end” (1:8).

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: Read 2 Timothy 2:8-9. Paul wrote a number of his letters while imprisoned. Yet, in Philippians 1:3, he notes how he prayed “with joy” even while incarcerated. What reason do we see from 2 Timothy 2:8-9 that helps him maintain that joy? Is Christ sufficient for us to remain joyful, even in the most trying of circumstances? Do we see Paul as an unrealistic super-saint who doesn’t understand our issues, or do we see that He is

Thursday, October 30, 2008: Read Galatians 2:20-3:6. Paul noted how he had been “crucified with Christ,” yet Paul questioned whether the Galatians received Christ by faith or were “being perfected by the flesh.” They tried to live for Christ who saved them by grace through faith, but did so by living according to the law and by their own power. Why does Paul refer to the Galatians as “foolish” (3:1)? Do you find it difficult to live by faith in the Gospel, or do you try to live by your own strength and power? What role can church play in strengthening us? Pray for God’s work in you to live by faith in the Son of God who loved you and gave Himself for you (2:20).

Friday, October 31, 2008: Read Romans 3:21-26. While our culture celebrates Halloween, many in the church celebrate Reformation Day to commemorate Martin Luther nailing the 95 Theses on the church door in Wittenburg, Germany in 1517. Luther noted that Romans 3:21-26 is “The Heart of the Gospel.”

Saturday, November 1: Read Matthew 7:1-6 as we look at “America’s Favorite Verse.” See you at Sunday School and church.

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Must-Read Articles/Must-Listen Sermons
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Walk The Aisle: How Did the Altar Call Come Into Use?
By Douglas Sweeney and Mark Rogers, Christianity Today

Here’s an excerpt:

The pastor closes his sermon: “The Holy Spirit bids you come. The congregation, praying, hoping, expectant, bids you come. On the first note of the first stanza, come down one of these stairways, down one of these aisles. May angels attend you. May the Holy Spirit of God encourage you. May the presence of Jesus walk by your side as you come, while we stand and while we sing.” And come they do. Week after week, in churches all across the America—and other parts of the world—scenes like this play out at the end of thousands of sermons. The congregation stands and sings “Just As I Am” or “Come Just as You Are.” Sinners walk the aisle and pray for salvation.

This common evangelistic method, known as the altar call or the public invitation, has not always been around. Successful evangelists such as George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, and John Wesley never gave an altar call. In fact, they did not even know what it was. They invited their hearers passionately to come to Christ by faith and regularly counseled anxious sinners after their services. But they did not call sinners to make a public, physical response after evangelistic appeals. So where did the altar call come from? When did it begin?

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FISHERMAN’S NET: Featured Site of the Week
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International Mission Board, SBC
http://www.imb.org

Kristian Booth’s MySpace Music Page
http://www.myspace.com/kristianbooth

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What’s Coming Up here at Boone’s Creek?
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Trunk For Treat, Wednesday, October 29

Begin inviting parents and their children to be a part of this great time of fun, fellowship, and so much more. We will use this time as a way to acquire a list of prospects for our church. We will set up a booth where we will take pictures of their children, then take down their address and send them their child’s picture along with information about our church and an invitation to join us for worship and Sunday School.

Saturday, November 1: Kenneth Clayton and Kellyn Barker’s Co-Ed Wedding Shower—yes men, you are invited to come as well.

Tuesday, November 4: ELECTION DAY! That’s right, and not just any election day. This Election Day is to elect our 44th President. As good citizens of this country, I want to encourage you to exercise your right to vote. The polls are open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. If you are going to be out of town, submit your absentee ballot. We live in a great republic that gives us the power to choose our leaders. So pray, then vote!!

Wednesday, November 5: Sunday School Worker’s Meeting at 6:00 in the sanctuary

Saturday, November 15: BMen Kickoff for 2008-2009, featuring Bob Van Brugen who will present information on his trip to the Holy Land.

Wednesday, November 19: Church Council Meeting, 6:00 p.m. in Room 101

Tuesday, November 25: Churchwide Thanksgiving Dinner at 6:00 in the Fellowship Hall. $3.50 per individual, $10.00 per family. No prayer meeting or TeamKID the following Wednesday.

Sunday, December 7: Lottie Moon Kickoff during our Sunday School Hour. All adult classes meet in the sanctuary. Also, Children’s Christmas Musical that evening at 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, December 14: Churchwide Christmas Dinner and Blood Drive after service; Adult Christmas Musical that evening at 7:00 p.m.

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SOME GOOD MEDICINE: CLOSING CHEER FOR YOUR WEEK
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Ever heard of a church sign war? This is likely fake, but really funny.

http://jdgreear.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/10/church-sign-war.html

Lord willing, I’ll see you Wednesday! Blessings!

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My Impression of the ESV Study Bible

In ESV on October 24, 2008 at 1:59 pm

It was no secret to those close to me that I was eagerly awaiting the new ESV Study Bible. Some rolled their eyes, others cordially listened, still others shared my enthusiasm. Having been excited about such items beforehand, especially with all the hype that has surrounded this work, I still felt a catch in my spirit which said, “Don’t get your hopes up too high–not everything lives up to the hype.”

So on October 18, it arrived.

Snazzy design on the box.  I open it up, and am thankful I obtained a Black Classic TruTone rather than the genuine leather which tends to bend and keep the creases the first time you open it up.  The TruTone has a nice feel that has proven to maintain even if it gets caught in weather.  (Yes, I have a compact TruTone Bible that I took to Trinidad in 2004.  And, yes, I foolishly left it out in the rain.  And yes, it held together great.)

Classic Black TruTone

Classic Black TruTone

And my first impression was, “Wow …

Surprised by the size!

This is a big Bible!!

And big it was. 2700+ pages. For some perspective, here’s it up against my Coke Zero and my coffee pot (which I never use, thanks to the Coke Zero!).

While the look on my face may convey distress and surprise, this does not mean I was unhappy.  You see, when I opened it up and began to see the great resources in it in regards to maps, tables, charts, book introductions, notes that do not get in the way–I realized I had a very special resources in my hands.

Here’s the five-minute video.

I heartily recommend this majestic work.

Sermon Posted: God’s Lessons on Anxiety

In Uncategorized on October 20, 2008 at 10:31 am

We have just posted my sermon from yesterday: “God’s Lessons on Anxiety” from Matthew 6:25-34. 

When Biblical Theology Informs Congregational Music Performance

In Music on October 17, 2008 at 10:29 am

Even though I serve as a pastor, I received my college and Master’s in Church Music, with an emphasis in piano.  I do not have an opportunity to play much  during our worship services simply due to my other duties in preaching.  Yet, this past Sunday our pianist was out of town, so I filled in.  I forgot how much I enjoyed playing in aiding our people in the worship of our Lord Jesus.

Our offertory hymn was Bill and Gloria Gaither’s “Because He Lives.”  I confess this is one of my favorite hymns to sing.  What struck me was the third stanza:

And then one day I’ll cross the river;
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain.
And then, as death gives way to vict’ry,
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He reigns.

Here, the music must be an appropriate vehicle for the text. I started it out softly, hoping the congregation would take time to consider their own mortality and the finality of not just their life, but also the “final war with pain.” But then when we hit that third line, “And the, as death gives way to vict’ry,” this is when I felt I really needed to dig in on the piano to help lift our hearts to the reality that death is not the end–it’s an entry into glory!

Music can be a snare because we can be so caught up with the tune, the harmonies, and the rhythms that the words risk being lost. In the context of Christian worship, the music always, always, always serves the text.  The music must support and propel the biblical message found in the text of the song or hymn. 

Bob Kauflin has a wonderful website called Worship Matters which helps musicians not just think musically but biblically and theology in regards to their music leadership. 

Money For Something (Piper Vid)

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2008 at 11:44 am

(HT: Blake Craig)

An Old Keith Green Video

In Uncategorized on October 9, 2008 at 10:37 am

The Lord really used Keith Green’s music and ministry to bring me back to Himself and to help crystallize His call on me into the ministry. Here’s a clip of Keith singing, “Your Love Broke Through.”

Seven Signs of an Introverted Church

In Church Life on October 5, 2008 at 5:56 pm

In preparation for my sermon this coming Sunday, I pulled out C. John Miller’s Outgrowing the Ingrown Church (Zondervan, 1986).

Where do we find the repository of what Christ has commanded us? In the Scriptures. He tells us to go and make disciples. He told his disciples to make disciples. He told them to, under the power of the Spirit, reproduce Christians.

Maybe this is the reason why North American churches are dying—we are reproducing normal American citizens who strive for the normal American life who wish for normal jobs, normal marriages, normal kids, a normal retirement, etc, rather than Kingdom disciples.

In truth, every church reproduces what it holds to and cherishes most dearly. In order for churches to remain normal in the midst of the dying churches that perish all around them, they being looking inwardly in order to maintain. C. John Miller writes about how introverted churches operate:

Tunnel vision: when churches limit potential ministries of the church to those that can be accomplished by the visible, human resources at hand. Any vision that has God moving and working is not seen or ignored.

Shared sense of group superiority: We find one thing we do well or have done well and elevate it, then look at others who do not have this quality. It is done for fear of extinction. Churches who do this refer greatly to their storied history, their founders, former pastors, past times of glory.

Extreme sensitivity to negative human opinion: At the first sign of opposition, we shrivel up. And the more influence the opposition has, the stronger our sensitivity. This critical person with the loud voice and his influence begins to take on the role of Christ, wielding power to make or break programs.

Niceness: for fear of controversy, there is a desire to be nice and safe. No surprises, no problems, just comfort, safety, and security.

Confused leadership roles: Introverted churches do not want church officers or ministers to be pacesetters. It’s a fear of change, a fear of enthusiasm, a fear of breaking the routine. Keep the status quo. In unspoken words, they tell the pastor and ministers, “We will support you and love you, as long as you stay in bounds of our tradition.”

Misplaced vision: We don’t concern ourselves about growth but survival.

What does all this have to do with the Bible? The Bible shows God’s prophets, His apostles, and His Messiah going completely counter to this! The more we study and preach and apply the Scriptures, the less introverted we are personally and churchwide.

I fear we are more concerned about change that we are about Christ’s leadership. I fear too many of us get more fired up when our personal preferences aren’t met rather than we do over personal sin.

Another piece of the vision God has placed in me is that our members would love and study the Word of God and not simply love the Bible in theory but also in practice. Therefore, I must train my leaders by giving them tools to study the Word through observation, interpretation, and application. I must also model it through faithful expositional preaching which goes through the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:28) rather than simply giving life lesson principles to meet temporal needs. We must also offer special leadership training for our staff, deacons, Sunday School leaders, and other key areas of ministry at our church and have Boone’s Creek be a place for young ministers to intern so they may exercise their gifts.

Are We Promised Prosperity? (Mohler)

In Economics on October 4, 2008 at 9:24 am

Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, has given us a helpful article in light of Congress passing and President Bush signing into law a $700 billion “bailout.” The article is entitled, “Are We Promised Prosperity?” Mohler gives us some good refreshers in Christian theology and economics.