National Guilt

National Guilt

Wednesday 09/02/20 

Series: Thru the Bible

Message – National Guilt

[powerpress]
***Video is HERE***

Share this:

Twitter

Thru the Bible: 2Sam. 20-21

If you remember we ended last week with a bit of a dispute over who had a greater lot in the matter of David being King in Israel.

(40)  The king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went with him. All the troops of Judah and half of Israel’s escorted the king.  

(41)  Suddenly, all the men of Israel came to the king. They asked him, “Why did our brothers, the men of Judah, take you away secretly and transport the king and his household across the Jordan, along with all of David’s men?”  

(42)  All the men of Judah responded to the men of Israel, “Because the king is our relative. Why does this make you angry? Have we ever eaten anything of the king’s or been honored at all?”  

(43)  The men of Israel answered the men of Judah: “We have 10 shares in the king, so we have a greater claim to David than you. Why then do you despise us? Weren’t we the first to speak of restoring our king?” But the words of the men of Judah were harsher than those of the men of Israel.”

2 Samuel 20:1-26,  

“(1) Now a wicked man, a Benjaminite named Sheba son of Bichri, happened to be there. He blew the ram’s horn and shouted: We have no portion in David, no inheritance in Jesse’s son. Each man to his tent, Israel!  (2)  So all the men of Israel deserted David and followed Sheba son of Bichri, but the men of Judah from the Jordan all the way to Jerusalem remained loyal to their king.  (3)  When David came to his palace in Jerusalem, he took the 10 concubines he had left to take care of the palace and placed them under guard. He provided for them, but he was not intimate with them. They were confined until the day of their death, living as widows.  (4)  The king said to Amasa, “Summon the men of Judah to me within three days and be here yourself.”  (5)  Amasa went to summon Judah, but he took longer than the time allotted him.  (6)  So David said to Abishai, “Sheba son of Bichri will do more harm to us than Absalom. Take your lord’s soldiers and pursue him, or he will find fortified cities and elude us.”  (7)  So Joab’s men, the Cherethites, the Pelethites, and all the warriors marched out under Abishai’s command; they left Jerusalem to pursue Sheba son of Bichri.  (8)  They were at the great stone in Gibeon when Amasa joined them. Joab was wearing his uniform and over it was a belt around his waist with a sword in its sheath. As he approached, the sword fell out.  (9)  Joab asked Amasa, “Are you well, my brother?” Then with his right hand Joab grabbed Amasa by the beard to kiss him.  (10)  Amasa was not on guard against the sword in Joab’s hand, and Joab stabbed him in the stomach with it and spilled his intestines out on the ground. Joab did not stab him again for Amasa was dead. Joab and his brother Abishai pursued Sheba son of Bichri.  (11)  One of Joab’s young men had stood over Amasa saying, “Whoever favors Joab and whoever is for David, follow Joab!”  (12)  Now Amasa was writhing in his blood in the middle of the highway, and the man had seen that all the people stopped. So he moved Amasa from the highway to the field and threw a garment over him because he realized that all those who encountered Amasa were stopping.  (13)  When he was removed from the highway, all the men passed by and followed Joab to pursue Sheba son of Bichri.  (14)  Sheba passed through all the tribes of Israel to Abel of Beth-maacah. All the Berites came together and followed him.  (15)  Joab’s troops came and besieged Sheba in Abel of Beth-maacah. They built an assault ramp against the outer wall of the city. While all the troops with Joab were battering the wall to make it collapse,  (16)  a wise woman called out from the city, “Listen! Listen! Please tell Joab to come here and let me speak with him.”  (17)  When he had come near her, the woman asked, “Are you Joab?” “I am,” he replied. “Listen to the words of your servant,” she said to him. He answered, “I’m listening.”  (18)  She said, “In the past they used to say, ‘Seek counsel in Abel,’ and that’s how they settled disputes.  (19)  I am a peaceful person, one of the faithful in Israel, but you’re trying to destroy a city that is like a mother in Israel. Why would you devour the LORD’s inheritance?”  (20)  Joab protested: “Never! I do not want to destroy!  (21)  That is not my intention. There is a man named Sheba son of Bichri, from the hill country of Ephraim, who has rebelled against King David. Deliver this one man, and I will withdraw from the city.” The woman replied to Joab, “All right. His head will be thrown over the wall to you.”  (22)  The woman went to all the people with her wise counsel, and they cut off the head of Sheba son of Bichri and threw it to Joab. So he blew the ram’s horn, and they dispersed from the city, each to his own tent. Joab returned to the king in Jerusalem.  (23)  Joab commanded the whole army of Israel; Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and Pelethites;  (24)  Adoram was in charge of forced labor; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was court historian;  (25)  Sheva was court secretary; Zadok and Abiathar were priests;  (26)  and in addition, Ira the Jairite was David’s priest.”

God’s ways are past finding out

If you remember, during Israel’s conquering of the Promised Land under Joshua, the Gibeonites had heard about what Israel had done to Jericho and Ai and were in fear. So they sent a delegation to deceive Joshua and secure a peace between them so that they would not be destroyed.

To do this they pretended to be from a far away land and on a very long journey. They wore old torn clothes and cracked and mended wineskins and such and lied to Joshua about themselves and their land. Joshua and the leaders of Israel swore by oath to do them no harm without consulting the Lord first. Once the truth was revealed, Israel did not renege on their word but actually came to their defence when a neighboring people attacked them for their alliance with Israel. They fought alongside Israel and became their servants. All of this was in Joshua 9 and is found on our website under the title “The Day the earth stood still” on 11/06/19.

Much later during Saul’s reign, in an attack not specifically recorded in Samuel, Saul and his family attacked the Gibeonites.

The famine was for the nation, the direct punishment fell to the heirs of Saul who were evidently part of that raid on the Gibeonites.

This is why you are not able to “figure” things out in reconciling national and international happenings and the specific judgment of God without His telling us.

The events which happen here during David’s reign were 30+ years AFTER David came into power – a long time by any estimation.

2 Samuel 21:1-22,  

“(1) During David’s reign there was a famine for three successive years, so David inquired of the LORD. The LORD answered, “It is because of the blood shed by Saul and his family when he killed the Gibeonites.”  (2)  The Gibeonites were not Israelites but rather a remnant of the Amorites. The Israelites had taken an oath concerning them, but Saul had tried to kill them in his zeal for the Israelites and Judah. So David summoned the Gibeonites and spoke to them.  (3)  He asked the Gibeonites, “What should I do for you? How can I wipe out this guilt so that you will bring a blessing on the LORD’s inheritance?”  (4)  The Gibeonites said to him, “We are not asking for money from Saul or his family, and we cannot put anyone to death in Israel.” “Whatever you say, I will do for you,” he said.  (5)  They replied to the king, “As for the man who annihilated us and plotted to exterminate us so we would not exist within the whole territory of Israel,  (6)  let seven of his male descendants be handed over to us so we may hang them in the presence of the LORD at Gibeah of Saul, the LORD’s chosen.” The king answered, “I will hand them over.”  

Saul, though dead incurs judgment on the nation

“(7)  David spared Mephibosheth, the son of Saul’s son Jonathan, because of the oath of the LORD that was between David and Jonathan, Saul’s son.  (8)  But the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, who were the two sons whom Rizpah daughter of Aiah had borne to Saul, and the five sons whom Merab daughter of Saul had borne to Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite  (9)  and handed them over to the Gibeonites. They hanged them on the hill in the presence of the LORD; the seven of them died together. They were executed in the first days of the harvest at the beginning of the barley harvest.  (10)  Rizpah, Aiah’s daughter, took sackcloth and spread it out for herself on the rock from the beginning of the harvest until the rain poured down from heaven on the bodies. She kept the birds of the sky from them by day and the wild animals by night.”

So we can readily see that God does not immediately recompense for sin. 

You might ask…Why did God wait so long before judging this crime? Well, no one knows for certain simply by the text, but if you follow the events leading up to this, God’s mercy was certainly a major contributing factor.

From the moment God lifted His Spirit from Saul to this moment in scripture- Israel has known little but unrest. 

From the time of Saul’s initial relationship with David followed by his deadly pursuit of him, to Saul’s death, to the inauguration of David over Judah and his subsequent reign there for 7 years, then his kingship over all of Israel, the settling of the land through war, the division of his own house and conspiracy and treason of Absalom his son, then most recently Sheba the evil Benjamite…the kingdom of Israel has been under constant difficulties. 

Once the kingdom had been reunited and enjoyed a little peace – God saw fit to pass judgment. Chances are, Israel had been given time to recoup, rest and build up a stockpile of resources so that when the famine came, they would not perish…God is merciful!

That having been said, He is also judge and will not allow evil to go unanswered.

Why three years? Perhaps that was God’s intention all along knowing it would take David that long to ask the question or perhaps, it is only because it took that long for David to ask…who knows for sure?

As we learned very early on in our trek through the Bible – God had delegated authority to man from before the fall and He acts within the boundaries of it’s governance. If a leader sins, all who are under that leader are subject to the effects and future judgment. 

The greatest and most profound example being Adam and Eve with the entire human race. Due to their misstep, we are all born in sin and need salvation.

Now, I had been asked a while back to address what a Biblical Christian worldview might have to say about the BLM movement.

Well, the scriptures actually have nothing to say directly of course, but indirectly it says much.

Let me begin by saying there are FAR too many factors in play here, for any one person to clearly grasp God’s need for arbitration regarding the various missteps of all the players on the field, but there are MANY missteps indeed.

Do we inherit the sins of our fathers? Yes!

Does God, at least in part, arbitrate against those sins? Yes!

Have white people, enslaved and wrongfully treated black people in times past? Yes.

I myself am only one generation…maybe two, from a county where segregation, ill-treatment and unequal employment and housing opportunities were commonplace.

On the other hand, many MANY more black people have been owned by or placed into slavery by other black people than was every perpetrated by white people. In fact, in regard to the current claims of mistreatment, this is still a problem today. More blacks wrong, rob from and kill other blacks than are ever perpetrated upon them by whites.

A quote form the Brightwork Research & Analysis group in an article written by Shaun Snapp on November 26th of 2019 entitled, “Why the Claims by Black Lives Matter on Police Shootings are False”…

“According to the new National Crime Victimization Survey published by the Bureau of Justice Statics, out of the 593,598 interracial violent vicitmization crimes between blacks and whites reported in 2018, 90% were black against white, and 9.5% were white against black. That is simply astounding given that black people in this nation compose just 12% of the general population and white people comprise over 62%.”

Not to mention all of the black on black violent crimes in this nation which dwarf any violent crime against blacks, police or otherwise, by a margin that is quite frankly astonishing and embarrassing!

Then there is the “history” card that get’s played – mostly referring back to slavery. Truth be told, historically, many times whites have been owned and sold into slavery by black people as well.

In our modern times, slavery is often interpreted as white owners of black slaves, but this is not only misleading, it is biased int he extreme.

Between 1530 and 1780 there were almost certainly 1 million and quite possibly as many as 1.25 million white, European Christians enslaved by the Muslims of the Barbary Coast.

Not to mention the countless number of Irish slaves. During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10 and 14 were taken from their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. 

In the same decade, 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold to Barbados and Virginia. Another 30,000 Irish men and women were also transported and sold to the highest bidder. In 1656, Cromwell ordered that 2000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers.

Today is it politically incorrect to claim that the Irish were really part of the slave trade which even pre-dates the african slave trade, but it is true none-the-less. The left has gone out of it’s way to “fact check” this history which, in all reality, means that they have launched a leftist campaign to re-write that history and players who largely control the disclosure of information in this age are nearly all left. Example like Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia & Google to just name a few. They’ve come up with color terms like “Indentured Servants” to describe what happened to the Irish, but that is a lie. In most cases from the 17th and 18th centuries, Irish slaves were nothing more than human cattle.

African slave trading was just beginning at this time. It is a well documented fact that African slaves, were most often treated far better than their Irish counterparts. This was because the Irish slave trade was based largely upon a religious war between the prodistants and the catholic church. Thus their treatment was far worse in most cases. African slaves were very expensive during the late 1600s (50 Sterling). Irish slaves came cheap (no more than 5 Sterling). A quote from “The News” (an online publication) in an article entitled, The Irish Slave Trade” dated June 24, 2020.

“If a planter whipped or branded or beat an Irish slave to death, it was never a crime. A death was a monetary setback, but far cheaper than killing a more expensive African.

The English masters quickly began breeding the Irish women for both their own personal pleasure and for greater profit. Children of slaves were themselves slaves, which increased the size of the master’s free workforce.

Even if an Irish woman somehow obtained her freedom, her kids would remain slaves of her master. Thus, Irish moms, even with this new found emancipation, would seldom abandon their kids and would remain in servitude.

In time, the English thought of a better way to use these women (in many cases, girls as young as 12) to increase their market share: The settlers began to breed Irish women and girls with African men to produce slaves with a distinct complexion.

These new “mulatto” slaves brought a higher price than Irish livestock and, likewise, enabled the settlers to save money rather than purchase new African slaves.”

The point here being that there are MANY more players on the field than just the black population and greater atrocities than white on black.

That being said, was their slavery and brutality, and a long march towards establishing equality – YES!

So is God in support of this new BLM movement? NO! It is simply another political manipulation from the left repackaged as racism in an attempt to shame-change the white vote.

In God’s judgment does He take into account the steps made by the American people to establish equality? YES.

In our nation alone whites outnumber blacks almost 7 to 1. As such, for the most part in this nation… 

  • laws have been largely written by white people
  • jobs and careers are largely created by white people
  • news movies and TV shows are largely written produced and paid for by white people 

and yet, for as long as I can remember (with notable expectations like the Archie Bunker show) in every one of these forums you constantly hear racism condemned & laws created protecting minorities. 

If racism is as alive as they claim, how does that happen? 

If whites make up 76.5% of the American population and blacks make up 13.4% and racism was truly a real problem of significant size in America how did we get a black president two administrations in a row?

That having been said, is there still a price to pay? Perhaps, but if there is it will be tempered by mercy and God is paying attention to the lack of respect, the lack of appreciation and the outright illogical and hate-filled actions of this minority in America and their time will come as well.

In addition to these local and international crimes against each other as humans – we have the prophetic word spoken over humanity and it’s subdivisions by Noah and every word still holds true to this day.

The sons of Shem will own the wealth, the sons of Japheth will dwell with them and conquer land and the sons of Ham will dwell in the tents provided by the sons of Japheth.

This pronouncement followed an act of homosexual sin from Ham – the father of the darker races and so is it any wonder that the backbone driving this current issue in America are two homosexual black women who have been indoctrinated with marxist beliefs and is an expression of ANTIFA which is pressing for the normilization of the L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ lifestyles and the suppression or eradication of anything that upholds Biblical standards of sexuality or in their opinion smacks of white superiority.

One thing to consider is that, rather than approaching this from a positive perspective it has been almost entirely from a negative one. Instead of defacing and demanding the removal of monuments which reveal a largely white run country, why not seek to erect more monuments of notable black people. Why not seek government assistance in creating museums debuting their contribution to this and other societies and seeking greater representation in current museums of American History? You see this isn’t about equality or even race – it is about advancing evil and stomping out every expression of true equality.

One last note on this before we go on. This would likely have happened regardless of Christian actions, but we cannot sidestep our participation in kindling their outrage. As I have told you for some years now – Christians have attempted to FORCE their position on sexual behavior, the definition of marriage, gender roles and other truths on a more or less free society whose constitutional freedoms include the right to express themselves as they wish in these areas without persecution. Our nation is and almost always has been divided in one way or another. We claim freedom period – not just freedom of religion. We say, men are free, but then we attempt to cage them in with rules which are foreign to their fallen nature. We want non-Christians to live as Christians simply because it will make us more comfortable in society. From the onset we included words like “One nation under God” alongside words of “freedom and justice for all”. What about the guy who doesn’t believe there is a god? Some of the very signers of the constitution were not devoutly religious and were certainly not Christians – so why attempt to suppress the freedoms of a minority group simply because we aren’t comfortable with their life-style choices?

When the first example of “not selling a cake” for a homosexual wedding occured it simply spotlighted a real problem in Christian thinking. Afterwards, I heard Christians say things like, “They aren’t wanting equality, they are wanting to force us to accept their lifestyle”…gee, I wonder where they got that idea from?

It should be no surprise that the ungodly want to live…well, ungodly! In a nation that is truly free – should not their rights be protected SO LONG as it does not infringe upon the rights of others? YES!

So, while God is certainly not behind the actions of BLM or ANTIFA, He is at least for the moment allowing its expression, and His reasons are His Own. Our job is to clean up our own act, honor God as God, king as king, country as country and our fellow man as fellow-humans- believers first then the world.

David shows tender-mercy

“(11)  When it was reported to David what Saul’s concubine Rizpah, daughter of Aiah, had done,  (12)  he went and got the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan from the leaders of Jabesh-gilead. They had stolen them from the public square of Beth-shan where the Philistines had hung them the day the Philistines killed Saul at Gilboa.  (13)  David had the bones brought from there. They also gathered up the bones of Saul’s family who had been hung.  (14)  They also buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan at Zela in the land of Benjamin in the tomb of Saul’s father Kish. They did everything the king commanded. After this, God answered prayer for the land.”

War with the Philistines

“(15)  The Philistines again waged war against Israel. David went down with his soldiers, and they fought the Philistines, but David became exhausted.  (16)  Then Ishbi-benob, one of the descendants of the giant, whose bronze spear weighed about eight pounds and who wore new armor, intended to kill David.  (17)  But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to his aid, struck the Philistine, and killed him. Then David’s men swore to him: “You must never again go out with us to battle. You must not extinguish the lamp of Israel.”  (18)  After this, there was another battle with the Philistines at Gob. At that time Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Saph, who was one of the descendants of the giant.  (19)  Once again there was a battle with the Philistines at Gob, and Elhanan son of Jaare-oregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite. The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam.  (20)  At Gath there was still another battle. A huge man was there with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot–24 in all. He, too, was descended from the giant.  (21)  When he taunted Israel, Jonathan, son of David’s brother Shimei, killed him.  (22)  These four were descended from the giant in Gath and were killed by David and his soldiers.”

David’s Song of Deliverance

2 Samuel 22:1-51,  

“(1) David spoke the words of this song to the LORD on the day the LORD rescued him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.  (2)  He said: The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer,  (3)  my God, my mountain where I seek refuge.My shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold, my refuge, and my Savior, You save me from violence.  (4)  I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I was saved from my enemies.  (5)  For the waves of death engulfed me; the torrents of destruction terrified me.  (6)  The ropes of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me.  (7)  I called to the LORD in my distress; I called to my God. From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry for help reached His ears.  (8)  Then the earth shook and quaked; the foundations of the heavens trembled; they shook because He burned with anger.  (9)  Smoke rose from His nostrils, and consuming fire came from His mouth; coals were set ablaze by it.  (10)  He parted the heavens and came down, a dark cloud beneath His feet.  (11)  He rode on a cherub and flew, soaring on the wings of the wind.  (12)  He made darkness a canopy around Him, a gathering of water and thick clouds.  (13)  From the radiance of His presence, flaming coals were ignited.  (14)  The LORD thundered from heaven; the Most High projected His voice.  (15)  He shot arrows and scattered them; He hurled lightning bolts and routed them.  (16)  The depths of the sea became visible, the foundations of the world were exposed at the rebuke of the LORD, at the blast of the breath of His nostrils.  (17)  He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He pulled me out of deep waters.  (18)  He rescued me from my powerful enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too strong for me.  (19)  They confronted me in the day of my distress, but the LORD was my support.  (20)  He brought me out to a wide-open place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.  (21)  The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; He repaid me according to the cleanness of my hands.  (22)  For I have kept the ways of the LORD and have not turned from my God to wickedness.  (23)  Indeed, I have kept all His ordinances in mind and have not disregarded His statutes.  (24)  I was blameless before Him and kept myself from sinning.  (25)  So the LORD repaid me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in His sight.  (26)  With the faithful You prove Yourself faithful; with the blameless man You prove Yourself blameless;  (27)  with the pure You prove Yourself pure, but with the crooked You prove Yourself shrewd.  (28)  You rescue an afflicted people, but Your eyes are set against the proud–You humble them.  (29)  LORD, You are my lamp; the LORD illuminates my darkness.  (30)  With You I can attack a barrier, and with my God I can leap over a wall.  (31)  God–His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is pure. He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.  (32)  For who is God besides the LORD? And who is a rock? Only our God.  (33)  God is my strong refuge; He makes my way perfect.  (34)  He makes my feet like the feet of a deer and sets me securely on the heights.  (35)  He trains my hands for war; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.  (36)  You have given me the shield of Your salvation; Your help exalts me.  (37)  You widen a place beneath me for my steps, and my ankles do not give way.  (38)  I pursue my enemies and destroy them; I do not turn back until they are wiped out.  (39)  I wipe them out and crush them, and they do not rise; they fall beneath my feet.  (40)  You have clothed me with strength for battle; You subdue my adversaries beneath me.  (41)  You have made my enemies retreat before me; I annihilate those who hated me.  (42)  They look, but there is no one to save them–they look to the LORD, but He does not answer them.  (43)  I pulverize them like dust of the earth; I crush them and trample them like mud in the streets.  (44)  You have freed me from the feuds among my people; You have appointed me the head of nations; a people I had not known serve me.  (45)  Foreigners submit to me grudgingly; as soon as they hear, they obey me.  (46)  Foreigners lose heart and come trembling from their fortifications.  (47)  The LORD lives–may my rock be praised! God, the rock of my salvation, is exalted.  (48)  God–He gives me vengeance and casts down peoples under me.  (49)  He frees me from my enemies. You exalt me above my adversaries; You rescue me from violent men.  (50)  Therefore I will praise You, LORD, among the nations; I will sing about Your name.  (51)  He is a tower of salvation for His king;He shows loyalty to His anointed, to David and his descendants forever.”

Blessings!

 

I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

You have a special place in God’s family & kingdom. If you do not know Him, please use our ‘Contact Us‘ page and reach out so we may have the privilege of introducing you to the Lord. Neither money nor attendance at our church will be mentioned.

If you have been spiritually fed by this ministry and wish to give, we truly appreciate that and you may do so here, but all outreaches of this ministry are FREE for you and anyone to enjoy at no cost.

Blessings!

Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it right...safety in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" that did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!