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North Carolina Down. On to California!

Today I finished teaching the last four hours of my 30-hour course on Puritan Theology to 16 Doctor of Ministry students at RTS in Charlotte. It has been an intense but good week, though I missed my Queen big-time, as she is with our daughter in Alberta, assisting her with the care of their new baby, Ezra—our 9th grandchild.

This evening I had wonderful spiritual fellowship over dinner with a friend of many years, Pastor Leo Markwat, who served as pastor here for 14 years (photo 1). It was great to be with him again.

Tomorrow morning I am leaving the friendly Hampton Inn (photo 2), where I’ve been living since Monday, and flying to Los Angeles, where I hope to serve Dr. John MacArthur’s church and ministries for four days, preaching twice on Sunday morning (and also in the evening for Pastor Paul Twiss), and then speaking at chapels for MacArthur’s university on Monday and Wednesday and for his seminary on Tuesday. Your prayers are again coveted.

Christ Covenant Church with Kevin DeYoung

Today, I had an enjoyable lunch with my friend, Dr. Kevin DeYoung, who I had the privilege of preaching for some years back when he served in Lansing, Michigan. For the last six years, he has been serving as the senior pastor of Christ Covenant Church (2,000 members, with about 1,500 attending on a Sunday morning) in Matthews, North Carolina, and as associate professor of systematic theology for RTS in Charlotte, North Carolina. After lunch, we did a quick stop to see the beautiful Christ Covenant Church building (external view: photo 1; internal view: photo 2). I look forward to preaching for him here next year, D.V. Pray for God’s blessing on his influential ministry at CCC, RTS, and throughout the Reformed world.

With God’s help and your prayers, I made it through teaching 26 hours in the last three days—24 of those being for my Puritan Theology class for the Doctor of Ministry students at Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) in Charlotte. Just four more hours to go tomorrow morning.

Puritan Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary

I flew east early this morning to Charlotte, N.C. to begin a week’s worth of teaching my Puritan Theology class for 31 hours to 16 ministers at Reformed Theological Seminary who are pursuing their doctor of ministry degree here. After teaching 5 hours this afternoon, I went out to dinner this evening with four of them (see photo)—great fellowship. Please pray for God’s blessing on this class.

Meanwhile, my Queen flew west to Alberta to see our new grandchild Ezra today (I’m a bit jealous, though I will follow in some weeks!) and to spend more than a week assisting our daughter.

Holiness and Happiness: The Piety of Isaac Watts – Profiles in Reformed Spirituality

I am grateful to report that RHB has just released another book in its PRS series (Profiles in Reformed Spirituality): “Holiness and Happiness: The Piety of Isaac Watts,” edited and introduced by W. Britt Stokes. After a helpful biographical introduction on the life and godly piety of Watts, this book contains 34 daily devotions written by Watts under three headings: The Nature of Piety, The Foundation of Piety, and The Cultivation of Piety. You won’t want to miss this excellent daily devotional: https://www.heritagebooks.org/products/holiness-and-happiness-the-piety-of-isaac-watts-profiles-in-reformed-spirituality-stokes.html

Founders Conference 2023: A Smashing Success!

The final day of the Founders Conference in Fort Myers went very well, by God’s grace, and we are now winging our way home. The conference opened this morning with another enjoyable panel discussion with the speakers covering a variety of subjects (photo 1). I then gave my final address on “Glorified Humanity,” focusing on the spiritual marriage between Christ and His people in glory from Revelation 19:6-9. Voddie Baucham then gave the closing and a most enlightening address of the conference on the role of created man and woman from Genesis 2 and its implications for today (photo 2 includes most of the speakers). I caught a good photo, too, of Paul Washer speaking with Tom Nettles (photo 3). We spent the final hour selling several dozens of sets of Brakel’s 4-volume systematic theology and the 3-volume set by Paul Smalley and me. Here I am with our RHB employee, Justin Genus, holding hundreds of back orders (photo 4–in addition to selling every book we sent down to Florida). Many thanks to Justin, and praise God with me that we sold more books at this conference of 2000 attendees than any conference I have done in my life!

After the conference was over, we had lunch in downtown Fort Myers. When walking back to our car, we heard a street preacher proclaiming God’s Word from the story of the rich man and Lazarus. As we got closer, we were surprised to hear him suddenly call out my name! It was a man named Tom who had attended the conference and is a member of Tom Ascol’s church (photo 5)! We prayed for God’s blessing on his weekly street sermon.

Our Grandson, Ezra, was Born! Praise the Lord!

We are thanking the Lord abundantly for the safe arrival of our little grandson, Ezra Martin. He was born to Isaac and Lydia Thursday morning. They chose his name from Ezra 7:10, and providentially, he weighed 7 pounds 10 ounces! They just moved to Alberta, Canada, and we are overjoyed that everything went well. Mary hopes to head up there on Monday and we plan to visit them together in April. Please pray that little Ezra will soon be born again and become a stalwart soldier of Christ’s living church! 

Founders Conference 2023— Day 2!

Today was another full day at the Founders Conference in Fort Myers, Florida, attended by 2,000. It ended with Voddie Baucham (photo 1) speaking clearly on the value of Christ as our “God-man” from Colossians 1. In the morning, I spoke on “Justified Man” from Romans 3 (photo 2) and did an interview for the Founders Conference on anthropology and Christology. In the afternoon Paul Washer spoke well on “People Made New” as did Tom Ascol on the tender subject of “Mankind in Hell.” We also had a Q&A panel discussion that focused on various areas of anthropology (photo 3: from left to right—Tom Ascol, Voddie Baucham, Bradley Pierce, Paul Washer, me, and the moderator, Graham Gunden).

We had a serendipitous meeting with Emily Tiegreen (photo 4) this afternoon. She and her husband Joel were missionaries in Turkey until 2020, when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. They heard a sermon that I preached at MacArthur’s church on “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21), which enabled them to experience sweet communion with God and with each other, even as they faced the reality that she would continue to live with Christ (with five young children) and that his death would be gain. 

After the evening session, there was a two-hour book-signing session for the speakers, enabling the Queen and me to meet a few hundred more people in person. These days have been packed full with meeting many scores of people, answering numerous questions, receiving encouraging feedback, and having good fellowship both with the speakers and the people.

Book sales have been amazing. We have only nine books left on our table and have hundreds of books back ordered from those that are sold out. We should have brought five times the number of books that we shipped down.

We may believe that the Lord has been in the midst of this conference. Pray that tomorrow—the final day—may be the capstone. 

Founders Conference 2023 (Day 1)

The queen and I had a wonderful day at the Founders Ministries conference in Fort Myers, Florida. Paul Washer spoke powerfully this evening on mankind in sin (photo 1), followed by Voddie Baucham on the creation mandate.

The 2000 attendees are drinking in the conference (photo 2). Earlier in the day, Bradley Pierce spoke on humans being image bearers of God from conception. I spoke on mankind in the image of God from creation to glorification, while Tom Ascol, the organizer of the conference, spoke on what man is from Psalm 8 (photo 3 with Tom Ascol and a grandchild on the right, and Fred Malone on the left).

Book sales are unusually brisk. Please pray for the two remaining days of this conference. You can live stream it free at: https://founders.org/livestream/

A New Semester Begins at PRTS

Puritan Reformed Seminary’s 2023 spring semester has begun! I delivered the opening chapel message on Enoch walking with God. Please pray for our faculty and students this semester that we would all walk with God in Spirit and truth. Thanks so much for partnering with us with your prayers, friendship, and generosity. 

Quote of the Week— January 17, 2023

Here’s a quote from my most recent sermon, “Out Trinitarian Gospel.” You can listen to the entire sermon here: https://www.sermonaudio.com/solo/hnrc/sermons/114231546227072/

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