Archives for March 2022

Rev. Conrad Mbewe

Yesterday, my good friend Rev. Conrad Mbewe from Zambia, Africa did our PRTS chapel as part of a conference he has been doing for some Reformed Baptist brethren. He spoke movingly on how pride destroys relationships and eventually the minister and ministry itself, and on the importance of the contrary grace of humility. By God’s grace, Conrad himself is a model of humility despite his international ministry and extraordinary speaking gifts. On the photo below, Conrad is the second from the right, and we are with David Chanski (on my left) and his brother Mark Chanski (far right).

Pray that God will bless it to every minister and theological student who hears it.

God’s Sparing Mercy

God is gracious in His sparing mercy! As Mary and I returned home from preaching in Kalamazoo, Michigan this week, traveling north on 131, a car suddenly came speeding down an exit ramp the wrong way and entered the highway at full speed! Mary was driving. She laid on the horn and swerved over into the other lane in a fraction of a second, and the car flew by on our right. If we had been a second or two later we would have encountered him head-on. We called 911 immediately, and a moment later a police car with his siren on and lights blazing came racing down the highway on the other side. We never saw anything in the news, so we pray that the driver, who we think must have been drunk, managed to realize it, pulled over, and turned around. Our lives are fragile but thank God that our times are in Him hands (Ps. 31:15).

MacArthur’s Shepherds Conference Address

A friend just sent me this great picture of Dr. John MacArthur wrapping up his Shepherds Conference with the final address last Friday evening at Grace Community Church in Los Angeles. The address given to a full church was a solemn warning to pastors to do the work of an evangelist in their own flocks, and not assume that all their members are saved. (Sitting to my right on the front row is Caleb [Dr. Lawson’s TA] and then Steve Lawson; other speakers are sitting to my left but are hidden behind the pulpit.) Pray that the thousands of pastors present will take this message to heart and that we all will continued to profit immensely from this conference.   

Dinner With New Seminary Students

The Queen and I have had the custom for the last few decades to invite each semester our new seminary students to our home for dinner and fellowship, followed by family worship and a time of testimonials, where each adult explains briefly how the Lord saved him or her. These evenings are always long and wonderful—in fact, they are among our favorite evenings each year. Sadly, we couldn’t have these special evenings for the last few years due to Covid, but last night we renewed our custom, so Mary prepared dinner for 16 (we’re expecting another 16 next week Monday as there are too many to accommodate them all in one evening)! The photo below shows some of our new students who joined us for the evening and shared God’s leading in their lives—each one and each spouse taking turns to declare the saving work of God in their lives. They are from Brazil, Korea, Canada, and Singapore (the family from Singapore had to leave before we took this picture at the end of the evening so we regret they are not included).

Pray that God will bless all of our new students with superabounding grace in every way as they undertake their studies at PRTS and as their wives and families adjust to a very different culture from their own. Pray too that upon graduation in the future they will return to their own countries to proclaim the amazing gospel of Jesus Christ for lost sinners with heart, mind, and strength to the salvation of many, the maturation of believers, and the glory of the triune God!

Preaching in Kalamazoo

Last evening I had the privilege of preaching in Kalamazoo, Michigan on the tears of Jesus (1) at Bethany, (2) over Jerusalem, and (3) in Gethsemane. A preacher can only scratch the surface about the depth of Jesus’s amazing sufferings on behalf of hell-worthy sinners like us.

Afterward, Mary and I spent some time having a good visit with some of my relatives and then visited at length with my oldest sister, Jackie, and her husband Dave (photo). My sister, who is ten years older than me, served as a kind of “second mother” to me when I was young, so I owe her a lot! We arrived home by midnight. It was a blessed evening!

Reformed Systematic Theology Study Group

I was encouraged last Friday at MacArthur’s Shepherds Conference to meet a pastor from Santa Barbara, California who told me that a group of 30 men in his church is gathering on Tuesday evenings under his leadership to study “Reformed Systematic Theology, Volume 1” (by Paul Smalley and me), and then added: “They are growing leaps and bounds from this study in the knowledge and love of their Savior Jesus Christ.” Please pray that God will bless this group and multiply the number of such groups that want to drink in biblical, Reformed, confessional, experiential, practical truth that impacts the head, heart, and hands for good by the gracious blessing of the Holy Spirit.

Weekly Sermon Quote – March 6, 2022

My Able Assistant at Shepherds Conference

Jhonathon Leon (a last year student at Masters Seminary) was my able assistant at MacArthur’s Shepherds Conference. He couldn’t have been kinder. His wife Andrea told me a moving story of how God used a sermon I preached several years ago on “For me to live is Christ” to transform her life. What a humbling experience it is to be used of God in the lives of people you have never met before! SDG! Have a blessed Lord’s Day.

Final Day at Shepherds Conference

On the way home now from MacArthur’s Shepherds Conference in Los Angeles. Here is John MacArthur delivering the closing address of the conference (photo 1) on the need for the new birth that truly transforms its recipients to a full church (photo 2; 4,200 people attended the conference in all). The singing of “Holy, Holy, Holy” by thousands of men was truly amazing. I also thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Reformation Heritage Books table selling Reformed Systematic Theology (photo 3) and other books to the hungry pastors, many of whom were in their 20s or early 30s. With the help of David Woollin and Ian Thompson, close to 90% of the 1.5 crates of RHB books sent out were sold! Pray for God’s blessing on this conference and on all the books that will be read.

Visit With Paul Washer

I had a good visit this afternoon with my good friend, Paul Washer, at Shepherds Conference at John MacArthur’s church in Los Angeles.