Maintenance to our Steeple

One of the stories of First Baptist Church, Lafayette, LA, that will forever be told is the fire of June, 1999. As the story goes, about the only thing that the fire did not consume was the pulpit and the steeple. That same steeple sits atop the rebuilt sanctuary. I love to drive up Lee Avenue or fly above and see the steeple dotting the skyline of downtown Lafayette.

When I was in college, the pastor of the church I attended told a story that made a great impression on me as I was pursuing the call of being a pastor. The story was of a young woman who had come to the end of herself. She climbed up on top of a bridge thinking that her jump would put an end to her misery. High on top of the bridge, she looked around for one last glimpse. In that glance, she noticed the steeple of a nearby church. She thought, “I wonder if there is anything under that steeple that will truly make a difference in my life?” She decided to climb down and at least give that thought a chance.

We all know that the steeple is not where the power is. We know that a church is a building. We all are hopefully acutely aware that the people are the church. I pray that that we are a church that points people to Jesus just as the steeple symbolically sits high above our building.

The steeple of our church, considered by many to be a landmark in downtown Lafayette, was constructed in 1948. After surviving the fire, it sits today exactly in the same geographical position it occupied atop the previous building.

steeple 2016-07-21smallUnder the wood and slate, the steeple is actually built of steel and concrete, and weighs over 32,000 pounds.

Workers have begun to construct scaffolding to allow for painting the steeple, which will occur over the next few weeks. Pray for these workers and the success of this project.

As you pray and think about the maintenance of the steeple, think about the stories of the lives being changed underneath that steeple. We also need to think and pray about the ongoing maintenance needed in our spiritual lives.

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What’s Happening this Week at FBC?

Sunday morning we are continuing a series called, “Ascend.” This series is an expositional study of Psalms 120-134. Each of these Psalms has the heading “Song of Ascents.” Most believe that these are songs that worshippers sang as they made their way to Jerusalem for thrice annual special times of worship. If this is so, then we learn a great deal about what was on their hearts as they approached worship and thus understand what should be upon our hearts as we prepare to worship or just give attention to the subject of worship. We are considering one each Sunday for the weeks of this summer. Sunday, we are studying Psalm 128. Here is a Psalm that helps us with the question, “Is it Right to Ask for God’s Blessing?” By the way, the answer is a resounding, “Yes.”

IMG_1562smallWe had a great time Tuesday morning at our Daniel’s Men Breakfast. We had over 230 men with us to hear Kelvin Cochran. His message was powerful. We have placed the audio of his message on our website at www.fbclaf.org. I would encourage all to listen.

Finally, please prioritize your calendars for Sunday and Monday, August 7-8, 6-8 p.m. both nights. These two days are days of instruction for parents. We have invited Mr. Ricky Chelette, founder of Living Hope Ministries, based out of Arlington, TX, to teach parents these two nights. I will be sending our church membership a letter in the coming days with more specifics about these nights.

I will look forward to seeing you Sunday.

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Seeking the Lord for What Awaits Back Home

This summer I have been preaching through the Psalms identified as the Songs of Ascents (Psalm 120-134). Last Sunday I preached on my favorite Psalm of this entire collection—Psalm 127.

2016-07-17 Ascend 720 x 480I have repeatedly said that we learn a great deal about what was on their hearts as they approached worship and thus understand what should be upon our hearts as we prepare to worship or just give attention to the subject of worship. I don’t want it to be lost on us that the theme of the family was upon their hearts. Consider the scene—national worship, national concerns, but here, the concern turns to their homes. Again, we examine that basic principle which says “so goes the family, so goes the nation.”

Upon their completion of worship, the worshippers of Psalm 127 were headed home and so rightly so, they were seeking the Lord about what awaited them upon their return home.

God wants to have control in every area of your life. There are lots of ways that verse 1 and 2 could be applied—a nation, a church, a business, but it is in verses 3-5 that the Psalmist makes clear that most at issue in this particular case is the family.

Verses 3-5 gives us three word pictures of our families—gift, reward, and arrow—to help us to see our families as both a privilege and a priority.

As you meditate with me on this Psalm today, think about these four truths:

1. Every family needs the power of God.

2. Every child needs the blessing of a Godly family.

3. Every nation needs strong families.

4. And so, every church needs to equip families.

The stakes are high in both our families and in our nation if we do not succeed.

(This post is based on the message “Seeking the Lord for What Awaits Back Home” which you can watch at fbclaf.org/video)