A Puritan Prayer for Purification…

A Puritan Prayer…

Lord Jesus, I sin. Grant that I may never cease grieving because of it, never be content with myself, never think I can reach a point of perfection. Kill my envy, command my tongue, trample down self. Give me grace to be holy, kind, gentle, pure, peaceable, to live for You and not for self, to copy Your words, acts, spirit, to be transformed into Your likeness, to be consecrated wholly to You, to live entirely to Your glory.

Deliver me from attachment to things unclean, from wrong associations, from the predominance of evil passions, from the sugar of sin as well as its gap; that with self-loathing, deep contrition, earnest heart searching I may come to You, cast myself on You, trust in You, cry to You, be delivered by You.

O God, the Eternal All, help me to know that all things are shadows, but You are substance, all things are quicksands, but You are mountain, all things are shifting, but You are anchor, all things are ignorance, but You are wisdom.anchor

If my life is to be a crucible amid burning heat, so be it, but You sit at the furnace mouth to watch the ore that nothing be lost. If I sin willfully, grievously, tormentedly, in grace take away my mourning and give me music; remove my sackcloth and clothe me with beauty; still my sighs and fill my mouth with song, then give me summer weather as a Christian. Amen.

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Multicultural Church

​The Church starts and ends Multicultural…

Acts 2:5, 41 “Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven…..So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.”

Revelation 7:9 “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands”

This is why is it a core value and our DNA at Bridgeway Community Church in Columbia, MD

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Salt of the Earth – Matthew 5:13

Shared this message at Bridgeway Community Church on 12/4/2016.

Find it HERE at our church website, OR HERE on YouTube.


A basic outline follows…

Matthew 5:13 (NIV84) “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”

Salt has VALUE


Context Matters!  Capernaum before Columbia… First Century before 21st Century



Colossians 4:6 (NIV84) “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”




Psalm 42:1–2 (NIV84) “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?”

Jeremiah 2:13 (NIV84) “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”

John 7:37 (NIV84) “…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.”


Ecclesiastes 12:11 (NIV84) “The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one Shepherd.”

You are a flavorful, preservative and healer – living in the world in a way that provokes curiosity regarding your peace and joy.

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Verses for the Discouraged

​Psalm 34:17-19 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 40:31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 42:16 And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
2 Corinthians 5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 1:6-9 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

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Election Prayer

This prayer is offered by my good friend  Pastor Craig Garriott, a minister of reconciliation in the city of Baltimore.

                                                                                                 ” ….we confess we are a flawed and fallen people who live among flawed and fallen people and leaders. (Isaiah 6:1-7) On this eve of our presidential election we confess to you that we have not been faithful in praying and making intercession with thanksgiving for our leaders and all those in authority, as your servant Paul commanded us. (1Tim  2:1-5) We confess that we are quick to judge, criticize and condemn but slow to repent, slow to speak words seasoned with grace,  slow to weep (Col 4:6;James 5:9). Forgive us, Lord. Holy Spirit, soften our jaded and calloused hearts. We need your strength to learn and live humble, repentant lives.

             And so we plead for your mercy on us and on our nation in this hour. We do not deserve your mercy. We only deserve your judgment. Yet, you have declared yourself to be the Lord, the Great King, the compassionate, gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.”(Ex 34:6,7) We need your bleeding charity, the covenant blood shed in the sacrifice of your Son. By his precious blood we boldly approach your throne as fully forgiven sons and daughters, eternally beloved, eternally welcomed and summoned to pray (Heb 4:16).

            So we pray to you Sovereign Lord, who knows the beginning from the end, who establishes all those in authority (Rom 13:1,2). Guide our hearts and minds Holy Spirit to be faithful citizens of heaven as we vote that we might be faithful witnesses as citizens to our nation. May we labor, serve and love our neighbors and our leaders even as we strive for a more perfect union.  And because you are sovereign and good we can with Paul “rejoice in you, Lord always” (Phil 4:4). For you Lord have given us a hope that will not disappoint (Rom 5:5), you have promised a better country and you have prepared for us a great city whose architect and builder is you, the Lord our God (Heb.11:10,16)  Give us hearts and wills to seek your Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven (Matt 6:10). For your glory we pray in Christ’s powerful Name. Amen”

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Baptism & The Lord’s Supper

Got to preach on 2 ordinances… Baptism and Communion at Bridgeway Community Church, Columbia, MD.









“Status Update: Creating Your Spiritual Profile”


Images of my Profiles: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Athlinks, My Spiritual Profile…



Key Verse for the series: 2 Corinthians 13:5

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” (NIV84)


The Great Commission & The Great Commandment



The Great Commission = Making Disciples who Make Disciples who Make Disciples…



Matthew 28: 18-20

Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”



Great Commandment = Loving Others as an outgrowth of our Love for God.



Matthew 22:37-40

An expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”



Jesus’ key commands, my key concern…. Jesus’ top precepts, my top priority…




Baptism and Communion – 2000 year history of 2 Ordinances



Baptism: What, Why, Who, How?


  • Modeled by Jesus

                    Matthew 3:13-17

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”


  • Commanded by Jesus


  • Practice of Early Church

                    Acts 2:41

41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

21 … everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved


  • Demonstration of an Inner Change

                    Romans 6:3,4

all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.



Communion with Jesus: Remembering Christ & Inviting His Presence


        A Look Back, A Current Presence, and A Look Forward


        1 Corinthians 11:24,25

23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

        Revelation 3:14-22

14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:


 These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

 21 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”


Communion with One Another: The Love Feast

        1 Corinthians 11:20 & 28

20 When you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat

28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.


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Purposeful Pain

For a disciple of Jesus Christ, sickness becomes a tool in the hands of God. Job was brought to a new awareness of God through his sickness; and Paul enjoyed more of God’s grace through the thorn in his flesh. My first reaction to becoming ill should always be, “Lord, what is Your message in all this?”

Does Jesus want me to always be well? Not until He has accomplished His purposes through my sickness, for having strong, healthy bodies is not God’s first objective for His children; godliness is (1 Timothy 4:8).

“Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Thy word. Thou art good and doest good; teach me Thy statures” (Psalm 119:67-68).

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