February 2000 — Joyful praises ascended to God in songs and prayers from the Texas plains this weekend as some 90-100 men from Broadway and Vandelia Churches of Christ, St. Luke’s and Aldersgate Methodist Churches, a Bible church, an Hispanic Baptist church and a Worldwide Church of God — all in Lubbock, Texas — joined in a spiritual feast of worship, fellowship and ministry of the Word.
I was privileged to deliver four messages from the Bible at the multi-church men’s retreat, conducted at Plains Baptist Center, in a sequestered canyon on the Caprock (high plains) of West Texas. God not only substantially answered many prayers for my physical healing from a chronic sinusitis of long standing, practically eliminating a troubling cough, but also provided divine empowerment and open hearts for proclamation of the good news concerning salvation full and free.
The first three lessons concerned the finished work of salvation described in 2 Timothy 1:9-10 — the reconciliation accomplished by Jesus Christ (“God who saved us”); the work of the Holy Spirit in conversion and the Christian life (“and called us”); and the sovereign electing love of God before the world began (“not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace which he freely granted us in Christ Jesus before the world began”). The fourth lesson explored various ways God leads his children, as found in the Book of Acts and as illustrated by contemporary anecdotes. It was a weekend of rejoicing in Christ, of worshiping God and exulting in the Holy Spirit, as the uniting power of gospel faith transcended the human barriers of denominationalism and sectarianism.