Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Charis Dawn Kerstetter

Charis, you were the first arrow God added to your Mom and Dad's quiver (cf. Psalm 127), back on February 3, 2000. I will never forget seeing your face for the very first time through my tears of joy. You are already fulfilling your name--"grace dawning" or "the dawning of grace." Aren't you glad that your Mom and I didn't give you the middle name "matic"? Although with your effervescent personality, we would not have missed the mark. You bring so much joy to our family and are a good help to your younger sisters and brother.
May God continue using you to shine the light of His marvelous grace into the broken lives of many people. May God sharpen and hone your musical ear and train you with a musical eye so that you may glorify Him through music, just like your Mom does. Our prayer is that you will serve God always with every ounce of your strength and every breath of your being. We are so proud of you and we will always love you!

Monday, February 2, 2009

God Calls Me as Full-time Pastor-Teacher

On February 2, 2009, God called me to Pastor the people of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Valdese, North Carolina. I echo the words of the Apostle Paul: "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into ministry . . . . Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen" (1 Timothy 1:12, 17).
Although God called me to a public preaching ministry in January 1993, which has led to many sermons in different settings (e.g., church buildings, classrooms, a court room, and even a pharmaceutical company) and locations (e.g., NC, SC, GA, and NY), this is my first full-time ministry opportunity as Pastor-Teacher.
May God grant me heavenly wisdom (Jas. 3:17-18) as He leads me by His Spirit into shepherding His sheep (1 Peter 5:2-4) and "equipping the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" (Eph. 4:11-12). Heavenly Father, glorify Yourself in and through me as you conform me even more into the image of Your unique Son, my Savior, Jesus Christ (cf. Romans 8:29).