Tennessee Avenue Baptist Church
Friday, March 07, 2014
Faithful to The Master; Focused on The Mission
"I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord."
It is with excitement and exuberant joy that we welcome Bro. Mike Eklund as Senior Pastor of Tennessee Avenue Baptist Church. Bro. Mike and his wife Debbie will be moving here from Springfield, Missouri. Bro. Mike is a revivalist; one who has a passion for the church to experience Holy Ghost revival that can only come to an individual through sincere brokenness, humility and repentance before a holy God! He has an incredible burden for the lost. Let me encourage you to go to the Resources / Audio Sermons section on this webpage and listen to Bro. Mike’s message, “Getting a Burden”, February 17, 2013.
In the short time that Bro. Mike and his wife Debbie have been here, we have been impressed with two incredible truths. Number one, time is short and running out! The American culture continues a downward slide into its immoral and godless sewer. Every day people are dying all around us and going to a devil’s hell. But, number two; the good news is we, the church of the living God, are victorious! We can and must live in the power of the exalted Christ who died for the redemption of our souls. We have been empowered to live the abundant, spirit-filled, victorious life in Jesus Christ. We are more than conquerors through him that loved us…we are victorious! We know how this thing is going to end. Therefore, we must be about the Lord’s command to bring as many as we possibly can to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb!
America’s future may be perilous, but we believe with all of our hearts that the best days for God’s true church, is just ahead of us. Being who He has saved us to be and doing what He left us to do will bring eternal rewards that will glorify the One who willingly shed His precious blood for us. Not just so that we could escape hell but so that we can with the power of God’s love and grace bring as many as possible with us to heaven.
So church, look up…your redemption draweth nigh! We will, with God’s help, be the church that He has left us here to be. If you are a newcomer to Bristol and are looking for a church family that will love you, minister to you and challenge you to join God’s army of victorious warriors, then, come join us. We are not perfect. God is still working on us. But we know that by God’s love, mercy, and grace, He will conform each of us into the image of His precious Son, JESUS! Until then, keep lookin’ up…it could be today!
Bro. Phil Whitaker, Assoc. Pastor of Music and Worship
I recently read Tony Dungy’s book, Quiet Strength: the Principles, Practices and Priorities of a Winning Life. Having prior knowledge that Tony was a committed Christian and that he coached Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl victory in 2007, I had a preconceived notion as to the flavor of the book. Immediately, I became fascinated with the way Tony chose to allow the godly instruction and training of his parents mold him as he pursued athletics in high school, college and then in the professional sport of football. As Tony made the transition of player to coach, I noticed a quote from Coach Dungy which appears multiple times throughout the book, began to appear. The phrase is, “We do what we do.” This is a phrase that he would share with his coaches, his players and the media throughout his career.
I read through several chapters before this phrase began to really impact my understanding of what he was communicating. Toward the end of the book it was abundantly clear. Coach Dungy built his teams, which consisted of hiring coaches and drafting players, on biblical principles. He scheduled practices for his players and coaches based on Christian values. He trained and maintained relationships with players, coaches, and team owners based on spiritual principles. He involved himself, his family, and his coaches and players in the community based on his commitment to the lordship of Jesus Christ. He approached each season and every game with the determination that “we do what we do”…based on these timeless and proven truths…because “this is who we are and we are not going to change the formula now for a quick fix.”
The impact of this came full circle in those seasons prior to 2007 when the Colts fell short of Super Bowl victory. The pressure to trade players and draft picks in order to bring in a ‘proven winner’ in a certain position and firm up an area that was lacking in execution was tremendous. Like clockwork, Coach Dungy would address his players and say, “Team, we will enjoy our time off during the off-season and I will see each of you back here in preseason camp. And we will do what we do.” Super Bowl XLI is history. The Indianapolis Colts were victorious. But all who know the rest of the story know the full impact of this truth was magnified when Coach Dungy’s 18 year old son, James, took his life. Coach Dungy and wife Lauren did what they do. They stood in the strength and grace of their Savior and allowed Him to use them in miraculous ways. Over and over again, the Lord continues to use them in a way that can only be explained, “God did that.”
Since January of 2012 we have seen the landscape of TABC change as we continue to pray and seek God’s face for the man of God that He has prepared to lead His flock. I know that it is easy and natural for the ‘sheep’ to get anxious and restless in the absence of an under shepherd. But may I tell you that our Chief Shepherd continues to say to us, “Do what you do because of whose you are”. May I remind you of the words of the Apostle Paul when he said, “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
You and I may never experience first-hand knowledge of a Super Bowl Victory. But may I remind you of something that is infinitely more valuable than the Lombardi Trophy. And that is to hear the Lord Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.” Church, may I remind you that dark days and disappointments are a part of this temporary world in which we reside. But as the late Vance Havner once said, “We are not citizens of this world trying to make it to heaven; we are citizens of heaven trying to make it through this world.” So church, do what you do…Preach the Word… Praise the Savior…Minister to one another…Witness to the world. And remember that simple faithfulness to our Master in this life will guarantee our full participation in the greatest celebration party this universe will ever behold. So until then, keep lookin’ up…it could be today!
Bro. Phil Whitaker, Associate Pastor, Minister of Music / Worship