Greetings in the Lord as springtime begins to appear this year. I pray that you and the Lord’s work are faring well.
I will be in the pulpit again this coming Sunday, Lord willing. The congregation in Clarksville, Indiana is without a preacher right now, and they have asked me to preach on the first Sunday of each month while they are looking for someone. There were times this past year when I wondered if I ever would stand in a pulpit again, so I have appreciated the opportunity. What I have learned is that preaching is not like riding a bicycle: when you don’t do it, you forget how. (Not that I ever knew much about it in the first place, but this has been a good chance to attempt it again.)
Also, the brethren in Valrico, Florida have asked me to come there for a gospel meeting a couple of years from now.
When I am able, I still want to travel to Meridian, Mississippi to encourage the brethren in the 7th Street congregation there. I am indebted to them in so many personal ways, and I want to support them in every possible way.
I had wanted to wait until the first of next year to begin writing the next book, Walking in Christ, but I am finding it hard to wait. I have roughed out a few pages and will try to write some of them now and then as this year progresses. The target date for the publication of this book is in the fall of 2024. Having finished Obeying the Gospel, which dealt with becoming a Christian, the next volume will deal with living as a Christian, i.e., continuing to obey the gospel.
I believe it’s time to tell you about another project that has been simmering on my back burner. You know about the sequence of books (the WordPoints Daybook Series) that has occupied me for the last twenty years. I have been feeling the need for a parallel project that would let me write/teach while these books are being written — and then continue after the books are done, if the Lord wills. So beginning sometime next year I will start a “video blog” called Encountering Christ. This will be a series of videos in which I will proclaim the Christ of the Scriptures, inviting people into the Scriptures to meet the Savior who is to be found there. It will be an exercise in apologetics — a reasoned defense of the gospel (1 Peter 3:15) — but it will not just be a “defensive” project. I hope it will exalt the positive truth about Christ, especially in showing the magnificent fulfillment by Christ of all the Old Testament prophecies.
As I said, while the remaining books are being written, Encountering Christ will proceed alongside the writing of these books. But when the books are all done, this will be a project that can continue for the rest of my life, as long as the Lord provides me enough strength to study and record the videos from my home. The idea for this project grew out of my work on Obeying the Gospel. As I was writing that book, I found myself constantly wanting to dig deeper, both into the Old Testament prophecies and the New Testament record of Jesus’ life and teaching. So Encountering Christ will allow me to dig as deeply as I want to, for as many years into the future as my mind holds steady. And by doing this in the form of videos, it will allow me to “teach” the material in a way that goes beyond the written word.
So I hope you’ll pray for Encountering Christ. Jesus Christ is real — but He can only be “encountered” if we apply our minds to the revelation of Him that God has made in the Scriptures. I hope this project will encourage people to study the primary documents more seriously, rather than speculating and philosophizing about Jesus subjectively. If there is a worthy object of work for the rest of my life, it is surely the Lord Himself, who died to save sinners like me.