Thursday, December 4, 2008

Camping with Dad

I just got back from an adventure with my 4th son, Cai Daniel. We went to Fountainebleau State Park for a father son retreat and enjoyed some great time together. The picture below was taken by the trusty time delay on the camera perched upon a brick column along one of the gravel trails.

Bike Riders Cropped

I first stared taking my boys on a camping trip when my oldest son, Cade, was 4 years old. As a desperate and concerned father - it seemed to me that I was was not doing a great job at capturing the heart of my son and I thought it would be time well spent - to go and spend some time without anyone else around. It is so difficult to really spend time talking to children with all of the distractions - that are constantly competing for our attention. As the dynamics of our house have changed - I find that not only do toys and technology compete - but even siblings compete for attention with their father.

Cai raking leaves

As soon as we got there - I began unpacking the equipment and I had Cai to rake the leaves and sticks away from the spot that we would be pitching our tent. His raking skills are not as developed as mine but his heart was into it. He really wanted to do a great job and wanted to be involved. It has taken me some time to relinquish my desire to have everything just such a way but I have come to find that I can not do everything because there is just too much to do and to little time to do it. Much better to assign a job to my sons (my helpers - in this case - Cai Daniel) and let them accomplish it to the best of their abilities.

I certainly do not let them slack and give me any old poor attempt - but I am often content to be thankful for their willingness to help and accept the fact that God has placed me in the family to lead, train and instruct and I must not grumble about the quality of helpers or the youthful skills that they posses - but rather I am called to be thankful and to be faithful with my part.

Climing wall

climing wall portrait

Certainly - there must be some fun mixed in with all of the preparations.

Cai's Tree As we were riding along - Cai noticed a really old tree. He said, "Dad!!! - look at that old tree!!!"

The tree had obviously lived out its life and was now on its way to becoming one with the earth.


Cai took some of the bark that had fallen off of the tree and began to investigate and test its strength.

Beach ripples We also spent some time talking about the way that the waves create the ripples in the sand - down by the beach. Surprisingly - the lake was very low and the pier was almost entirely out of the water. It will take a lot of rain to make up that short fall. None the less - it presented a good teaching example.

Close up shot We also stopped often for a couple of photo opps.

Ducks A Bridge We stumbled upon a large wooden bridge out in the marsh and there were a couple of great observation points to watch the large number of ducks and other water fowl.

SDC10095 Supper was pretty simple - Hot dogs, chips and marsh mellows. Some times we do splurge.

SDC10110 I almost forgot - it was a little cold - but our trusty electric heater was up for the challenge. And Yes - Daddy can fit into that little tent. I wasn't going to have to sleep outside.

SDC10174 With Four "4 year old" camping trips behind me - it looks like the next one will have to wait for Abram James - however - all of the boys have already decided that we must have a camping trip pretty soon with just the guys. They were waiting for us when we got back yesterday and wanted to hear all about it.

Emma Waiting I think Emma was even trying to figure out how she was going to get in on the action.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Mammaw Is On The Move

Who would believe that I have 10 people that will be living in my home in the next few days. Yeah - I know – normally when I tell people that we will soon have a new member in our home – most think – ‘He’s obviously going to have another baby.’ Well that would be a fair assumption based on the fact that we have added someone to the house almost every year for the past 9 years.

This time circumstances are different. Rather than having a new baby – we are moving my grandmother “Mammaw” in to live with us. My grandmother is 88 years old and her health has been deteriorating over the past few years (as you would expect of anybody at her age) however the pace has picked up over the past couple of months.

My mom has been caring for her in West Monroe while trying to deal with her own debilitating health and Mammaw’s condition has become too difficult for my mom to manage by herself. She has had lots of visitors over the past week as people came by to wish her well. I am headed to West Monroe to catch up with my family when I get off work tonight.


I have spent the past week – moving furniture around the house and rearranging furniture. Yesterday afternoon – a local medical equipment provider delivered a hospital bed and bed side adjustable table as well as oxygen machine and a wheel chair. We got the bed all set up with clean sheets and a blanket and I did a little decorating in the room to make it look inviting to Mammaw. She has spent the past 40+ years living in the house there in West Monroe. I know that she is going to miss it.

Tomorrow we plan to get up – have a nice breakfast and then to be on our way to Denham Springs. If you have some time – pray that God would grant us a un-eventful trip and that my Mammaw would not be too anxious about the move. She knows that her life in this world is drawing to a close and is content with God’s will. She says that she is ready to put off her body of flesh and trade it in for a incorruptible one – yet while she is still with us - it is certainly difficult to have the mind of an adult and to live in a body that responds more like a new born.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Notes from the Expositors Conference

church_pulpit small This years expositors conference certainly lived up to the mark that was set from their inaugural conference in 2007. Dr. Steven Lawson and Dr. Ligon Duncan both provided exceptional teaching from God's word on the importance and necessity of Expositional preaching. Together the emphasized passages in Acts where they looked at the early church's commitment and faithfulness to preaching the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Lawson noted that 1 of every 4 words in the book of Acts are part of sermons and that that there are 19 major sermons or defenses of the faith that make up the book of Acts - preaching was at the forefront of the early church. Lawson's final message was titled, "Preaching that is Innocent of the Blood of All Men," and really captured the theme of the conference.

Lawson - "There is an approach to preaching today that withholds the full consul of God. It preaches grace but not the requirement of the law - It has no real nutriments."

He also noted - from the various passages in Acts that - there are seven marks of the expositor that will keep his hands clean of the blood of those who hear his message. Following are some of the key comments from Lawson's message.

1) For the faithful expositor - there will be a posture of Humility. "There is no half-way humble - you are either humble or your are not." The longer the life that Paul the Apostle lived the lower he grew down into humility. Paul said, 'I am least of the Apostles 1 Cor 15:9, Least among the Saints Eph. 3:8, I am foremost of all sinners. 1 Tim 1-15'

2) The Expositor will have a heart of Boldness - the humble expositor preaches not for his own acclaim but for the glory of God. There will always be full disclosure - whether publicly or from house to house - Acts 20:20.

3)The Expositor will have a tone of sobriety - "Gravitas" Solemnly testifying of repentance towards God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 20:21 -The expositor must be "blood earnest - a serious man."

4) The Expositor must have a "Resolution of Will and Determination of Will " A Strong Sense of Duty. He may be weary in the work but not weary of the work. Paul says that he was constrained by the Spirit. "And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit," Acts 20:22 Men who are called to preach God's word ought to live as if we are immortal until our time is done.

5) The Expositor will embody a Life of Service - pressing on that he might finish his course. "But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24

6) The Expositor will have a sense of urgency - knowing that he will never see certain men again. The Expositor preaches as a dying man unto dying men. I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again.Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. Acts 20:25-27

Monday, October 6, 2008

Expositors Conference 2008

Wow! A year has already passed and it is time again for the annual Expositors Conference hosted by Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Mobile, AL.

Pastor Dale Crawford and I will be attending along with a couple hundred other pastors from around the gulf coast. Pastors and teachers who attend the Expositors Conference are are committed to proclaiming God's word by preaching from the Bible in an expositional style. This style of teaching is as old as the Bible and is faithful to the exhortation given by the Apostle Paul where he writes to Timothy:

2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

It is common in our day to bring hip and relevant messages to congregations in hopes to capture their attention. This would be fine if the intent was to teach people how to have a better marriage or how to quite addictive habits - but it is not the means that God has given to convert the lost nor the means given to feed his sheep.

Men may have needs such as the ones previously mentioned but these needs pale in comparison to being taught God's Word and seeing the Glorious Jesus Christ revealed in the scriptures.
May God continue to raise up generations of preachers who will be faithful in preaching and teaching from the Holy, Infalliable, and Divinely Inspired scriptures.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


For those of you who love movies - the producers of "Facing the Giants" have a new movie dew out at the end of the month. You may recognize the leading character from the hit tv show - "Growing Pains." Kirk Cameron also is affiliated with a Evangelism ministry called The Way of the Master. You can learn more about this ministry at

If this movie is as good as "Facing the Giants" it might be worth the few bucks at the box office. Click on the Banner below and you can watch the preview.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New Feature - Subscriptions to my Blog is now a few steps away.

Hey friends - I just added a new feature to my blog which will send emails to you inbox whenever I post an update. All you need to do is to add your email address to the subscribe box to the right of the page.

A notification will show up in your inbox requesting that you click on it to confirm your address. (note the confirmation request might show up in your junk mail if you have your filters set on high - so you will want to check their for the confirmation request.)

If you don't understand how it works - - you can read more about it from this article published by FeedBurner/Google - at the following web address: .

Monday, September 1, 2008

Hurricane Gustav hits Louisiana.

Gustav Satelite Photo smaller

I find myself - somewhat blah as we await the fury of Hurricane Gustav. We have done all of our preparations and we managed to get some sleep last night - except for an early morning (4am) run that I made to the ice vending machine. Our attempts to buy ice yesterday found the machine empty with the same message blinking on the screen - "Machine unavailable for the next 4 hours."

Not Surprisingly - there were very few people out and about at the time in the morning - except those ice chest toting early risers who had the same idea that I had. My guess is – that I will see their faces again in the next few days and maybe even a few more crazy haired survivors hoping to stay cool. Maybe I will bring a couple of million dollar bills to see if anybody is in the mood to talk about spiritual things.

I remember after Hurricane Katrina – that most people were so shaken by the utter destruction caused by the storm that many people were speaking God’s name in ordinary conversation. Along with his name they were using words like spared, mercy and gracious all in the same sentence.

I remember taking advantage of people’s openness to talk about God – due to the events of the storm and the reality of life and death. Many seemed more interested to hear about heaven and hell, about God’s anger and wrath. There was a certain liberty in conversation to proclaim that God is patient and kind and slow to anger yet his wrath is kindled against the unrighteousness of men. Who could imagine that so many in our communities would be asking the question, “Has this been some kind of punishment or judgment from God?”

I hope to take advantage of the conditions of those whom I come in contact with – that I might speak to them about God’s mercy in sparing us from the storm and I hope to exhort them to give attention to the evident reality that the next storm may not be so kind to our communities. We are not certain that when the next storm comes – God will not require our life from us.

If you have not considered that one day – you will stand before the God who has a wrathful anger towards all men, women and children who have committed sin while in their flesh. One day you will give an account for all of the unrighteousness that you have done and will be judged guilty for your crime and cast out into the lake of fire where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

There is still time – this day – to seek the Lord. You can seek to be reconciled with God through the work of Jesus Christ his son. If you are not certain – how to go about seeking the Lord – please listen to my messages or check out the links provide on this page. I would be more than happy to talk with you about being reconciled to God through Jesus Christ – so please contact me via email and we can set up an appointment.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Preaching from Isaiah

This past Lord's Day - I labored in God's Word from Isaiah Chapter 55:6&7. I preached both the AM and PM services and you can listen to the messages on our address. See the link listed to the upper right of this web page.

For those who prefer listening to the files in their full dynamic range (uncompressed) - you can download them at the bottom of the page.

I spent my time exhorting our congregation to Seek the LORD - While he maybe found. I laid out several truths - pointing to times that God is especially near - thus these times are most beneficial in our pursuit of Jesus Christ our Lord.

I then followed up in my evening message demonstrating from the text - that God has commanded us (the wicked) to forsake our ways and then to return to the LORD. It is important for us to realize that God desires to have compassion upon us - this being demonstrated in his sending Christ Jesus to live a righteous life and die in our place - that our sins might be forgiven as they have been placed upon him (imputed righteousness). That is - the just dying for the unjust.

Many would believe that their sin is too great for God to forgive - yet the prophet Isaiah proclaimed that God would abundantly pardon. He will surely forgive ALL of the sins of those who repent from their sinful ways and trust in the finished work of Christ Jesus.

If you missed the messages - I encourage you to take the time to listen to them and may you be diligent in seeking the LORD.

Robert Shelby

We all went swimming at the YMCA on Tuesday. Abram is having entirely too much Fun!!!

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Emma even found the water a lot of fun. This portion of the pool is only 1.5 meters deep - so she can keep her head out of the water just fine.

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You may not be able to tell - but this is a picture of Tate - headed down for a water toy.

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Looks like he was successful.


Robert Shelby