Special Prayer Request

I would like for you all to remember a baby named Abigail Gibson in your prayers. Abigail was born nearly two months early in December and she has been plagued with numerous health problems. She got to come home from the hospital for a couple of days, but had to go back to a neonatal intensive care unit in Winston-Salem, NC. Currently, Abigail is having a problem with fluid gathering on her lungs. Her doctors had to insert a shunt yesterday to drain the fluid. They believe that she has some sort of massive infection in her body that is causing this fluid. At any rate, Abigail, her mother Amy and her grandmother Pam are in need of prayer during these difficult days. So, please pray for Abigail Gibson, and please ask all your churches and Christian friends and family to pray as well. Simply pray that God’s will might be done and that He would supply grace insufficient manner to this hurting family. Thank you!

Alan Carr

Praise God For His Blessings

We had a good day at church yesterday. The Lord helped this preacher greatly in both services. He allowed me to preach with His touch and I appreciate that.

I am still preaching in the Gospel of Mark. Yesterday, I was in chapter nine and I simply preached the next paragraph. I am preaching through the book expositionally, and it never ceases to amaze me just how timely the preaching texts are in the life of our church. It is just another confirmation of the sovereignty of God. I know some preachers think they have to discern the perfect will of God for every sermon they preach. And, I believe in praying over the text and over the message, but I just believe God is big enough to bless His Word as it is preached paragraph by paragraph. Call me crazy, but if the Holy Ghost can inspire it that way, then surely God can bless it when it is preached that way. Just a thought. Anyway, I don’t have to fret all week about what to preach next Sunday. I already know, and I can begin my reading, my praying and my preparation way ahead of time. Of course, I am always open to the leadership of the Lord. If He intervenes and lays something on my heart, I will put my series on the back burner and preach what He gives me.

We are beginning our last week of classes at West Lenoir Baptist School of Ministry this week. I always miss school when it ends. So, I had better get ready to go and teach my class today. God bless you all and please keep me in your prayers.

Alan Carr

Hard Days

These are hard days for the church of the living God. It seems that there is a spirit of apathy that occupies the hearts of church members. Most seem satisfied with their present condition and with the condition of the church. Sadly, the present condition of most churches is far degraded from what the church used to be. There was day when the power of God rested on the church. There was a day when prayer and holiness were the order of the day. There was a time when revivals swept the nations as the church prayed, witnesses and lived out the Gospel in the power of God. Those days are gone!

The church needs to rediscover the ministry of prayer. We have forgotten that the power of God does not come through polished preaching, upbeat services or through our modern organizational techniques. The power of God falls on people who humble themselves before the Lord. The power of God falls on people who seek His face. The power of God falls on people forsake their sins. The power of God falls on people who pray.This truth is made abundantly clear throughout the Bible. Of course, 2 Chron. 7:14, is the preeminent verse. It says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

The church needs to rediscover the power of holiness and separation. One person said, “I looked for the church and I found it in the world. I looked for the world and I found it in the church.” God has commanded His people to be a clea, separate people. 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” As long as there is sin in our lives and in the church, there will be no power from Heaven poured out on us. We need to get holy before the Lord.

The church is in trouble! She is under attack from without. The world as a whole, and certain political elements in particular, would love nothing better than to silence the voice of the church. The church is also under attack from within. As more and more preachers and church members abandon the Word of God as the sole authority and the sole standard for truth in the church, the church grows weaker. The modern church more resembles a social organization than it does the awesome powerhouse that was the early church.

Can we recover the glory? Can we experience the power of God once more? Can the church have the power of God on her once again so that she is a force in the world and a mighty weapon in the hand of God? Yes! But, we can only have those things when we humble ourselves before Him, seek His face in prayer and change our ways. If we want God and His power then preachers need to get back to preaching the undiluted truth of God. The church as a whole must forsake this modern attitude that worldly ways will make us successful. The church must return to old fashioned praying, preaching and praising the Lord. Until we seek the old paths, we will never recover what we need the most: the power of God.

Well, that is what is on my heart today. Pray for me that I will live my life in the right way and that I will lead the church I have been called to Pastor in the right paths, in the old paths for the glory of God.

Today is a busy day, as usual. I need to make four hospital visits. I need to attend a funeral. I need to study. So, I had better get about it!

Alan Carr

He’s Here!

Yesterday, Feb. 15, 2008, our grandson, Clayton Avery Carswell was born. He weighted in at 8 lbs and 2 oz. He is 21 3/4 inches long. Both he and my daughter are doing just fine. Please pray for this young family as they begin this new adventure. Oh yeah, I just happen to have a few pictures of young Master Clayton. I will share them with you now.

Alan Carr

Clayton Avery Carswell

Clayton Avery Carswell

Clayton Avery Carswell

Clayton Avery Carswell

Nikki and Clayton

Nikki and Clayton

Good Wednesday To You

This week has been exceedingly busy, as usual. Some of our sick folks are improving, and that is a blessing. One of our precious ladies was promoted to glory on Sunday, and that is a blessing as well. She had suffered for a long time with Alzheimer’s and complications from a broken hip. Her funeral is today at 2:00 PM. I want to do well for the Lord’s sake and for her family’s too. Please remember her family. They are special people.

We have moved our Wednesday evening service to West Lenoir Baptist Church to get in on their annual Bible Conference. It is going well, and it continues through tomorrow evening. If you are in this area, please try to come. The morning services begin at 9:00 AM and the evening services take up at 7:00 PM. Lord willing, our folks will be there this evening.

Well, my pastoral duties call me away from the keyboard this morning. Thanks for your prayers and thanks for stopping by The Sermon Notebook from time to time.

Alan Carr

It’s The Lord’s Day Again

I am looking forward to getting back to church this morning. Here lately, you never know what the Lord is going to do at Calvary. I shared with you what He did last week and I am looking for Him to do some big things for us today. I praise HIm for His faithfulness and for His blessings. Pray for us as we gather at His house for worship today.

These past three weeks have been exceedingly busy. We have had a number of sick folks in the hospital along with a few that went home to be with the Lord. So, this preacher has been running and running and running and … Well, you get the idea. But, again I say what I have said before, it is a privilege to be allowed into people’s lives to minister to them in their hour of need. Besides, seeing people hurt can be used of the Lord to help the preacher be more compassionate, and that is a trait we could all use. In my estimation we are never more like Jesus than when we are ministering to others in genuine love and compassion.

The Bible conference at West Lenoir Baptist Church begins tomorrow evening at 7:00 PM. The main preachers for the week will be Tony Finney from Conastee, SC; Tommy Steele from Concord, NC and Brian McBride from Michigan. The meeting will continue through Thursday evening. Morning services will begin on Tuesday at 9:00 AM. Preachers for the morning services will be called from the floor. Please pray for this great meeting and attend if you can. You will not be disappointed!

Have a great day in the Lord today. Go to house looking for Him and He will manifest Himself to you.

Alan Carr

Praise The Lord For His Power!

We met for our Sunday morning worship this morning but it was not business as usual. The Lord manifested Himself in a great way this morning. We had a great crowd in attendance, and as the choir sang, people began to use the altar. Many people came before the Lord for help, and some seven people came for salvation! Praise the name of the Lord! One after the other they came and gave their hearts to the Lord. There was no preaching, just the glorious power of the Almighty saving souls and changing lives. Then, at the close of the service, 13 people came forward to unite with our church. It was a great morning. We do not deserve such blessings as that, but He gives them and I am thankful for it. Pray for us. There are many more that need to be saved.

Alan Carr

Special Prayer Requests

Well, it’s Saturday evening. I am still trying to get ready to preach tomorrow. These past few days have been among the busiest of my ministry. Please remember the sick folks in our church. A couple are in real serious condition, and need God’s immediate intervention.

Also, please remember Pastor John Whisnant of the Grandview Baptist Church in Morganton, NC. Brother John and his family own and operate WCIS 760 AM, a Christian radio station in Morganton. Our program airs on that station Monday – Friday at 11:30 AM. Their radio station burned to the ground Friday morning. It was a total loss. Also, The Whisnants, a well known southern gospel group had their offices in the building and they lost CD’s, DVD’s and other valuable materials. Please remember these folks as they try to rebuild and try to get things up and going again. It appears that the fire was arson, so pray that the offender will be apprehended.

I hope you all have a great day in the Lord’s house tomorrow. If you think about it, please remember our services. I am trusting the Lord to do some powerful things for us. God bless!

Alan Carr