The Pharisee and the Tax Collector
There is a brief health update at the end of this message.
Please see the news about music/worship study at
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
I admit that when I think of confessing sin and my repentance before God, I often find myself focusing on the sins of others and their need to be right with the Lord. One of the most sobering and challenging stories that Jesus told is aimed squarely at me in my haughty sin of superiority. Todayís WORSHIP QUOTE is a few short verses from the Gospel of Luke. May the Lord use this to teach us true repentance.
LUKE 18:9-14 [ESV]
THE PHARISEE AND THE TAX COLLECTOR
[Jesus] also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt:
"Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.'
But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!'
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."
-- Luke 18:9-14, English Standard Version, Wheaton: Crossway Bibles, 2001.
SOUTHERN SEMINARY MUSIC/WORSHIP STUDY:
Perhaps you have heard about the recent changes in music study at Southern Seminary. I canít tell you how many people have contacted me, asking if I would come teach somewhere else since my job had been terminated. FUNNY! Here is the real story: The School of Church Music and Worship and the Leadership School at SBTS have been brought into a single school which is now called The School of Church Ministries. Dr. Thomas Bolton is stepping down as dean (after nine years), and he will continue to teach after a well-deserved sabbatical. I have been granted tenure and look forward to getting back to the classroom and the podium this semester. I will continue to serve as the director of the Institute for Christian Worship. Dr. Esther Crookshank has been named director of the new Academy of Sacred Music that will oversee the Seminary Music Academy, the R. Inman Johnson Concert Series, and certain lectures on hymnology and the like. Dr. Douglas Smith plans to retire in December. Dr. Greg Brewton will oversee the music portion of the new school. Dr. Ronald Turner and Dr. Sandra Turner are still here and going strong. That gives you a little glimpse of things ahead. We are still admitting students and look forward to many, many years of training church musicians for service in the Lord's precious church. Please pray for us and let me hear from you if there are prospective students whom I should contact (firstname.lastname@example.org).
HEALTH UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST
FOR CHIP STAM, CANCER PATIENT
Thanks for praying for my healing. There are longer journal entries and some new photos at www.caringbridge.org/visit/carlstam.
All is well. I had a good checkup at the Brown Cancer Clinic on August 14. Both the doctor and the nurses said that I was "boring" (exactly what they like the best). Dr. Herzig said that I looked good in person and that I looked REALLY good on paper (the lab work). I will have a PET scan and a CT scan in about a month. Those are the tests that will hopefully show that the lymphoma is completely gone.
I have been able to lead worship at Clifton Baptist Church the last three Sundays. Classes began at the seminary on August 17. God is good. If you haven't done so already, please read the important note above about recent changes in music and worship studies at our seminary. Things have changed, but there is a good future ahead for training church musicians for service in the local church.
Your friendship and prayers are a great encouragement to us.
Blessings in Christ!
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Ministries
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
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