Jan
30
2017
0

Getting the Journey

“How you ought to walk and please God…” 1 Thessalonians 4:1

I hope you’ve been encouraged and had a little fun with the Got Journey? emphasis. I’ve enjoyed digging into Paul’s letter to the Church at Thessalonica to discern the qualities of a fully devoted Christ follower. Paul’s endearing letter to the ancient congregation has served as a contemporary model for discipleship. I hope you’ve taken the opportunity to take inventory of your life, insuring that you’re on the Journey. It is our prayer that every member has been able to say in this month that they’ve “Got Journey!” Our Journey Process simply helps us to embrace Paul’s admonition. “To walk worthy and please God…” I trust you’re enlisting others to ensure to join you on your Journey with Jesus at Canaan.

Have you signed up to Show Jesus on the Missionopoly Board?

This Sunday, we’ll explore the many ways you and your family can be a faithful witness for Christ in our neighborhood and to the nations at Canaan. I hope you’ll take the time to encourage someone to join you this Sunday as we conclude our emphasis on the Journey Process.

Thank you for praying for our Annual CLT Retreat! The Father was faithful to show up in a significant way this past weekend. It is always an inspirational and enjoyable time as your staff and leaders gather at Shocco to hear God’s Heart for His Church for 2017 and beyond. We see the fruition of our labor of love as the year unfolds.

Two Sharing Life Events are launching in the next few weeks. On Tuesday evening, January 31st, our youth and men will gather to draft our basketball teams. The season kicks off the next Tuesday. Then Friday, February 3rd, our coed volleyball season begins. These are wonderful opportunities for us to Share Life with our Fellowship while inviting opportunities to join us as we gather.

I’m grateful for every Journey Group that has committed to develop Relationships in 2017! Shepherds, has your class turned in your commitment postcard to connect with absentees on your roll and opportunities connected to your class? I hope you’ll join the classes that have made that commitment. Classes that regularly make contacts are the ones that grow!

Please remember to recognize the Teague’s on Bro Charles’ 12th anniversary. We are so grateful for their labor of love amongst us!

Don’t forget to build those Relationships and encourage someone to join you this Sunday!

Your grateful partner on the Journey,

Bro Morgan

Written by canaanbaptist in: Blog of the Week, Bro. Morgan - Senior Pastor |
Dec
05
2016
0

The Journey’s Begun

“Joseph also went up from Galilee…to the city of David which is called Bethlehem…”Luke 2:4

Sunday evening, our Children’s Choirs launched our Journey to Bethlehem. Excitement is building as we celebrate this most blessed time of the year. This weekend we’ll be thrilled by our Dinner Theater; then we’ll welcome the Christmas Visitor; followed by our Family Candlelight service and end the Season with a Casual Christmas at Canaan on the 25th.

Sunday was another exciting day at Canaan! Both services were full, the worship was wonderful and I sensed Christ’s Glory fall upon our celebration. I was moved to see most of our Church rise in commitment to be Great Commission Christians. I believe as we apply the message from Isaiah 49 we’ll see attendance in our Journey Groups grow; participation in our ministry and mission enterprises expand. Time is too short, the darkness too real and the Gospel too rich for us to sit idly on the sidelines.

Our Lottie Moon Week of Prayer for International Missions got off to a great start. I believe the message from Isaiah, God’s Desire for the Nations, stirred us. David Platt’s video challenged us and our IMB Missionaries, Jim and Brenda Brock inspired us Sunday evening. We got a great start as well on our Goal of $22,000.

We had an amazing Journey Launch Class this past Sunday. You’ll see below that 16 attended and many decisions were made for God’s Glory. I want to thank each participant for attending, I was blessed and feel sure that they were. We know that those who attend are more readily assimilated on the Journey and into the life of the Church. It’s exciting to report that six (6) people united with our Church through the class. They will soon be presented. Let me express my appreciation to Debbie Quinn for diligently calling our Candidate Members and many Opportunities as well as Gena and David Hudson for preparing a wonderful meal.

I can’t wait to see what God will do Sunday! Contact your class members and opportunities and invite them to join us! Your partner on the Journey,

Bro Morgan

Nov
21
2016
0

Thankful

Thankful

“Thanks be unto God for His indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15

The Apostle Paul reminds us that living with an attitude of gratitude makes our life richer and our outlook brighter. Paul’s focus in this passage was, of course, the Gospel. In reality, every blessing begins at the Cross, for the Child of God. Having plumbed the depths of Isaiah’s portrait of the Suffering Servant in Chapter 53, we are keenly aware of the magnitude of the Father’s love for us! This Thanksgiving, may we be mindful and grateful of every good gift that the Father bestows on us daily. They all flow from His indescribable gift!

This past Sunday was another amazing day for the Family of Families. It began Sunday morning with an intimate time as we gathered around the Table to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. Then, Sunday night, Heaven came down and glory filled our souls at our Community Thanksgiving Service! God’s House was full, the combined Canaan choirs brought the house down, and Bro Caddell stirred our hearts with his message about God’s indescribable gift. What a joy it was to gather in our renovated FLC to fellowship with God’s Family. I am certain that the Father smiled from Heaven as the brethren gathered to dwell in unity (Psalm 133:1). What a joy for us to again answer the prayer of Jesus in John 17 and show the world that we (the Church) are one! Our divided nation so desperately needs to see this picture of unity in Christ. Let me use this opportunity to thank everyone who worked so hard to make our Community Service such a stunning success.

Our proposed 2017 Budget of $931,034.70 was adopted Sunday morning in both services. It reflects a modest reduction of .37% from this year’s budget. We are grateful for the work of our Stewardship Committee. We should be reminded that the budget is simply a guide for the New Year. The budget is met weekly through the faithful tithes and offerings of God’s people. Thank you for your faithfulness.

I pray that you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I’m looking forward to our Sunday services as we gather again in God’s House. Don’t forget our weekly prayer initiative for Spiritual Awakening, we’ll gather in the Church office at 8:15 till 8:30.

Your grateful partner in the Journey,

Bro Morgan

Jul
21
2016
0

An Uneasy Nation

An Uneasy Nation

“Lawlessness will abound (and) the love of many will grow cold…”   Matthew 24:12

Each new day, in America, seems to bring us a new headline of racial unrest. In communities across the Nation, a policeman, in the line of duty, tragically kills a black man and a community erupts in violent protest. Innocent officers now are gunned down in cities in Texas and Louisiana and a nation mourns. Talking heads on all the networks parade before us proverbial experts with their carefully orchestrated talking points. Others just spew thinly veiled hate speech across the airways. However, we have few who clearly articulate real answers to the powder keg that has become the American public.

Our Sermon Series When Jesus Comes has revealed that this would happen in the last days. Truly, the informed Christian should not be surprised. The root of our problem is sin. The only Hope for America is the Jesus. The only vehicle that can deliver the Hope is the Church. The only thing standing in the way of the solution is the distracted Church. Not someone else’s Church. Could we not begin earnestly, at Canaan, praying for both understanding and unity?

I’d like to suggest three words that could help us begin not a conversation (because that hasn’t worked) but communication. First, we need to rediscover the basic Christian principle of Love. God’s word is clear, “Beloved let us love one another because love is of God” 1 John 4:7. We don’t have to agree with everyone or condone what they do, but we must love them in Christ. When the love of Christ flows through our yielded lives then we’re able to Listen. Behind the rage and rhetoric, everyone has a story we need to hear. When we really listen, understanding will follow. Finally, we will begin to Learn what others are feeling. When they believe that we’re listening with His heart maybe…just maybe they’ll listen to us! Then, Communication is possible and solutions can emerge. Let us all pray for someone in America to rise above the rage and bring us Hope.

Well heaven came down and glory filled our souls Sunday! We celebrated the ministry of our Alaskan Mission’s Team. His Glory fell in our worship in a wonderful way. Then, Sunday evening, in our Annual Cake Auction we enjoyed a wonderful evening of fellowship and raised a record $6800+ for mission and camp scholarships! Thank you Canaan Family for your faithfulness in giving, truly we’re blessed with a culture of generosity.

Let me also thank those who’ve blessed us with fresh produce – yum!

Your grateful partner on the Journey, Bro Morgan

Written by canaanbaptist in: Bro. Morgan - Senior Pastor |
Jul
15
2016
0

True Disciples

True Disciples

“If you abide in My Word you are

My disciples indeed…”  John 8:31

The passion of every pastor is to see church members become fully devoted Christ followers or disciples. One might appropriately ask, however, what does that look like? If we take our car to the shop, the mechanic can put it on the computer and report to us any deficiency. We can visit the doctor, who through a series of diagnostic tests can pronounce us healthy. But how can we measure spiritual growth or discipleship? At Canaan, we understand the process towards discipleship in our Journey. Thom Rainer in the Summer issue of the SBC issue of Facts and Trends offers seven indicators of a true disciple. Take a moment and evaluate your personal progress, your families, and that of your Journey Group.

1st Disciples devotionally read and study God’s Word daily. Research indicates that personal Bible study is the clearest indicator of a Christian growing spiritually. God primarily speaks to us through His Word.

2nd Disciples are engaged in Bible Study Groups weekly. Studies reveal  those faithfully attending a small group like our Journey Groups assimilate into Church life five times greater than those attending only worship.

3rd Disciples are sharing their faith on a regular basis. In Acts 4:20, Paul and John declare to the Sanhedrin, “We cannot help but speak of the things we have seen and heard.” True disciples of Jesus cannot be silent.

4th Disciples are generous with their giving. Faithful stewardship is a genuine indicator of spiritual growth. A follower of Christ understands that everything we have is on loan from God. We’re managers of his assets.

5th Disciples expectantly attend corporate worship weekly. True disciples of Jesus are going to be connected with the Body of Christ. They understand the essential discipline of keeping the Sabbath Holy.

6th Disciples are involved in ministry and missions. Christ followers intuitively know that we’re called to be involved in activities beyond ourselves. We’re to invest in the physical and spiritual wellbeing of others.

7th Disciple making Churches will have an entry point for new attenders and members. There must be a periodic class to introduce new folks to the doctrine, polity and expectations of the Church (Life Style Covenant). It’s here that the staff and vision of the church are introduced.

Well, how did you do? How is Canaan doing in raising this bar of expectation? Let’s encourage one another to be passionately pursuing biblical discipleship. Our lives will be blessed and our world transformed.

Your partner on the Journey, Bro Morgan

Written by canaanbaptist in: Bro. Morgan - Senior Pastor |
Jun
28
2016
0

A God Moment

A God Moment

“How good and how pleasant it is

for brethren to dwell together in unity!”

Psalm 133:1

It would be an understatement to say it was a tense moment at the Southern Baptist Convention in St Louis MO. The Convention was preparing to cast their third ballot for SBC President. J.D. Greear and Steve Gaines were locked in a virtual tie with Gaines leading on the second ballot by a mere 100 votes. Both men are outstanding pastors and SBC statesmen. J.D. Greear pastors Summit Church in Durham, NC and Steve Gaines pastors the historic Bellevue Church in Memphis, TN. On Tuesday evening, before the third ballot, God spoke to the candidates. Our God moment occurred when they both appeared on stage before the ballot and Pastor Greear humbly bowed out of the race contending that the unity of the convention was at stake. Pastor Gaines had shared he too was willing to do the same for the harmony of the convention. These men received an enthusiastic standing ovation. Yes, I believe Southern Baptists experienced a God Moment!

What was at stake in this presidential election? While a bit of an oversimplification Greear’s supporters endorsed a more aggressive transformation of our convention’s theology and missiology. They do represent an important part of our convention, many younger pastors who are influenced by our more Calvinistic Seminaries. Unfortunately, many of them see Associations and State Conventions standing in the way (instead of making a way) for the new direction of the IMB and NAMB. Gaines’ supporters (including your pastor and staff) on the other hand, appreciate our SBC infrastructure, theological history, Cooperative Program and mission heritage. Both sides of the debate believe that we must absolutely do better in reaching the nations through missions giving and going! However, we respectfully disagree on how to accomplish that goal.

To borrow an old euphemism, we do not have to throw the baby out with the bathwater! A Gaines presidency can remind and educate the Convention of our historical SBC heritage. There must be a revival of CP instruction and conversation in our Seminaries, State Conventions and Churches to increase giving (CBC currently gives twice national average!). As CP giving rises with Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong gifts we can mobilize more career/legacy missionaries. Together, all of our churches then can enthusiastically embrace our IMB President David Platt’s vision to mobilize a historic force of short-term, retiree and self supported missionaries to come along side our career missionaries. It would be counterproductive to encourage SBC churches to send their own missionaries at the expense of CP gifts as some are doing. Join me in asking God to bring about an SBC spiritual awakening.

Your grateful partner on the Journey, Bro Morgan

Written by canaanbaptist in: Bro. Morgan - Senior Pastor |
Apr
14
2016
0

The Wonder of His Word

The Wonder of His Word

“Your Word I have hidden in my heart…” Psalm 119:11

God’s Word is our life! The Bible is the most read and published book in all of history. None other comes even close. The Word is God’s love letter to the Crown of His Creation. It is our Roadmap for the Journey of life. The Scriptures reveal the Mind of God to mere mortals. It is the BIBLE – basic instruction before leaving earth! While the pages of Scripture record the history of man, it is really HIS-story. The Old Testament shouts Jesus is coming! While the New Testament affirms in its pages amen!

The Bible is a library of 66 books divided into the Old and New Testaments. It was written by 40 men over a span of 1500 years but really has but one Author, the Lord Himself. That alone explains the miracle of the complete harmony in the pages of Scripture.

Sunday evening, we celebrated the wonder of His Word. Eight (8) of our children demonstrated their love of and mastery of the Scriptures in Canaan’s Bible Drills. What a joy it was to watch our children and celebrate their love for God’s Word. Hats off to their parents, our Bible Drill Leaders and Bro Chuck! But the fun did not end there. I shared a devotional about the Wonder of God’s Word and then opened the floor for our youth and adults to share from memory their favorite verses. We had revival! It was a glorious evening in God’s House at Canaan. We all committed to memorizing more scripture in the future.

Friday night is our annual Men and Boys Fellowship at Canaan. The festivities begin with a wonderful BBQ supper with all the trimmings. We’ll enjoy some of Bro Rick Gandy’s BBQ. Our Guest Speaker is Lew Burdette, president of the Kings Home. You’ll not want to miss this special evening of fellowship. Please take the opportunity to invite some of the men you’ve been trying to reach in your Journey Groups. We’re grateful to Bro Jim Phillips for coordinating the event.

Canaan’s Annual Spring Cleaning Workday is Saturday. The work begins at 7:30 or whenever you can come. We’re usually done by noon. There are many projects that need attention. Brent Griffith, Kim Roose and Bro Chuck have a list of the projects. We’re hopeful our Journey Groups will take the opportunity to freshen up their classes to make a great first impression as well.

Continue to pray for our new classes and the TOUCH Training Camp. It’s exciting to see God working through the obedience of His people as we join the Lord of the Harvest in the Quad Cities. I know the Father will reward us with a harvest in the weeks to come.

Your grateful partner in the journey,

Bro Morgan

Written by canaanbaptist in: Bro. Morgan - Senior Pastor |
Oct
30
2015
0

What a Day!

What a Day!

“Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph!

For the Lord Most High is awesome;

He is great…!” Psalm 47:1-2

Our Fall TOUCH Training Camp has ended and the TOUCH Season has now begun, but let us pause for praise! Consider the numbers 17; 313; 365; 38; 5; 115… What do they represent? In reality only heaven knows but let me attempt to offer some commentary. How rewarding it was to see 17 teams of 3 (or 51 people) commit to participate in our TOUCH Camp. In seven weeks they visited 313 homes in our Jerusalem! Talked with 365 people about Christ and Canaan! Shared the Gospel 38 times! Saw 6 people pray to receive Christ as their Savior! Attempted to enroll 115 precious souls in our Journey Groups! Because Canaan refused to succumb to the excuses and apathy that grips the American Church we’ve made an eternal difference! I am overcome with joy and gratitude when I consider the faithfulness of our staff and our teams who responded to the Lord of the Harvest. Remember that TOUCH Season begins in 2 weeks on Nov. 9; we still have much work to do!

The Family of Families enjoyed another exciting Sunday this past week. We concluded our Living in Covenant Community Series. I’ve heard so many positive comments about these timely messages. The Father answered our prayers and the Glory of His Son fell in our services. It was great to see four more unite with our Church in the second service. Then on Sunday evening we ended our TOUCH Training Camp with a bang. We began with a baptismal service and then the teams shared all that God had done through them for the last seven weeks. One of our teams experienced a unique spiritual high leading not one but two people to Christ at separate locations! Yes, the Lord our God is awesome!

Be in prayer for our Annual Hallelujah Carnival Saturday. The fun begins at 6:30 and concludes at 8:30. We have a host of volunteers lined up to serve but there is still a place for you to touch our community.

Remember that Sunday evening our Constitution and Bylaws Team will make their presentation. It will take most of the time for them to review the Bylaws and the Life Style Covenant. They will field your questions and any recommendations on Wednesday, November 4. The congregation will vote secret ballot on Sunday, November 15. Pray for the process.

I will launch a new sermon series Sunday in the book of Jonah – Jonah the Reluctant Prophet. In reality there is a little Jonah in all of us! I believe you’ll enjoy this brief series as we transition to the holidays. Again let me thank you for your loving support and prayers for us. We’ll share when we have news.

Your grateful partner on the Journey,

Bro Morgan

Written by canaanbaptist in: Bro. Morgan - Senior Pastor |
Oct
16
2015
0

A Bend in the Road

A Bend in the Road

“The Lord is near to all who call upon Him…

He also will hear their cry and save them”

Ps 145:18-19

Thank you Canaan Family for your outpouring of love and concern for Ritta and I. We love and appreciate each of you. We are blessed to serve here and call you family. You have been vigilant to pray for us during our semi-annual trips to Keener for testing. While we didn’t make the five year benchmark, we certainly came close. We know that God has much in store for us to accomplish together at Canaan. Our next step is a biopsy of the pancreas and sonogram of the liver here at UAB. Those results will determine the “next step”. If surgery is required, it will be done in Keener, LA at Ochner Hospital by our physician there. The three spots in question are all small, less than a centimeter in size. God is in control and He remains our good and great Physician. We remain a ready canvas for Him to paint a portrait of His immeasurable Power and unending Grace.

Heaven came down and glory filled our souls! Truly, Sunday was a glorious day. God’s House was full and His Spirit fell Sunday morning. The worship was wonderful and I’ve heard so many positive comments about the message. The Spirit is blessing our Series on Living in Covenant Community. Sunday evening, at our daughter Church CBC downtown, we experienced a spiritual milestone event for both Churches! Our Choir, Orchestra and Praise Band under Bro Jeff and Bro Howard’s directions were awesome! The combined choirs under Bro Immanuel’s leadership brought down the house. The Father smiled and the host of saints in heaven from both churches nodded their approval. If you missed the 150th Celebration you missed a blessing! Be in prayer as we begin planning joint services with them in 2016.

Our Hallelujah Carnival is just weeks away! This is one of Canaan’s largest outreach events to our community every year. We may see a thousand visitors on our campus. What a glorious opportunity to share Christ’s Love and the Gospel. Be sure to join the many who have signed up to participate.

The TOUCH Training Camp has been a blessing this Fall. Hundreds of homes have been visited; scores of people have been encouraged and many have heard the Gospel presented. We rejoice that some have received Christ. Please remain in prayer for the participants and the harvest.

Dr Joe Godfrey, director of ALCAP, will be our special guest Sunday. He will share a timely message concerning the church in our culture. This will be insightful for us as embrace a new Constitution and Bylaws along with a Life-Style Covenant companion piece. Our Bylaws Team, Deacons, and Lay Team have done an incredible job preparing a final product for our review beginning on Oct 14. Let’s continue to pray for the process!

Your grateful partner on the Journey,

Bro Morgan

Written by canaanbaptist in: Bro. Morgan - Senior Pastor |
Oct
09
2015
0

Trusting in Life’s Transitions

Trusting in Life’s Transitions

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you… Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it…” Phil 1:3-6

The Apostle Paul’s thank you note to the Philippian Church is God’s Gift to us today. The Philippians were there for Paul in his hour of need. He didn’t forget them or their gift of ministry to him. His letter of gratitude has become the Epistle of Joy for the Church in every generation. Paul added one of the greatest Christological passages in the Bible for good measure (Phil 2:5-11). In his greeting are some words that can encourage the Canaan Family as we find ourselves in staff transition today.

Like Paul, we’re all grateful for the ministry of Bro Michael and Whitney over the course of the last six years. He has blessed all of us with his preaching. We’ve witnessed our students grow in their walk with Christ. Our parents have enjoyed the ready resource of advice on raising adolescents. Michael has brought joy to everyone he touched with his unique zest for life. It has been a privilege to have both Michael and Whitney as a significant part of our staff family. They will be greatly missed!

What can we learn through this season of transition? First of all let us all be grateful that God has brought us together. For believers the relationship is eternal. We should also be confident that the impact of Bro Michael’s ministry will be lasting, the work God has begun He will complete. Let us also be in prayer that our Heavenly Father will complete the work He is doing in Michael and Whitney’s life as they continue their Journey with Him.

Remember our reception for the Gay’s will be Wednesday, October 14th.

Our sister Church, Canaan Baptist Church on 15th Street is celebrating their 150th anniversary in October. Our congregation will officially support their celebration on Sunday, October 11th at 4 pm as our Choir performs and also joins a mass choir. Bro Jeff is helping to coordinate this effort. Let’s show up in force and support this important milestone!

This past Sunday we launched our mini Sermon Series for October, Living in Covenant Community. Sunday’s message was Church Membership Defined. This Sunday, we’ll explore Christian Marriage Described. Our goal is to explore the Life Style Covenant component of our new Constitution and Bylaws. These sermons (like all our services) can be seen on our website or CD copies purchased from the church office. Sunday, October 18th Dr Joe Godfrey director of ALCAP will be our special guest.

Certainly, the Spirit of the Lord filled our services all day Sunday!

Thanks for praying for our six month checkup at Ochner in Keener, LA.

Your grateful partner on the Journey, Bro Morgan

Written by canaanbaptist in: Bro. Morgan - Senior Pastor |

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