Giving God the Glory

Sunday was a significant day in the life of First Baptist Mableton. We heard from our Senior Pastor, Stephen Byrd, as he presented the State of the Church 2011. God has been so incredibly good to us. We put together a video to show some of the incredible things that He has done. The important thing here is that HE ALONE accomplished these things, and He allowed us to participate with Him.

Here’s the video we showed to the congregation. I hope that as you view it, you too will see how great God is, and how He is enough to accomplish what He desires in your life.



I’m always excited when our Worship Ministry presents a new musical or worship event. My excitement has grown with the evening we have been preparing for Sunday night, August 29. I first heard this music as First Baptist Woodstock, GA premiered it in late April/early May. The songs so moved me as I sat and worshipped, that I was speechless and often tear-filled. The lyrics so moved me to remind me (1) how much He loves me, (2) how powerful He is in my life, (3) how He completely forgives, (4) how He demands my all, (5) and what a fortress He is in my life.

Psalm 27 states,

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?
When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
Though a host encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me,
In spite of this I shall be confident.
One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord
And to meditate in His temple.
For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.
And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me,
And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice,
And be gracious to me and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You,
“Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.”
Do not hide Your face from me,
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not abandon me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation!
For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
But the Lord will take me up.
Teach me Your way, O Lord,
And lead me in a level path
Because of my foes.
Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries,
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.

Cliff Duren has written a wonderful song based on this Psalm, and the Celebration Choir does a magnificent job of singing it as they worship. Along with this, there are 12 other songs of equal magnitude and encouragement.

Last night at our final dress rehearsal, I asked the choir to share what song had ministered the most to them, and I received answers that included almost every song. What a great time of testimony, worship, and prayer we had. I know the same will be true for you if you join us Sunday night, August 29, at 6:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church, Mableton, GA. Trust me, any schedule conflict and any driving distance will be worth it to you when God speaks to you to show you the love, power, and encouragement He has for you. I hope you’ll come, and know that for many weeks now, I have been praying that God would attract many to be here for His glory. Is He calling you?

Find more information here

Andy Get Your Gun

Dad and me at the range after trying out the shotgun.

My dad loves to tell stories of his past. Many of them I’ve heard before, but last week he surprised me with a new one. When he was 15, my dad, known to many of his friends as Andy, received a 16-guage shotgun from his father. He loved the gun and used it often for hunting. He kept the gun until the late 1940s. My brother was soon to be born and mom and dad needed some money, so my dad sold the gun for $25.

Just a few weeks ago, my dad, now 85, ran into the man who bought his long-sold shotgun. He asked the man if he stilled owned the gun, and the gentleman replied that he did still have it. My dad offered $100 to purchase the gun and the deal was done. This old shotgun, now discolored and worn from years of neglect was finally back in the arms of the man who learned to shoot with it as a boy. My dad spent more than two days cleaning and repairing the gun.

After sharing the story, Dad surprised me by telling me he went to all the trouble because he wanted me to have that gun. He had planned to give it to me in October for my birthday, but he just couldn’t wait. With great excitement, he brought the gun out–and it’s a beauty! It too, is my first gun. Sure, I’ve shot his guns for years but never owned one of my own. As excited as I was to have that old 16-guage shotgun, nothing would compare to the work and love that came behind that gun.

Isn’t it just like our Heavenly Father! He loved us so much that He purchased our sin through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus; all because of His great love. He went the distance just so that we could be in relationship with Him forever.

No doubt, I’ll cherish that old shotgun for the rest of my life, but never more than the relationship that I have with my dad.

L-R: Becca, Laura, Dad, Melissa
Laura, Becca, Dad, Mom, and Melissa


I’m delighted to welcome you all to the new First Baptist Mableton website. Hopefully, many of you have arrived at my blog through the new website at We have been preparing the new site now for several months and are quite proud of it. Along with a new look, there’s lots of new information available. AND, we now have our worship via video!

The Word Revealed, our new video ministry will give you the opportunity to hear Pastor Stephen Byrd as he preaches the Word each week at FBC. We hope to add some music from services too, as we work through copyright licenses.

I plan to write once a week on the blog, so why not begin a subscription and receive the new blogs automatically as they are released. They will also be released simultaneously on Facebook.

As always, I would love to hear from you! Share your comments and even your ideas for the blog. And YES, I will be bringing back the Monday Morning Musings!


The Dove Awards

Every once in a while, great opportunities come around. This week is one of those times for me. As you read this, I am en route to Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House to attend the 41st Annual Dove Awards.

It’s such a cool thing to not only spend your life in music, but to be around some of the great creators of wonderful expressions of praise to God and about God is just amazing. Then, on top of all that, to get to know some of these great people is another blessing.

I look forward to hearing such artists as Casting Crowns; Toby Mac; BeBe and CeCe; Natalie Grant; Jordin Sparks; Mercy Me; Ricky Skaggs; Jason Crabb; Francesca Battistelli; Kari Jobe with Phillips, Craig, and Dean; The Blackwood Brothers; Legacy 5; the Crabb Family; and more.

My good friend, Cliff Duren, is nominated for a Dove this year for his Christmas musical. I look forward to seeing some good friends and meeting some new ones too.

You be sure to watch the Dove Awards as it is broadcast on Sunday, April 25 at 8/7c on GMC (The Gospel Music Channel).

Thank you, Lord, for such a great opportunity!


“‘Behold, the days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved, an Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The Lord our righteousness.'” (Jehovah-Tsidkenu) –Jeremiah 23:4-5.

The Lord here gives us a new promise of the coming King of kings and Lord of lords! The One who would be our righteousness; providing for us what we cannot provide for ourselves. In fact, He becomes to us what He requires of us! You see, righteousness involves being in right standing with God. The goal is not to just do what God says but to become like Him. Only Jesus could provide this. We cannot, and there is no other god who can save us and make us righteous. “But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Christ Jesus for all those who believe; for there is no distinction” (Romans 3:21-22).

God has given to us what the Law required, and that righteousness imparted through Christ brings reconciliation. The 16th Century theologian Zacharius Ursinus said, “God grants and credits to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, as if I had never sinned nor been a sinner, as if I had been perfectly obedient as Christ was obedient for me.” “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).

Proverbs 10, 11, and 13 describe the results of righteousness. Take the next three days to read these three chapters and discover again what Christ has done in you and through you! You will never be the same again!

These are His sheep–they shall not want, Jehovah-Roi is their Shepherd. Jehovah-Jireh, their Provider, promises a new branch. This is His name by which He will be called, the Lord our Righteousness.

When I Survey

The Celebration Choir of First Baptist, Mableton, presented The Journey: Easter Pageant for four years. The first two years were at FBC and the second two years were at the Mable House Amphitheatre. This video, from the 2003 presentation at the Amphitheatre was a moving experience. This crucifixion scene depicts some of what Jesus went through on our behalf.

We edited and produced this music video for the choir to sing with this past Sunday (Palm Sunday). I want to share it with you so that you can reflect on all that Christ has done on your behalf. We will be presenting a complete viewing of The Journey (2003) on Saturday, April 3, at 7:00 p.m. in the Worship Center at FBC Mableton. I would love for you to be there with us as we worship together. Then, Sunday, April 4 will be an incredible day of praise and worship, as we celebrate the resurrection of our King–Jesus.

Have a blessed Easter season