Archive | May, 2014

Grateful for Whitesburg Christian Academy

23 May

Yesterday was a bittersweet day for the Corbin family.  It was the last day of school at Whitesburg Christian Academy – literally for the Corbin family. Because I began serving at Lakeside already three months into the school year, we made the decision to let Becky and the boys finish the school year out in Huntsville.  To have moved the boys at the Christmas break would have also meant removing David from the varsity basketball team in the middle of their season. So, since the end of October, Becky and the boys have been in Huntsville Monday-Friday each week finishing school and I have been getting my feet on the ground in Birmingham as Pastor at Lakeside. It has not always been easy, but we are grateful we made the decision to let them finish out the school year.  So, yesterday was bittersweet in that we are excited to finally be in a position where all of us will be together full-time in Birmingham where God has called us to serve, but we are saddened to see a wonderful chapter in our lives end and leave many wonderful friends.

For the last seven years, Whitesburg Christian Academy has been an integral part of our lives.  Seven years ago, David went to his first day of 4th grade as a new kid not knowing anyone. At that time, there were around 150 students and the entire school shared facilities with Whitesburg Baptist Church. Today, the Academy is blessed to have this wonderful facility with more on the way…

WCA

So, David has spent the last seven school years at the Academy.  Daniel came into the Academy as a 1st grader and he just completed his fifth year.  My wife, Becky spent the last six school years as a 6th grade teacher.  During these last seven years of growth and change for the Academy, it has been part of the Corbin’s lives and the Corbins have been part of the Academy’s life.  It has a been a wonderful blessing to our family.  I am so very grateful for Whitesburg Christian Academy.  Please allow me to share why.

First of all, I am grateful for the blessing that the Academy has been to our sons.  Every single day that I have sent David and Daniel to school there, I have been confident that they were receiving a great education from a Christian worldview.  Every single day that I have sent David and Daniel to school there, I have been confident that they were loved and cared for by teachers and administration that had their best interests at heart.  The influences on the lives of my children have been overwhelmingly Christ honoring and positive, all while receiving a great education.

I am also grateful for Whitesburg Christiian Academy because of what it stands for.  The stated purpose of the school is “Developing students who are passionate followers of Christ and well-trained servant leaders…”   The Academy is serious about that purpose and it permeates the school.  In a culture filled with rapidly changing moral views and a Christian landscape too often filled with compromise, the Academy seeks to stand on the authority of Scripture and promote the historic, Biblical Christian faith.  That is no easy task in today’s world, but Whitesburg Christian Academy strives to do it out of conviction.

I am grateful for the people who are the Whitesburg Christian Academy family.  Certainly, our sons have friends for life from the Academy.  However, Becky and I both have friends for life there too.  As important as moving into the new building was for the school, the Academy’s two most important assets are its Lord and its people. Some of the greatest people in the world work, attend, and volunteer at Whitesburg Christian Academy.  It’s truly a family.  Like every family, there are occasionally some tough times when there is conflict, misunderstanding, and sin.  When these times come, the Academy seeks to handle them in a Christ honoring, redemptive way.  It’s a family.

Finally, I am grateful for Whitesburg Christian Academy because of its future. I truly believe that the best days are ahead.  I have utmost confidence in Headmaster Jerry Reeder and the leadership team he has assembled. They will continue to lead well.  However, the reasons I am bullish about the future of Whitesburg Christian Academy is because God is at work there; He has his hand on the Academy.  Trust me, in the last seven years, I have seen God do the miraculous at this school on more than one occasion – most of which I am not free to write about publicly.  The only reason that the Academy is still going and prospering is because of the blessing of God. Therefore, it has a bright future!

The Lord has called the Corbin family to leave Huntsville and Whitesburg Christian Academy and plant our lives in the metro Birmingham area. We look forward to staying in touch and seeing what God does in the future.  It’s been a great honor to be a small part of God’s work there.

Graduation Prayers

16 May

This is graduation season.  Young men and women are graduating from high school and college. It is a great time of excitement and joy.  As a pastor, I will have the privilege of praying over the graduates from Lakeside in the services this Sunday morning.  As a friend, I have watched some young men and women grow up who are special to me and my family.  They are graduating this week too.  I am praying for these graduates, so I decided to share what I am specifically praying for them.

1.  I am praying they will love Christ and always live to honor Him. I tell my own sons this saying often:  I want you to be successful in life but I want you to love Christ if you do nothing else.  If a person loves Christ and lives their lives to honor Him, then they have been successful.  If a person does not, then no amount of money or recognition can bring true success.

2. I am praying they will marry wisely and establish Christian homes. Next to the decision to follow Christ, the most important decision that a person makes is whom they will marry.  As a pastor, I have seen the pain that comes when a person marries unwisely.

3.  I am praying they will have children and raise them to love Christ. More and more couples in America are choosing to remain childless – often replacing children with pets.  We need Christian couples to intentionally raise up the next generation of faithful believers.

4.  I am praying they will love the local church and invest their lives in it. The college years are time when many young adults disconnect from the local church.  Unfortunately, many of them have seen hypocrisy, spiritual apathy, and conflict in the churches they have attended.  I am praying that they grasp the Biblical importance of God’s church and seek out a faith community that exalts Christ, preaches the Bible, and impacts the world.  I am praying that they commit to be faithful in a local church.

5)  I am praying they will be successful in the career fields they choose and use their influence to be strong witnesses for Christ. Many times, when a young adult begins to really get serious about their faith, they begin to question if they are called to ministry.  Certainly, this is true for some.  However, the Lord is at work raising up Christian attorneys, businessmen, teachers, nurses, etc.  Christians in such strategic places of leadership can have a tremendous impact for the Kingdom of God.

Will you join me in praying for the Class of 2014?

 

A faith that stands

2 May

Once again, I write these words after a difficult week for our state due to severe weather.  While certainly not on the scale we saw three years ago, Alabama has once again seen multiple deaths, many tornadoes, and destruction in numerous areas.  My friend Dr. Ted Traylor serves in Pensacola, Florida which was hit with an incredible two feet of rain in a 24 hour period – resulting in massive flooding, including their church facilities.  As I was praying this morning and thinking about the week, I couldn’t help but remember the famous story that Jesus told on the Sermon on the Mount…

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”” (Matthew 7:24–27, ESV)

Probably every preacher (including yours truly) has preached from this text on the importance of building your life on Christ the rock of salvation and the perils of failing to do that.  The man who built his house on the sand and thus a person who builds his life on anything other than Christ, sees destruction.  Nothing wrong with that sermon; it is Biblical and needed.  However, I am afraid that we have failed to mention the other man – the man who built his life on Christ the solid rock of salvation.  Did you notice what happened to his house?  It stood.  It even withstood a terrible storm.  There are three key lessons that we can draw from this passage, each of which is profoundly relevant to us this week and every week…

(1)   We are not promised an easy life.  Did you notice that the same storm hit both houses?   As far as what happened TO these men, it was the same. The difference came in what happened THROUGH these men and their faith.  Scripture is clear that we will experience a range of hurts in life.  Storms will come – both literal storms and life storms.

(2)   Biblical faith doesn’t just save – it stands.  A true, Biblical saving faith stands the tests of life.  Probably all of us know of committed Christians who have endured horrendous circumstances in life, but yet came through them with a strong and ever stronger faith.  Real faith can be tested. Real faith can hurt, question, doubt, and waver.  Ultimately real faith in Christ will stand.  When I preach, I do not offer people a faith that promises a carefree life, but rather I offer a faith that is so powerful and so real and so sure that it stands the worst life can bring.

(3)  Faith stands because of who it stands on!  Did you notice why this man’s house stood?  It wasn’t because he was so smart or so committed.  The Bible says it stood because it was built on the rock.  Perhaps you are facing a situation that is so desperate you don’t believe you have enough faith to endure it.  Take heart, friend.  Your faith stands, not because of you but because of who it stands on.  Christ, the rock of salvation, will empower you to stand.