Archive | May, 2018

A Legacy of Love

29 May

This week my good friend and a man I have long looked up to is celebrating 40 years of ministry and retiring as Senior Pastor at Whitesburg Baptist Church in Huntsville.

33893753_10155896570688778_3541599280315760640_n.jpg  1268176_10202270623549801_722033215_o

“Bro. Jimmy” as most of us call him has been woven into the fabric of my life for many years.  The first time I knew of him was in the early 80’s on the rare occasions when my family was not at church on Sunday morning. We would watch the service of Whitesburg on one of the local Huntsville television channels. The first time I met him was in 1992, when a young pastor friend talked me into going with him to a service at one of Whitesburg’s Winter Bible Conferences.  Two young “preacher boys” evidently stood out to him from the platform and Jimmy made a beeline for us after the service.  He took a few minutes and greatly encouraged us when he did not have to.  In the years to come, as I served in ministry, I would make an appointment with him and he would graciously give me an hour of his time as I navigated life as a young husband, father, and pastor.  So, he was a mentor to me for a number of years. Then from 2007-2013, I had the privilege of serving on staff with him as Associate Pastor at Whitesburg.  After serving “up close and personal” with him for almost seven years, I had more respect for Jimmy Jackson than I did the day I started.  I make no apologies, I have a tremendous amount of love and respect for Jimmy Jackson. In many ways, he is still my pastor.

He is one of the wisest people I know.  Etched in my mind and heart are many things I heard him say repeatedly. Here are a few examples…

  • “God blesses what is right; He does not bless what is wrong.”
  • “The Bible says to forgive people, and there are some people I have had to forgive lots of times.”
  • “Bloom where you’re planted.”
  • “Stay steady.”
  • “Nothing builds people up like love.”

Very often when facing a situation in my own leadership, I quote one of these to myself or to others. His impact on me and my leadership is profound.

In today’s world, it is almost unheard of for a man to lead the same church for forty years, yet Jimmy Jackson has done just that at Whitesburg.  He has been faithful. He has been faithful through years when the church grew and prospered in astounding ways. He has been faithful through years when the church faced challenges and hardships. He has been faithful through personal tragedy and set backs that would have made most men quit. Through it all, week after week, he stepped to the pulpit of Whitesburg, opened his Bible, and preached from it. Week after week, he shepherded people and walked with them through their own valleys. Week after week, he consistently shared the gospel and sought to win souls. He is an example of Godly, steady faithfulness over decades. This past Sunday in his final message before becoming Pastor Emeritus, Bro. Jimmy told the church “Stay in the battle, no matter what comes. Be a sticker!”  That’s Jimmy Jackson in his own words.

At his side every step of the way has been Bobbi Jackson, a faithful pastor’s wife.  Many times, I saw Bobbi meet needs in the church family in her behind the scenes way.  Only another pastor’s wife has any idea of the burdens and blessings involved in being the wife of the pastor. Maybe that is why my wife, Becky, loves Bobbi Jackson so much!  Like her husband, Bobbi Jackson has a legacy of faithfulness. I honor her as I honor him.

It’s hard to put into words what the Jacksons mean to the Corbin family.  Since leaving Whitesburg in the Fall of 2013, every time I have seen Jimmy or Bobbi Jackson each of them has asked about Becky and our boys. Every single time. They know our boys names. They love us and we love them. Literally thousands of people have the same story.  It’s no wonder that Whitesburg chose “A Legacy of Love” as the theme for the Jacksons’ 40th Anniversary Celebration on Sunday. It’s a fitting description.

Certainly, in forty years as pastor of Whitesburg, Jimmy Jackson has left a legacy of love in the lives of so many people. However, this legacy of love is only possible because of his own legacy of love. He has loved the Lord faithfully. He has loved his wife faithfully. He has loved his children and grandchildren faithfully. He has loved his church faithfully. He has loved his city faithfully. He has loved the Word of God faithfully. In a day when so many have fallen, he has stood. In a day when so many have quit, he has kept going.  In a day when so many are filled with anger, he is filled with love. He is a pastor I want to be like because he is a Christian I want to be like.

Unfortunately, Becky and I won’t be at the special service and reception on Sunday due to ministry responsibilities at the church we serve now. No doubt there will be a huge number there to express their love.  It’s a privilege to use this platform to express in a small way the love, respect, and appreciation we have for Jimmy and Bobbi Jackson.  “Bro. Jimmy and Bobbi” we love you, honor you, and celebrate with you. Congratulations. Well done. You are the best!

 

 

 

 

 

30 years ago – always an Ider Hornet

25 May

Iderhighschool

As I saw social media posts from families who had graduates this week, I was reminded that it was 30 years ago this week when my classmates and I walked across the field at Wayne C. Hardman Stadium.  It’s hard to believe. Yes, I was part of the class of 1988 at Ider High School. There were 72 of us in our graduating class. As I look at this picture of my alma mater, I am filled with great memories and joy. I don’t remember the buildings; I remember the people. I remember my friends and classmates. I won’t even attempt to name them because I will leave someone out. There is a special sense of belonging among those you went to high school with. Occasionally, I run into one of my classmates and it’s always a joy. We are old enough now that it doesn’t matter who was in what group or who was popular. We are just glad to see one another – no matter who it is. Unfortunately some members of our class have passed away – some due to illness and some due to tragedy. The class of ’88 has been reminded to be thankful for every day of life.

As I look at this picture, I am reminded of just how much Ider High School has meant to my life. It was there that learned to do math and acquired critical thinking skills. It was there that I was taught to love writing. It was there that I played sports and learned the value of hard work and being on a team. It was there that I learned to respect authority – even if I didn’t understand or agree with it. It was there that I was taught to do my best and never settle for average. It was there that I learned to get along with people and function with others. It was there that I learned to type (yes they actually taught that!) It was there that I learned to be self-disciplined and study. In short, it was there that I grew up and came of age.

I will never forget Mr. Adams’ biology class or Mr. Fuller’s science class. History with Mr. Williams, drivers ed with Coach Allday and science with Coach Daniel will be forever etched in my mind. I can still see Mr. Hardman coming down the hall. I can still smell the locker room of the Gordon Scott Gymnasium, hear the cheers of the pep rallies, and feel the Fall breeze as I walked up to Hardman Stadium for Friday night football. I remember yearbook staff and AP English. I remember homecoming parades, scholars bowl, and 2nd in the state drama team! I remember the Hamricks and the Brooks families who opened their home (and their kitchen) to our entire class because they knew that teenagers needed a safe place to gather and hang out – but with adult supervision!

Were there negative things about high school. I am sure there were, but I choose to remember the best and forget the rest. I have often said that I am thankful I grew up on Sand Mountain. However, I want specifically and publicly to say that I am thankful I grew up in Ider, Alabama and went to Ider High School. I will always be an Ider Hornet. To any members of the class of ’88 who read this blog, I love each and every one of you, and I would love to hear from any and all of you!

The best study Bible

11 May

Frequently, I am asked which study Bible I recommend.  If you want to dig into the Word, then a good study Bible is the best investment you can make. The best study Bibles are like a commentary on the entire Bible, along with informative maps, charts, and articles.  In a good study Bible, the cross references alone are worth the price of the Bible. Personally, even though I have a 4000 volume theological library that I use in my study, I still utilize a number of study Bibles on a regular basis.  To be fair, I haven’t tried all of the study Bibles available, but I have tried enough to be able to provide some insight. Here are my rankings of the best study Bibles.

THE BEST AVAILABLE

First of all, please know that my endorsement of any study Bible doesn’t mean I agree with everything in it. The Bible itself is the only inerrant, infallible book on earth. Study Bible’s are not inerrant or infallible. Some take a more Reformed view than I personally have, but I still get great benefit from them. There are four study Bibles that seem to be head and shoulders above the rest.  While they each have different strengths, you won’t go wrong with any of these…

The Jeremiah Study Bible – With notes personally written by iconic Bible teacher Dr. David Jeremiah, this study Bible wins my “Best in Class” award.  Most substantive study Bibles have an academic feel to them – not surprising since they tend to be written by seminary professors. The Jeremiah Study Bible feels more personal and has tremendous theological depth while being a little more succinct in key places. The special articles on key concepts are extremely well done.  If I could only have one study Bible, this would be it.

The MacArthur Study Bible – It’s hard to believe this classic is now more than twenty years old. Dr. John MacArthur has provided a great gift to the church with this work. There really isn’t a weakness – it’s solid through and through with maybe the best overall notes at the bottom of each page. Those notes have the best cross references of the bunch and frequently cover terms and verses that others skip over. Another highlight is the introductory articles that cover such subjects as “How we got the Bible” and “How to study the Bible.”

The NIV Zondervan Study Bible – This massive study Bible is one of the newest on the market. Edited by Dr. Don Carson, one of the preeminent conservative evangelical theologians of our day, this study Bible has the most academic feel of any I have used. However, the advantage of this trait is the wealth and depth of information. One of the highlights of this Bible is the articles at the end on various theological subjects such as “sin” “the kingdom of God” and “holiness.”  This study Bible is also the most visually appealing of them all with some extremely well done charts and maps integrated throughout.  One limiting factor is that this study Bible is tied to the 2011 NIV version.

The ESV Study Bible – A favorite of many, particularly those who prefer a more Reformed look at theology. Based on the excellent ESV translation, this study Bible is solid all around, but the introductions to each book of the Bible are superior to those in other study Bibles.  This Bible also does a good job of summarizing different evangelical views of key passages, such as the different interpretations of the millennium in Revelation 20.

 VERY HELPFUL

The CSB Study Bible – The newest entrant into this field is a solid choice that really has no weaknesses.  It’s just that no part of this Bible is better than all of the others.  Every aspect of it is very good, but not the best. Perhaps the best reason to purchase this study Bible is because it is based on the excellent CSB translation – a translation that I hope grows in popularity.

The Henry Morris Study Bible – I had never heard of this study Bible until some church members gave me one as a gift last year. Focusing on Dr. Henry Morris’s steadfast commitment to young earth creationism and apologetics, it doesn’t claim to be as exhaustive as the others. Nevertheless, there is a wealth of solid, unique material here for those looking to dive into those issues.

The Ryrie Study Bible – A longtime classic for four decades, Dr. Charles Ryrie was a legendary professor at Dallas Theological Seminary.  Although it isn’t as extensive as some others, this study Bible is an excellent presentation of dispensational pre-millenial theology. I am a fan!

There you have it: Corbin’s list of the best study Bibles.  From this list, which is the best study Bible for you?  The one you will read!

 

 

 

 

 

Needed: LEADERS

4 May

Psalm 78 is a type of history lesson for the people of God, recounting God’s faithful guiding of His people in spite of their consistent failure and unfaithfulness.  Then at the very end of the Psalm attention turns to how God raised up David to lead the people.  By any measure, David was a tremendously effective leader. He was a warrior, administrator, and visionary leader of a nation. One verse sums up David’s leadership…

So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them with his skillful hands.” (Psalm 78:72, NASB95)

This one verse is a tremendous summation of effective leadership. First of all, effective leadership flows from who we are – our integrity.   This statement in no way implies perfection. All of us have feet of clay. All of us have blind spots. We know David even went through a time when he fell into terrible sin. However, the “norm” of David’s leadership was integrity.  All leaders need to remember that people ultimately don’t follow our position – they ultimately follow US.  Those we lead must see our integrity.

Leadership also flows from our leadership skills and practicing effective leadership.  “His skillful hands” means that David made leadership decisions that were wise and produced results.  It isn’t enough just to be loved as a leader. It isn’t enough for people to hold us in high esteem. We must lead people somewhere. We must benefit others and our organizations because we are in the positions we hold.

There it is. The two wings of the leadership airplane:  the integrity of our heart and the skillfulness of our hands.  Everywhere we look people are suffering due to a lack of leadership.  Families are suffering. Churches are suffering.  Businesses and organizations are suffering. Government is suffering.  There is an abundance of problems and a dearth of leaders.

Let me share with a little known fact:  almost everyone is a leader.  Why do I say that?  Almost everyone influences someone else. You may not be a Senior Pastor or a CEO, but you are a leader if you are influencing even one person.  Be a leader in your marriage. Be a leader in your friendships. Be a leader on your team. Be a leader at your school. Be a leader at your workplace. Be a leader in your church. Be a leader your neighborhood. Remember, there is an abundance of problems and a dearth of leaders.

Lord, give us leaders who will guide people with the integrity of their hearts and the skillfulness of their hands.