1. John R. Rice, Christmas, and a Burden for Souls

    December 20, 2014 by Paul Chappell


    Do you yearn for a greater burden for the lost at Christmas time?

    Do the words burden and Christmas not sound right in the same sentence?

    The paragraph below is an excerpt from Dr. John R. Rice’s final Christmas letter, dictated just days before his death. I think it speaks for itself. May it speak into our hearts as well: (more…)

  2. 7 Priorities for a Blessed December

    December 11, 2014 by Paul Chappell


    It’s a strange thing about Christmas. We celebrate Jesus’ birth, and we use the celebration to further our efforts in sharing the gospel. But somehow we seem to easily lose focus this time of year more than any other.

    We even lose focus on good things—like ministry. Or sometimes we lose focus by turning our thoughts inward.

    Whatever the case, there is One who deserves our focus this month, and His name is Jesus.

    And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;—Colossians 1:18–19

    Here are seven areas, drawn from the first Christmas, in which to make HIM first: (more…)

  3. Thoughts on Presenting the Gospel Gift this Christmas

    December 6, 2014 by Paul Chappell


    One of the blessings of the Christmas season is people’s openness to talk about Jesus. In my experience, it’s one of the best times of the year in terms of tender hearts and responsiveness to gospel invitations in the community.

    Each year, our church choir and orchestra present a Christmas musical production to which we invite our community. It requires thousands of hours of volunteer labor, but it’s beyond worth it. At the musical, I always preach the gospel and invite guests to receive Christ as their Saviour—to receive the gift of salvation.

    This year, our musical is actually titled “The Gift.” As I reflected on this title, it reminded me of three things: (more…)

  4. Advice from Dr. Lee Roberson

    December 3, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    with Dr. Lee Roberson

    In the early 1990s, I was a twenty-something-year-old pastor with a ton of questions.

    Our church was beginning to average near a thousand on Sundays, and I was invited to preach a tent revival in Fremont, California, with Dr. Lee Roberson.

    I was excited to get answers from an eighty-year-old veteran of the faith who had seen 60,000 people baptized in his forty years of pastoring the Highland Park Baptist Church.

    As I traveled to and from the airport with Dr. Roberson, I brought with me a yellow pad with a long list of questions for him.

    One of my first questions to Dr. Roberson was, “How did you stay in one place for forty years?” I’ll never forget his two-part answer: (more…)

  5. Discerning True Concern

    November 28, 2014 by Paul Chappell


    The Lord has given me the privilege of having dear friends in ministry—friends who love me and my family, challenge me in my spiritual growth, rejoice with me in God’s blessings, and hold me accountable in my personal life.

    Often in my life, and perhaps in yours as well, there will be those who express a desire to counsel me or share a concern with me. In these days of many voices and opinions, it is important to know who to hear and who to filter out.

    I’ve discovered these seven ways to be an accurate discerner of those who have had genuine concern in my life: (more…)