Weekly Update from Pastor Phil

Greetings from Memphis!

It’s great to be home after spending 4 weeks in Edinburgh, Scotland. Karen and I are grateful for the time away, and I’m particularly glad of fulfilling my sabbatical studies granted by the church during that time. We happily renewed friendships with those we met last year and made a number of new friends. I spent a lot of time writing and have cobbled together about 90 pages toward a manuscript idea that has been brewing with me for a few years. I have a lot of editing to do and a long way to go before this sees the light of day, but the past few weeks gave me time to focus on writing productively.

While in Edinburgh, I had the opportunity of doing a short exposition on prayer on a Sunday evening at Charlotte Chapel, the church where we’ve attended in the city. That was a joy to preach in a church that has a very long history of biblical expositors stretching back to 1808. It makes our 30 years at South Woods seem very brief in comparison. Thank the Lord, though, that whether 210 years or 30 years, we need the same rich provision of grace to continue in faithfulness!

We’re looking forward to having our friend Dr. Tom Schreiner, New Testament professor at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and elder at Clifton Baptist Church in Louisville, speak at South Woods on February 25th. Tom has been with us before and served us wonderfully by his faithful preaching of God’s Word. Please join us for this special day when he speaks during Sunday School (9 a.m.), morning worship (10:15 a.m.), and evening worship (6:00 p.m.). He’ll be speaking on “The Saving and Judging Righteousness of God” from Romans 3.

Our new STINT classes to start the year provide some wonderful opportunities for studying and growing together. The ladies are working through Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ book, Choosing Gratitude, while the rest of us will be reading and discussing John Flavel’s The Mystery of Providence. Our students are reading David Mathis’ Habits of Grace and discussing it’s helpful teaching. So join us at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays for these studies!

It was wonderful to be back in the Gospel of Luke this Sunday, even with preaching the genealogy that this gospel writer lays out. I trust that what we considered in this passage will prove helpful to you in thinking through on the bigger picture of God’s redemptive work through Christ Jesus our Lord. We were able to watch a couple of the South Woods’ services while away, with the six-hour time difference allowing us an afternoon of joining you for the service. I’m grateful for Matt Sliger’s excellent work in expounding Luke while I was away. He and I will continue teaming together throughout this study. Thank you for praying for us.

Phil N.