Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of the sudden death of a dear friend and faithful deacon in our church. Some of you might remember the whirlwind we experienced through this event in several blog posts that came shortly after as I tried to care for his widow, his two young children, and our hurting congregation. My elders and I agreed it would be profitable for our Sunday morning service to preach a sermon and have some focused time of prayer in light of this anniversary.
Therefore, I preached from the first chapter of Paul’s 2nd letter to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 1:1-11). Stacy’s widow and two kids came from out-of-town where they have recently moved to be close to family, to attend this service. My hope is that it was a reminder for all Christians how we are to face suffering and affliction in this fallen world with hope in our sovereign, merciful God and rejoice in what Christ has done. You can listen to this sermon by clicking on this link:
Also, here are some of the posts that came out of this difficult time one year ago that I would commend to you once again. I confess they reflect the heart of a pastor trying to care for a hurting people, while hurting himself, yet clinging to the sovereign purposes of God in [this man's] death being affirmed to his congregation. Here are 5 of what I believe are the most significant posts to come out of this event:
I found myself grateful all over again throughout the day yesterday that death is not the end for those of us who are in Christ!
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Brian Croft is Senior Pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the husband of Cara and adoring father of four children, son, Samuel and daughters, Abby, Isabelle, and Claire. He has served in pastoral ministry for over fifteen years and is currently in his eighth year as Pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church. He was educated at both Belmont University and Indiana University receiving his B.A. in Sociology. He also undertook some graduate work at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
He is also the author of Visit the sick: Ministering God’s grace in times of illness (foreword by Mark Dever) and Test, train, affirm, and send into Ministry: Recovering the local church’s responsibility to the external call (foreword by R. Albert Mohler Jr.). Both of these volumes are published by Day One in their pastoral series designed to serve pastors, church leaders, and those training for local church ministry. Brian has also published Help! He’s Struggling with Pornography and Conduct Gospel-centered Funerals (co-written with Phil Newton).
A Faith That Endures: Meditations on Hebrews 11 is Brian’s newest book, released in fall of 2011. His next book on The Pastor’s Family, co-authored with his wife, is due to be released by Zondervan in Fall 2013.
To find out more, please visit Practical Shepherding.