Istrouma Baptist Church Podcast (Songs of Summer)


The Big Picture
Unlikeliest Catch
It's all about the Gifts
The Race
Grow Up
&. It's not just you
Count the Stars
Journey: Joseph's Dream Tour
10 Commandments
Son of God
Jesus is Better
The Grove
All Things New
Work as Worship
One Another Summer
Wonder Full Life
Dark Horse
El Elegido
Living Hope
Esperanza Viva
Prepare Him Room
Un lugar para El
What Would You Ask?
What Woud You Ask?
¿Que le preguntarías a Dios?
God Is
Go Global
Celebración Misionera
Dios es
The Big Story
La Gran Historia
La última palabra
The Final Word
Bless Every Home
Bendice cada hogar
Songs of Summer
Canciones que confortan
Suit Up!
The Thrill of Hope
Who's Your One
Culture Flip
One Another Sunday
Cultura Contraria
Llamados a las misiones
Operation Christmas
Light of the World
Luz del Mundo
The Seven Churches of Revelation
Las siete iglesias de la revelación
Travel Light!
Viaje Ligero












November 2020
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A city slicker bought a horse from a weathered cowboy.  The cowboy was God-fearing and had trained the horse using biblical terms.   Instead of “giddy-up,” the command to go was “Praise the Lord.”  “Amen” was the signal to stop.  He coached the new owner on the importance of using these phrases and these alone.


Now fully prepped and astride his new steed, the city slicker said to the horse, “Praise the Lord!”  Off they trotted.  Soon enough, a rabbit darted in front of the horse and startled him.  The horse began to gallop at full speed.  The rider saw that they were quickly approaching a cliff with a sheer drop of a couple hundred feet.


He forgot the coaching he’d received.  He shouted “Whoa!”  “Stop!”  He pulled back on the reins.  But nothing slowed the horse.  Finally, he remembered the necessary word.  “Amen!” he shouted.  At that the horse came to a screeching stop at the brink of the canyon.  The rider sighed with relief, lifted his hands heavenward, and said with sincerity, “Praise the Lord.”


That may be the only situation where a heart-felt “Praise the Lord” would be inappropriate!  God’s word makes it abundantly clear that we are to praise the Lord at all times and in all places. 


This Sunday we wrap up our summer series through the Psalms.  We have ascended to the very peak of the book as we come to Psalm 150.  The unrelenting cry of this Psalm is that the Lord is to be praised.  In it we will learn the “who,” the “where,” the “why,” and the “how” of biblical praise. 


Join us as we praise the Lord!


Songs of the Summer

“Praise the Lord!”

Psalm 150


  1. The who of praise

Praise the Lord! . . . Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! (150:1a, 6)


  1. The Lord gets the praise
  2. The living give the praise
  1. The where of praise

Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens!(150:1b)


  1. Praise Him in church
  2. Praise Him in creation
  1. The why of praise

Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! (150:2)


  1. Praise Him for His deeds
  2. Praise Him for His deity
  1. The how of praise

Praise him with trumpet sound; . . . with lute and harp! . . . with tambourine and dance; . . . with strings and pipe! . . . with sounding cymbals; . . . with loud clashing cymbals! (150:3-5)


  1. Praise Him with variety
  2. Praise Him with vitality
Direct download: IBC_20180729.mp3
Category:Songs of Summer -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Buckminster Fuller studied the accumulation of information. He created what is known as the “Knowledge Doubling Curve.”  He noticed that until 1900 human knowledge doubled approximately every century.  By the end of World War II, knowledge was doubling every 25 years.  Today, on average, human knowledge is doubling every 13 months!  According to IBM, the build out of  the “internet of things” will lead to the doubling of knowledge every 12 hours. 


We may be getting smarter, but are we getting wiser?


A young, university graduate crossed a large, dangerous river on a barge. An elderly, seasoned fellow was steering the barge.  As they made the crossing, the odd couple struck up a conversation.  The university student asked the old man three questions. 


The first one was: “Do you know anything about physics?” “Nope”, replied the old man. “Then a third of your life has been wasted!” decried the young student.  His second question was:  “Do you know anything about philosophy?” “Nope”, answered the old man with no note of angst. “Then another third of your life has been wasted!”  protested the collegiate.  Finally, he asked: “Do you know anything about the social sciences?” “Nope”, dryly replied the old man. “Then another third of your life has been wasted!”


Suddenly, the barge hit a large object, took on water rapidly, and overturned. Both men were thrown into the water. The old man cried out to the young student, “Do you know anything about swimming?” The young man replied “Nope.” “Then your whole life is wasted!” replied the old man.


The young man thought the accumulation of knowledge about certain subjects was essential to life. The old barge pilot knew that none of that mattered in the world of piloting a barge if you can’t swim.  What was essential in his life was knowing how to swim.


What knowledge is essential?  What is it that we should know in a world where knowledge is doubling virtually every year?  We may have a tremendous amount of knowledge about the things of life, but, without a proper knowledge of who God is, all of life (and eternity) can be wasted.


This morning we will learn “How to Stay Ahead of the Knowledge Curve.”  Psalm 139 celebrates the attributes of God and how they impact our lives.  David is the inspired author and he is amazed by the nature of God.  There may be no other place in Scripture where the magnitude and immensity of God are more explicitly revealed.


Songs of the Summer

“How to Stay Ahead of the Knowledge Curve”

Psalm 139


  1. Know God’s infinite perception

O Lord, you have searched me and known me! (139:1)


  1. He knows our movements
  2. He knows our minds
  1. Know God’s inescapable presence

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? (139:7)


  1. Distancedoes not separate us from Him
  2. Darknessdoes not separate us from Him
  1. Know God’s innovative power

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb (139:13).


  1. He is the source of life
  2. He is the sustainer of life
  1. Know God’s incisive purity

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (139:23-24)


  1. He searches the wrong
  2. He shows the way
Direct download: IBC_20180722.mp3
Category:Songs of Summer -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Mike Holmes

Direct download: IBC_20180716.mp3
Category:Songs of Summer -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

n the book, Amazing Grace, an interesting story is told about a young man named Arlo.  He had a godly grandfather.  When Arlo got married to his wife, his grandfather gave them a wedding gift.  It was a beautiful, leather-bound Bible with their names engraved on its cover.  Arlo and his wife appreciated the gift of a Bible, but never took it out of the box.  He stored it away. 


Every once in a while, his grandfather would ask, “Did you like the Bible I gave you?” They assured him that they did.  They sent him a thank-you note.  But he wouldn’t let it rest.  “What did you think about the Bible I gave you?” he would ask with frequency.


Finally, Arlo took the Bible from its box and began to leaf through it.  When he did, he discovered that his grandfather had put a $20 bill at the beginning of Genesis, and $20 at the beginning of Exodus, and $20 at the beginning of every book in the Bible—$1320 in total in cash!  Arlo says that he never would have discovered how valuable that gift was had his grandfather not kept prompting him.


I am a grandfather now and I want to imitate Arlo’s grandfather.  Do you like the Bible that you hold in your hands today?  Do you like the Bible that you have on your shelf or night stand?  Have you leafed through its pages and discovered the unbelievable wealth of wisdom it contains?  It is not worth $20 or $1320.  It is worth more than all the silver and all gold the world contains.


It is “God’s Wisdom for Your Way.”  In today’s message, God’s word will remind us of the treasure it is both for our day-to-day living and for all of eternity.

Songs of the Summer

“God’s Wisdom for Your Way”

Psalm 119:9-11


  1. A common struggle

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word (119:9).


  1. The way is hazardous
  2. The word is helpful
  1. A certain spirit

With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments (119:10)!


  1. A spirit of determination
  2. A spirit of dependence
  1. A crucial strategy

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you (119:11).


  1. Learn the word
  2. Live the word
Direct download: IBC_20180708.mp3
Category:Songs of Summer -- posted at: 4:19pm EST

The sports world is caught up in World Cup fever [slide with World Cup logo].  On June 17 Mexico played Germany.  Germany is a soccer powerhouse.  They have won the World Cup four times (second only to Brazil’s five).  Mexico has never won the World Cup but they are officially soccer crazy and desperately hungry for a title.


Estimates are that 75,000 people jammed the main square in Mexico City to watch the televised game.  When Mexico scored the winning goal, the fans erupted in pandemonium.  Nearby seismic meters registered their celebration.  There was, on a small level, an earthquake.


Is it possible that a crowd could get so excited that the earth could quake?  Yes!  And I say, “Let the earth quake again!”  But this time, let the earth quake for the celebration of God’s people for the victories that He has won on our behalf.


Psalm 100 encourages and even commands God’s people to exalt Him in exuberant praise.  Let’s dive into the truths of this Psalm and “let the earth quake.”


Songs of the Summer

“Let the Earth Quake”

Psalm 100


  1. Sing to the Lord

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. . . . Come into his presence with singing (100:1-2).


  1. With all enthusiasm
  2. With all the earth
  1. Serve the Lord

Serve the Lord with gladness!  (100:2a)


  1. With a clear focus
  2. With a correct feeling
  1. Study the Lord

Know that the Lord, he is God!  (100:3a)


  1. Then thank Him for His actions
  2. Then thank Him for His attributes
Direct download: IBC_20180701.mp3
Category:Songs of Summer -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Martin Luther was a devout Roman Catholic priest.  He loved the word of God and held to its truths tenaciously.  He came to question some of the practices and teachings of his church.  He posted 95 theses (or points of concern) to the door of the parish church in Wittenberg, Germany where he often preached. 


For his protests, he was ultimately put on trial before the emperor and ecclesiastical leaders.  He was ordered to recant but he refused.  He famously said,


Your Imperial Majesty and Your Lordships demand a simple answer. Here it is, plain and unvarnished. Unless I am convicted [convinced] of error by the testimony of Scripture or (since I put no trust in the unsupported authority of Pope or councils, since it is plain that they have often erred and often contradicted themselves) by manifest reasoning, I stand convicted [convinced] by the Scriptures to which I have appealed, and my conscience is taken captive by God's word, I cannot and will not recant anything, for to act against our conscience is neither safe for us, nor open to us.  On this I take my stand. I can do no other. God help me.


For his disobediences he was excommunicated by the Pope and condemned as an outlaw by the Holy Roman Emperor.  He could be killed with immunity.


A German prince gave him refuge in the Wartburg Castle.  It became his temporal fortress and there he translated the Scriptures into the German language.   But his true and eternal fortress was the Lord God. 


To this point he wrote one of if not the best-loved hymn of all time: “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.”  Some of the lyrics are:


A mighty Fortress is our God,

A Bulwark never failing;

Our Helper He amid the flood

Of mortal ills prevailing:

For still our ancient foe

Doth seek to work us woe;

His craft and power are great,

And, armed with cruel hate,

On earth is not his equal.


Did we in our own strength confide,

Our striving would be losing;

Were not the right Man on our side,

The Man of God’s own choosing:

Dost ask who that may be?

Christ Jesus, it is He;

Lord Sabaoth His Name,

From age to age the same,

And He must win the battle.


And though this world, with devils filled,

Should threaten to undo us,

We will not fear, for God hath willed

His truth to triumph through us:

The Prince of Darkness grim,

We tremble not for him;

His rage we can endure,

For lo! his doom is sure,

One little word shall fell him.


That word above all earthly powers,

No thanks to them, abideth;

The Spirit and the gifts are ours

Through Him who with us sideth:

Let goods and kindred go,

This mortal life also;

The body they may kill:

God’s truth abideth still,

His Kingdom is forever.


For Martin Luther, God was his fortress.  In that confidence he defied emperor and pope.  In God he trusted. 


What is your fortress?  In what or in whom do you trust?  To whom do you run in times of trouble?


Psalm 91 makes clear who ought to be our fortress and refuge. It also makes crystal clear the blessings that come when our God is our fortress.  Let’s open our Bibles and our hearts to these truths this morning.


Songs of the Summer

“A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”

Psalm 91:1-16


  1. Dwellin the Lord

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty (91:1).


  1. Enter His shelter
  2. Enjoy His shadow
  1. Dependon the Lord

I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (91:2)


  1. Proclaimyour trust in Him
  2. Personalizeyour trust in Him
  1. Deliveranceby the Lord

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence(91:3).


  1. He will deliver from evil
  2. He will deliver for eternity
Direct download: IBC_20180624.mp3
Category:Songs of Summer -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

In August of 2016 a terrible flood hit the greater Baton Rouge area.  The financial impact was catastrophic.  Thousands of homes and businesses were flooded and lives were lost.


The people of the United States, through their elected officials, stepped forward to help meet the need.  According to reports, approximately 1.3 billion dollars were granted to Louisiana for restoration efforts.  Nell and I are grateful recipients of some of that money.  I know that many of you have been too.


Would anyone care to venture how much of that amount has actually been distributed to needy families?  Approximately $60 million.  That may sound like a lot (and it is); however, relative to the amount allotted.  It is a small percentage.  It is a little less than 5%!  In fact, more money has been spent on administration of the program than has actually been given to those who suffered losses in the floods (see attached jpg).


For those who’ve suffered in the flood, you might want to say to the agency , “That money was given to you so that it might be channeled through you to the hurting!  Please pass it on!”


We instinctively know that it is not right to hoard resources that have been entrusted to us that were intended to bless others. 


But before we get embittered at governmental ineptitude, could it be that we too have been guilty of keeping the blessings of God that have been entrusted to us to ourselves?  Instead of being rivers of blessings, we’ve become reservoirs of God’s bounty.   Instead of being channels of blessings, we’ve siphoned off inordinate amounts for ourselves.

Restore LA chart of disbursement funds.jpg



Songs of the Summer

“Blessed to Be a Blessing”

Psalm 67:1-7


  1. Prayerto God

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us (67:1).


  1. This prayer has a progression
  2. This prayer has a precedent
  1. Purpose of God

For that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations (67:2).


  1. His purpose is gracious
  2. His purpose is global
  1. Praisefor God

Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you (67:3).


  1. For gladness(v. 4a)
  2. For governance(v. 4b)
  3. For guidance(v. 4c)
  4. For gifts(vs. 5-6)


This morning God will challenge us to lives of greater generosity from Psalm 67 in a message I’m entitling, “Blessed to Be a Blessing.”

Direct download: IBC_20180617.mp3
Category:Songs of Summer -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

“To err is human; to forgive, divine.”  We probably all recognize that quote and the truth of it, but let me tweak it: “To err is human; to botch the confession is too!” 


I can illustrate this with several recent blunders and the gaffes in the accompanying “apologies.”  Let me begin with a relatively insignificant example and then ratchet up to more significant ones.


  1. R. Smith crushed the hearts of his teammates and the whole Cavalier nation in an epic error in game 1 of this year’s NBA Finals.  A mental error cost them that game (and maybe the whole series).  Rather than coming clean and admitting that he didn’t know that the score was tied as time elapsed, he stumbled through an incoherent “apology” that actually threw his teammates under the bus! 


To err is human; to botch the confession is too.


Roseanne Barr, riding a wave of popularity for the reboot of her namesake show, tweets a cruel and widely-viewed-as-racist comment about another lady.  Her “confession” was that she was not really responsible.  It was the Ambien she was taking. 


To err is human; to botch the confession is too.


In a still more serious example, the governor of Missouri cheats on his wife and gets into all sorts of problems.  He ends up resigning.  Here’s a portion of his speech:


"Today I am announcing that I will resign as governor of Missouri . . . . We have accomplished a lot. I am proud of . . . all our work. The last few months have been incredibly difficult for me, for my family, for my team, for my friends and for many, many people. This ordeal has been designed to cause an incredible amount of strain on my family; millions of dollars of mounting legal bills, endless personal attacks designed to cause maximum damage to family and friends; legal harassment of colleagues, friends and campaign workers. . . .  I know, and people of good faith know, that I am not perfect. But I have not broken any laws or committed any offense worthy of this treatment. . . .  This is not the end of our fight. I will always be a fighter. . . . So for the moment, let us walk off the battlefield with our heads held high.  We have a good and a proud story to tell our children. Let's love them and each other every day. May God continue to bless you and to bless the great state of Missouri."


To err is human; to botch the confession is too. 


In all three of these examples, their “confessions” made their errors worse, not better.  Before we, as erring, sinning humans can get to divine forgiveness, we must learn to confess.  To say it another way, “To come clean, we’ve got to come clean.”  We’ll never be forgiven, unless we learn to confess humbly and genuinely our sins.


King David was human.  He erred often and greatly.  But the good news is that his great sins were covered by a greater grace. 


Psalm 51 is the account of David’s confession.  God will teach us that we too have to “come clean to come clean.”


Songs of the Summer

“Come Clean to Come Clean”

Psalm 51:1-12


  1. A humble request

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!  (51:1-2)


  1. The backgroundof the request
  2. The basisfor the request
  1. A heartfelt remorse

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment(51:3-4).


  1. For our guilt
  2. For our God
  1. A happy restoration

Restore to me the joy of your salvation (51:12a).


  1. The Lord restores our witness
  2. The Lord restores our worship
Direct download: IBC_20180610.mp3
Category:Songs of Summer -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Recently I took our grandkids to an ice cream shop.  We got our goodies and sat down outdoors at a picnic table to enjoy them.  Our grandson, Forest, finished his ice cream (stuffed with gummy worms) quickly.  Apparently he didn’t get his fill.  He happened to spot a gummy worm on the ground that someone else had dropped earlier.  He reached down, grabbed it, and was about to eat it when I said, “No!” 


It broke his heart.  He welled up with tears and began to cry.  He couldn’t understand it.  There was a perfectly, delicious gummy worm that he had found fair-and-square.  Now here I was, Grumpy Grampa, denying him the delight of eating it!  He didn’t know that it was dirty and covered with germs.   From his preschool perspective, this was grossly unfair. 


Little did he know what I had planned.  On the other side of the “no” was a giant “yes.”  I scooped him up in my arms and carried him to the window of the shop for a gift of a whole cup of fresh, clean gummy worms.


I think the Lord must look at us much like I looked at Forest that afternoon.  He wants the best for us.  But He sees us digging in the dirt for polluted pleasures.  He must say to Himself, “If only they could grasp what I intend for them!”


I also think we tend to view the Lord much like Forest must have viewed me that afternoon.  We think He is aiming to rob us of pleasure, happiness, and joy when the exact opposite is true.


Psalm 37 drives these lessons home in an unforgettable way.  Join me there for this morning’s message.


Songs of the Summer

“Gummy Worms and God”

Psalm 37:1-4


  1. Disillusioned with the Lord

Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb (37:1-2).


  1. The cause of disillusionment
  2. The cure for disillusionment
  1. Dependent on the Lord

Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness(37:3).


  1. Rely on the Lord
  2. Receive from the Lord
  1. Delighted in the Lord

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart (37:4).


  1. The command to delight in the Lord
  2. The consequence of delighting in the Lord
Direct download: IBC_20180603.mp3
Category:Songs of Summer -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Dwayne Pitre

Direct download: IBC_20180527.mp3
Category:Songs of Summer -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Mike Holmes


Direct download: IBC_20180520.mp3
Category:Songs of Summer -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

About five years ago a wildly popular song was released.  It is entitled simply, “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.  You can’t help but smile when you hear the lyrics and the music [may play a snippet].


The official video of the song was released on YouTube on November 21, 2013, and, as of March 2018, it has had over 1 billion views.  Maybe its popularity is tied to the fact that everybody wants to be happy.


Here in America we’re so committed to the pursuit of happiness that we put it into the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”


But in spite of our longing for it and our pursuit of it, happiness so often eludes us. 


Here’s an important truth to grasp: “Pursue happiness and it evades you.  Pursue Him--pursue holiness--and happiness comes to you as a by-product.”


God’s word never tells us to pursue happiness but it does promise us happiness, real joy, if we will live according to God’s word.


These principles are laid out for us clearly in God’s word.  Let’s open our Bibles to Psalm 1 for a message entitled, “Happy


Songs of the Summer


Psalm 1


  1. Dangers to avoid

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers” (1:1).


  1. Discouraging companions
  2. Downward cycle
  1. Disciplines to acquire

But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night (1:2).


  1. Prize the word of God
  2. Ponder the word of God
  1. Destinies to assess

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment (1:3-5a).


  1. Everyday consequences
  2. Eternal consequences
Direct download: IBC_20180513.mp3
Category:Songs of Summer -- posted at: 12:00pm EST