Happy Birthday Amy (2017)

Dear Amy,

2017-02-02_18-12-53_0002016 was another full year for our “Cool” family. Here are just a few of the highlights:

  • We’ve seen each of our boys grow in remarkable ways as you’ve pressed on with Home Schooling them. I am so proud of the young men that they are growing into.
  • We went on some amazing field trips to Six Flags, the River Cats, Monterey Bay Aquarium and a whole host of summer activities like the Calaveras Big Trees, Camping at Lake Tahoe, and much more.
  • We also got to spend a week together, just ourselves, while the boys went to their grandparents.
  • The boys loved swimming in the backyard.
  • We love cooking in our newly remodeled kitchen.
  • In other words, “We’re living the dream.” 🙂

Of course, there’s a lot more going on in our lives than I can write about it in a single letter, but the most important thing that I want to tell you is that I have never loved you more than I do today. It is a dream being married to you and each day really is better than the last.

I was reading through Spurgeon’s autobiography the other day when I found this quote about pastor’s wives that I wanted to share with you:

If everything there [at home] is happy, and free from care, he can give all his thoughts to his preparation for the pulpit; and the godly woman, who thus helps her husband to preach better, is herself a preacher though she never speaks in public, and she becomes to the highest degree useful to that portion of the Church of Christ which is committed to her husband’s charge.”

I want you to know that what you do at home matters to me and it matters to our church. The work that you do at home is “to the highest degree useful” to our body and I am profoundly thankful for everything that you do for me, for our family and for our church.

I love you with all of my heart,

Andrew Buell

March 21 2017 | Comments Off on Happy Birthday Amy (2017)

The Willful King (Daniel 11:36-45)

Daniel 11:36-45 gives one of the most intimate pictures of the coming Willful King (Antichrist) that we find in scripture. Verses 36-39 describe his character and verses 40-45 give a step by step account of his final Armageddon campaign.

The Willful King – Antichrist from DrewBuell on Vimeo.

You can listen online here.

You can listen in iTunes here.

March 20 2017 | Comments Off on The Willful King (Daniel 11:36-45)

2017 Shepherds’ Conference (Day 4)

I love every part of the Shepherds’ Conference, but I think the thing that I love most about this time is the relationships that you form and the friendships that you strengthen. 

For me, Day 4 was full of good and deep conversations with friends from the past and with some of the men that I was able to bring down with me from Cool. The highlight was getting to catching up with one of the students from my Youth Ministry in Washington and hearing all about what the Lord has been doing in his life. After talking with him I completely understand what the Apostle John meant when he said, “I have no greater joy than to know that my children are walking in the truth.” 

The preaching was everything that you would expect from a Shepherds’ Conference. The morning started with Miguel Nunez who preached on John 14:6 and what he called the “Four Spiritual Laws of the Gospel” that 1) Christ is the Only Way, which is the answer to our pluralism; 2) Christ is the Only Truth, which is the answer to our postmodernism; 3) Christ is the Only Life, which is the answer to our culture of death; 4) There is No Other Means of Salvation, which is God’s answer to our pride. One of my favorite quotes from the sermon was, “It’s true that all paths lead to God, however all but one lead to His judgement.”

HB Charles preached the afternoon session on Ephesians 1:15-23 and “High Above the Heavens”. Charles listed four ways that God displays his power in Christ: 1) God Raised Christ, 2) God Seated Christ, 3) God Placed All Things Under Christ, 4) God Placed Christ as head Over all Things. One of my favorite quotes from Charles was, “Asking if the Word or Prayer is more important is like asking which wing of an airplane is most important when your cruising at 30,000 feet.” Another one was that “Christianity is the only faith who’s adherents travel to their founders tomb just to confirm that his remains are not there.”

The last session of the day was with Dr. Al Mohler and was everything that you would expect. Mohler preached on John 15:18-16:4 and “If the World Hates You”. The message was so good that I ended up not taking notes and just listening, so you’ll have to listen online once they publish the message to catch the whole thing :-).

March 03 2017 | Comments Off on 2017 Shepherds’ Conference (Day 4)

2017 Shepherds’ Conference (Day 3)

Day of 3 of the Shepherds’ Conference started very early for us. We met in the hotel lobbed at 6:30am in order to get down to the conference on time. Fortunately, this is the last day we’ll have to do that.

The morning started off with Mark Jones preaching on Isaiah 50:4-6 and Christ’s Eternal Submission to His Father. Jones broke the passage down into four segments 1) The Servant is Taught (v. 4), 2) The Servant is Obedient (v. 5-6), 3) The Servant’s Hope (v. 7-8), 4) The Servant’s Obituary. One of the best lines that Jones gave was “God does not give us more than we can handle…He gives us a lot more than we can handle.”

Iain Murray spoke at 10am on “The Legacy of Reformation Truth in Puritan Preaching.” It was a fascinating sermon surveying puritan history and making special application to Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” where we find the original Shepherds’ Conference on the delectable mountains just in sight of Emmanuel’s land. The four Shepherds gathered for that conference represent the heart and soul of puritan pastoral ministry 1) Knowledge, 2) Experience, 3) Watchfulness, 4) Sincere. One of the best quotes from Murray’s message was “Preaching is not men teaching about God through the Bible, it is God teaching men through the Bible.”

This was a great day to do some shopping, so I skipped one of the sessions and hit the bookstore with my Dad. I picked up a copy of MacArthur’s new systematic theology, along with a number of other books that I’m really excited about. I also got something for the boys and my wife, who is making all of this possible for me :-).

Stephen Nicole preached the after session on John 1:14-18 and “The Word Became Flesh”. He surveyed the book of Ruth, the story of the woman with the flow of blood and Galatians 3:13-14 to show how it isn’t just that we are empty, sick & unclean but that we are cursed , that God is against us but that Christ became flesh to be cursed, so that we might be redeemed.

I should also mention how powerful and moving the worship has been this week. Today, we were lead in worship by Bob Kaitlin and Keith & Kristyn Getty. 

The last session of the day was Mark Dever who preached on Colossians 1:18 and “The Head of the Church”. He spoke about out beliefs about Christ that are laid out in verses 15-20 and than our belief in Christ (v. 21-23). Dever gave a gospel invitation to anyone who has not trusted in Christ. he said, “I’m not sure why you would come all the way down here, spend all of the money to be here, etc. if you aren’t a Christian. But on the other hand, pastors are very clever people and perhaps your pastor convinced you to come down here knowing that you need to trust in Christ…”

With that the conference was officially half way over. Our group traveled back up to Valencia for a great Italian meal and than back to the hotel.

March 02 2017 | Comments Off on 2017 Shepherds’ Conference (Day 3)

2017 Shepherds’ Conference (Day 2)

We got off to an early start this morning and got checked in at the conference. Here are a few interesting facts and highlights from this year’s conference:

  • There are men from 67 countries at the conference.
  • There are about 5,000 men attending this year.
  • For 1,200 of those men this is their first Shepehrds’ Conference.
  • There are 1,100 volunteers serving at the conference. They range from 4 – 86 years old. 
  • They’ve moved a few things around this year putting the gift shop upstairs to allow for more space and putting the book store on the second floor of the tower building. 

The book giveaway included 12 titles this year:

  • Faith Alone by RC Sproul
  • Bishop J.C. Ryle’s Autobiography by J.C. Ryle
  • Why the Reformation Still Matters by Michael Reeves & Tim Chester (CD)
  • John Knox by Steve Lawson
  • The Whoel Christ by Sinclair Ferguson
  • The Gospel According to Paul by John MacArthur
  • Love Beyond Degree by George Zemek & J. Todd Murray
  • Strength in the River by Steve Swartz
  • The English Reformation and the Puritans by Michael Reeves (DVD)
  • The Deity of Christ by John MacArthur
  • A Habitual Sight of Him by Thomas Goodwin
  • Faith Alone by Thomas Schreiner 

Dr. MacArthur preached for our first session on 2 Corinthians 4:5. The title of the message was “We Preach Christ.” MacArthur said that there are 9 unwavering convictions that keep men faithful to the very end:

  1. The superiority of the New Covenant over the Old
  2. Ministry is a Mercy – “You didn’t earn the right to be in ministry”
  3. Maintain a Pure Heart
  4. Rightly Handle the Word of God
  5. Results do not depend on us at all
  6. Our own insignificance – “Our weaknesses do not diminish the gospel’s strength”
  7. There is Great Benefit in Suffering
  8. The Need for Courage
  9. Future Glory is Better than anything this World has to Offer

I’m happy to report that I was able to get Dr. Mohler’s autograph for the kids. Cody, is super excited :-).

After our first session we got lunch (Stonefire Grill) and I got to visit the Shepherds Shoppe. 
Phil Johnson preached for our second session on Galatians 1:6-7. The title of the message was “No Other Gospel.” He explored 3 common desires that draw people away from the gospel:

  1. The Itch for Somethign New – “running after fads is one of the fastest ways to become irrelevant”
  2. The Urge to Modify the Gospel
  3. The Craving for the Applause of Men 

Michael Reeves preached for our third sessions on John 1:1-3 and the Eternal Word. Reeves sermon was my favorite from the day. It was almost like listening to poetry as he expounded on the nature of the Eternal Word who is the Eternal Son. The sermon culminated in the statement, “The greatest privlige of the gospel is that the Son shares His sonship with us, making us the children of God.”

Ligon Duncan preached for the fourth session on John 6. The title of the message was “Jesus, the Bread of Life.” Duncan’s main point was that Jesus, the bread of life, is life and gives life by his death and the life he gives is satisfaction, security and salvation.

  1. The Bread that Perishes is Contrasted with the Bread of Life
  2. The Utter Necessity of Faith
  3. Jesus Displays Himself in His Glory as the Bread of Life

We have a very early morning tomorrow, as the first session begins at 8am. So I’m going to sign off now, but I’ll be back tomorrow night with a recap of the day and the seminar sessions.

February 28 2017 | Comments Off on 2017 Shepherds’ Conference (Day 2)

2017 Shepherds’ Conference (Day One)

We set off on our great adventure at 10am this morning with 8 of us from Cool and met up with my Dad at the hotel in Santa Clarita. From the looks of things most of the conference speakers must be staying at this hotel. Dr. Mohler walked by me in the lobby and Rob ran into Mark Dever in the elevator :-).

We went to dinner at Claim Jumpers and got to talk about what we’re excited about for the conference this year, as well as some of our highlights from years past. 

Here are a few pieces of advice that some of our veteran conference attendees came up with for the new guys.

  • Pack Light – The more things you take, the more things you have to keep track of and the more distracted you’ll be. It’s tempting to bring everything you think you might need while you’re there, but it really is a better idea to only bring the absolute necessities (iPad, a pen, sunglasses, etc.) and leave the rest behind. I’m not even bringing a jacket with me this year because I don’t want to carry it around all day once it warms up.
  • Pace Yourself – This is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s good to remember that all of the conference audio will be available online shortly after the conference. So if your brain is fried or you just need a break, don’t feel bad about sitting out one of the sessions and catching your breath.
  • Use the Library – If you need a quiet place to catch your breath or just to take a break from all of the activity, the library is a great place to find some solitude.
  • Enjoy Each Other – Half of the fun of the conference is getting to spend extended time together and getting to know each other. Be sure to ask good questions and have good conversations with the men God has put into your life for this week. 
  • Enjoy the Conference – There is so much to take in and see at the Shepherds’ Conference. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself in the midst of the busyness of the whole thing.

We’re going to get an early start tomorrow morning in order to get checked in and to find good seats for the first seminar. I’ll post an update and synopsis of the day tomorrow night.

February 27 2017 | Comments Off on 2017 Shepherds’ Conference (Day One)

The Integrity of the Word of God (Daniel 11:2-35)

God's Faithful WordDaniel 11:2-35 contains the densest collection of fulfilled prophesies in the Old Testament, each of which testifies to the Integrity of the Word of God.

You can listen online here.

You can listen in iTunes here.



Also, here are a couple of the graphics that we used as we walked through the passage.

The Integrity of the Word of God a


The Integrity of the Word of God


The Integrity of the Word of God c

February 26 2017 | Comments Off on The Integrity of the Word of God (Daniel 11:2-35)

2017 Shepherds’ Conference

It’s about that time of year again. Time for thousands of pastors from around the country to gather up their Bibles, their smartphones, their iPads and to head down to Sun Valley, CA for the Shepherds’ Conference.

I attended my first Shepherds’ Conference in 2003 in my first year of seminary and instantly fell in love. Since then I’ve tried to attend every Shepherds’ Conference that I could, although in recent years I’ve only been able to attend every other year.

The theme of the conference this year is “We Preach Christ” and just like last time, the team at Grace Community is pulling out all the stops. They’ve added an extra day, so the conference runs from Tuesday – Friday now. They’ve brought in an amazing team preachers including: John MacArthur, Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever, Steve Lawson, Iain Murray and many more. They’ve got a brand new app to help us navigate the conference and as always they’ll be giving away a HUGE stack of books to every attendee.

This year I’m bringing 9 men down with me to experience the conference and see what the Lord has in store for us. In keeping with tradition I will be posting daily recaps of the conference here at www.shepherdsnotes.com. I hope you’ll come visit everyday to catch up on the latest conference news.

We Preach Christ | Shepherds’ Conference Summit from Grace Community Church on Vimeo.

February 23 2017 | Comments Off on 2017 Shepherds’ Conference

Kingdoms in Conflict (Daniel 10:10–11:1)

Christians are the ones who understand that there is a titanic conflict being waged in the heavenly realms between Great Warriors of Light and Terrible Princes of Darkness. In Daniel 10:10 – 11:1 the Lord draws back the curtain on this conflict and helps us to see what is behind all of the struggles of world history.

Kingdoms in Conflict from DrewBuell on Vimeo.

You can listen online here.

You can listen in iTunes here.

February 13 2017 | Comments Off on Kingdoms in Conflict (Daniel 10:10–11:1)

Dealing with Disappointments (Daniel 10:1-9)

How do we deal with disappointments?

  1. Realize that God is doing something much bigger
  2. Give yourself to the Lord
  3. Expect God to answer

Dealing with Disappointments from DrewBuell on Vimeo.

You can listen online here.

You can listen in iTunes here.

February 06 2017 | Comments Off on Dealing with Disappointments (Daniel 10:1-9)

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