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)

Daniel’s 70th Week (part 2)

Daniel's 70 Weeks (part 2c)Yesterday we finished up our series on Daniel 9 with a look at Daniel’s 70th Week.

We said that 1) Daniel’s 70th Week Follows a Gap of Time after the 69th Week, 2) Daniel’s 70th Week Begins with the Signing of a Treaty with Israel, 3) Daniel’s 70th Week is Divided into two 3 1/2 year Segments of Time. I’ve included the two charts of Daniel’s 70th Week at the bottom of this post.


You can listen online here.

You can listen in iTunes here.

You can watch the video below:

Daniel’s 70 Weeks (part 2) from DrewBuell on Vimeo.

Daniel's 70 Weeks (part 2b)

Daniel's 70 Weeks (part 2)

January 29 2017 | Comments Off on Daniel’s 70th Week (part 2)

Knowing God

We have a great AV team at Cool Community Church! Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been working hard on video recording our sermons and making them publically available. I’m excited to announce that this morning we finally figured it out Smile during the Divide Wide Men’s Breakfast! We hope that you enjoy it and that you stay tuned for more videos to come!

Knowing God from DrewBuell on Vimeo.

January 28 2017 | Comments Off on Knowing God

Children’s Ministry Policy

When you first start out in ministry policies and procedures can seem like unnecessary hindrances to the actual job God called you to. After all, why is it so important for us to figure out how many people need to work in the nursery when there are souls to be saved? Having been a younger pastor I fully understand that question, but I am very thankful that as I’ve grown older I have been able to see, firsthand, the value of effective policies when it comes to Children’s Ministry, Financial Matters, etc.

We recently updated our Child Protection Policy at Cool Community Church and I decided to share it here on the blog as a resource for our church and for any other churches that may be considering adopting a policy in order to protect their children.

When I teach our Child Protection Class one of the first things I say is that if any of us were aware that a child was being abused at that moment, we would rush to that child’s defense, right? The problem is that abuse almost always happens in the dark where no one is aware of it. So, what can we do to protect these children? The answer is maintaining a consistent child protection policy and training program. A policy and training program are two demonstrable actions that any church or organization can take in order to serve our children.

Here’s a copy of Cool Community Church’s Child Protection Policy as well as our Miscellaneous Policies and Procedures.

January 25 2017 | Comments Off on Children’s Ministry Policy

Daniel’s 70th Week (part 1)

Daniel's 70 Weeks-BeastYesterday I preached on Daniel 9:20-26 and the prophesy of the 70 Weeks. We learned that there were two things that God was telling Daniel in that passage 1) You are Greatly Loved (v. 20-23), 2) Your People are Greatly Loved (v. 25-26).

You can listen online here.

You can listen in iTunes here.


As a part of the sermon I included a chart that visually depicts the events contained in the 70 Weeks. You can download a PDF of the chart here.

Daniel's 70 Weeks

January 23 2017 | Comments Off on Daniel’s 70th Week (part 1)

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