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Showing posts from June, 2012

Service for a Great God is Great Service Indeed

(1 Kings 17-2 Kings 13) So many times we who are in Christian ministry want to be on top.  We feel insignificant in contrast to those who lead mega-churches or parachurch ministries with multiple staff members and millions of dollars in funding.  Yet, when we look at the prophets in the days of Ahab and Jehoshaphat, two stand out in the midst of hundreds, if not thousands (see 1 Kgs. 18:4; 19:11-18).  They were Elijah and Elisha.  
We like what we hear of those two and we are inspired to do similarly great things for God as pastors or ministry leaders today.  However, that doesn’t mean that the “sons of the prophets” weren’t also great in God’s eyes.  In His sovereignty, God chose Elijah and Elisha to confront kings and to do great miracles in God’s name and through His power.  Even so, He was equally at work through the countless nameless prophets of those same Scriptures.  
Don’t judge on the outer appearance but commit to righteous judgment.  See things as God sees them.  He created y…

Truly Radical: A Book That Will Change Your Life

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David Platt’s Radical reads like a modern, American version of Martin Luther’s nailing of his 95 Theses on the Wittenberg Chapel door.   The book is well named for what he is proposing is truly radical.  Jesus has called the Church to be salt and light in the world, spreading His Gospel and making disciples of all nations.  However, instead, we in America have absorbed another gospel, a false one, that seeks for the prosperity of the individual at the expense of the international and comfort for oneself that is blind to a world that is headed for Hell without Christ.  How often we have criticized the prosperity gospel types while in denial that we are engaging in a similar mindset. 
Platt zooms out and seeks to stimulate a sense of urgency to reach the 4.5 billion people of the world who are without Christ, of which more than a billion are starving.   Having done that, he then zooms in on specific needs around the world, examples of suffering by people in general and our brothers and …

Feed My Sheep -- A Great Book for Pastors

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Feed My Sheep, A Passionate Plea for Preaching is a terrific book for pastors and those that regularly fill the pulpit. Chapters address issues such as the primacy of preaching as a function of the church and the church services, the "foolishness" of preaching as explained by the Apostle Paul, preaching from experience, preaching to the mind, preaching to the heart, with authority, evangelistically and to people who suffer. It is a well-rounded study on the mission of pastors to teach the Word.

Many of the names of those who author the various chapters will be recognized by the reader. Some of the most well-known are the late Dr. James Montgomery Boice, Dr. Albert Mohler, Jr., Dr. John Piper, Dr. John MacArthur, and Dr. R.C. Sproul. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It can be read quickly over a period of hours or days or in segments. However it is consumed, it will have the same impact. Each chapter is full of great advice on how and why preachers do what they do and …

Have Your Teen Watch This

An amazing presentation. I had this loaned to me in audio form, listened and decided I needed to find this online. I will have all of my older kids listen to this presentation. You should encourage your teen/young adult to do so as well.

A Review of Bridge to Terebithia, a Children's Novel Worth Reading

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Bridge to Terebithia is a story that I first came to love based on the movie.
See the Bridge to Terebithia movie trailer here   One word of caution about the trailer. I found it misleading as to how much of the make-believe world would be presented.  It is a major part of the story but a relatively minor part of the movie's presentation.  However, the movie is fantastic, as far as I am concerned.

After having watched it for the third time recently, I decided to buy the Kindle version of the book.
I was moved by portrayals of Jess and Leslie and their friendship at 10 years of age that dove deep quickly and impacted them both well beyond normal friendships.  Jess is presented as a boy who is an outcast and who is picked on due to his poverty and his interests.  Into the sadness of his existence at both home and school rushes this girl his age named Leslie.  While at first disinterested, he warms to her and she opens his life and mind well beyond his own creativity and dreams.  The…

Steve Saint Partly Paralyzed Testing New Missiona... | Christianity Today

His attitude is absolutely amazing even as tragedy has struck his body.  An incredible member of an incredible family.  May his tribe increase.

Steve Saint Partly Paralyzed Testing New Missiona... | Christianity Today

My Thoughts on Jesus, Friend of Sinners by Casting Crowns

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The first thing I want to make clear is that I love Casting Crowns.  I am a big fan and I love their thought-provoking lyrics and found most of their songs easy to love, even from the first hearing.  However, Jesus, Friend of Sinners, I think, crosses a line that their other songs haven’t and I would like to address those concerns here.  Almost certainly, I will be in the minority but I must challenge you that our music must be in line with our doctrine and in the words of one great Christian intellectual, I repeat, “Let my people think.” 
Before I go into the negative, let me begin with what is right with the song and why so many already enjoy and celebrate its message.  First, the title; Jesus is indeed the friend of sinners.  A cursory look at the Gospels will demonstrate this as Jesus spent time with the outcasts of his day: tax collectors, prostitutes, those with incurable diseases, etc.  One can even point to a hymn that also extols our Lord for this quality, entitled Jesus, Wha…

The Misuse of the Term "Pharisee"

Jesus said, "Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ” Matthew 15:7-9 (NKJV)

Note in the context that the Pharisees were disobedient to God's Word and developed traditions and practices that actually gave them justification not to obey God's Word. In that context, Jesus rebuked them as those who drew near with their mouths but their hearts were far from God. In verse 14, they were called blind leaders of the blind
who made their followers twice the children of hell that they were (Mt. 23:15). They were condemned by Jesus as those who neither go into the kingdom of heaven nor allow others to go in (Mt. 23:13).

Does that sound like a believer with mixed up priorities to you or an unrepentant sinner needing salvation?

The Pharisees were unrepentant sinners, not mistaken and misgu…