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Showing posts from October, 2015

Happy Reformation Day and Happy Halloween

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Pippi Longstocking says "Happy Halloween!"
And Happy Reformation Day!

Favorite Book Friday

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If you are a regular reader of the blog, you know I have typically posted "New Book Friday". I am out of new books as I wait for new books to arrive for Christmas. I am thankful that my family buys me books for presents.  New Book Friday will return after the New Year.  In the meantime, I will be posting "Favorite Book Friday" until the end of the year.  These are my favorite books I have read over the years.

Posting at 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Today

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Today I am posting over at 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting. My title is "Man Up!?" It asks some questions about how we define manhood and will be a 3 part series which will include being a husband and father.  Check it out here

Critique vs. criticism

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If you have not picked up Jesus Outside the Lines by Scott Sauls, you are missing out on a great book.  I think this book should be required reading for all in church leadership and every Christian. Why?  Because in the church, we are horrible at dealing with disagreements.  We take sides. We hurt people.  This book is a breath of fresh air for me and I think it will be for you too.  Here are some quotes from his chapter on "Affirmation or Critique":

Jesus was offensive to smug, judgmental, religious people. He was a breath of fresh air to broken, nonreligious people.

This longing for affirmation makes sense. Both existentially real and biblically true, it is reason we Christians should be the most affirming people in the world.

Have we grown accustomed to relationally including and excluding others based on a list of spoken or unspoken "clean laws" that have no basis in Scripture? Have we grown accustomed to scolding others for certain sins while exempting oursel…

Playing on the Radio

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Be reminded of who God is and who you are in this song by Lincoln Brewster called "Made New."



You're calling me over
You're pulling me close
With love You surround me
You give me hope You're taking me deeper
You're making me whole
With grace You redeem me
You restore my soul Now I'm made new
Because of You You hold my head up
You remind me who I am
You hold my head up
I'm alive in You again
I'm made new You're making me stronger
You're healing my heart
With Your hands You hold me
And You set me apart You are my salvation
I will not fear
You're the strength of my life
I won't fear

Promises of God from James

Below are selected promises of God from the book of James compiled by Kenneth Boa:

The testing of our faith develops perseverance, and perseverance leads to maturity and completion (1:3-4). Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (1:17). The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere (3:17). When we submit ourselves to God and resist the devil, he will flee from us (4:7). When we come near to God, he will come near to us (4:8).  The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (5:16)

You Are His Child

“See what great lovethe Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1)

Top 5 Quotes from Rediscovering Discipleship

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This past week, I posted a book review on Rediscovering Discipleship by Robby Gallaty.  If you want to know more about the book, check that out.  Today, I am posting my favorite 5 quotes from the book.

Until disciple-making becomes the ministry of the church and not a ministry in the church, we will never see our discipleship efforts impact the world the way that Jesus envisioned. As a disciple-maker, all you're doing is pointing at the One you're following and saying to those around you, "Come with me; I'm following him." Becoming is a long process that Jesus brings about in our lives over time. It's not an instantaneous gift, but the result of an extended, intimate relationship that develops over time. Jesus is the originator of the action. We cannot grow in him on our own, but we can align ourselves with him, so that he may grow us. What if we established goals for spiritual growth and followed them, not out of coercion or compulsion, but as a response to t…

Favorite Book Friday

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If you are a regular reader of the blog, you know I have typically posted "New Book Friday". I am out of new books as I wait for new books to arrive for Christmas. I am thankful that my family buys me books for presents.  New Book Friday will return after the New Year.  In the meantime, I will be posting "Favorite Book Friday" until the end of the year.  These are my favorite books I have read over the years.




God is Rescuer

God is Rescuer
7 The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey...(Exodus 3:7-8) "The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.” (1 Samuel 17:37)  He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. (Psalm 18:19)Therefore, we are rescued
Rise up and help us; rescue us because of your unfailing love. (Psalm 44:26) Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. (Isaiah 46:4)13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness an…

Book Review: Rediscovering Discipleship

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I received an advance copy of the book Rediscovering Discipleship: Making Jesus' Final Words Our First Work by Robby Gallaty.  Robby was the pastor of Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN and has recently moved to Nashville to pastor Long Hollow Baptist Church.  I have also read his previous book, Growing up: How to Be a Disciple Who Makes Disciples. He is also the author of Firmly Planted.

Robby and I have similar passions.  We are firmly convinced that discipleship is lacking in the church and needs to be our focus.  Gallaty writes, "Until disciple-making becomes the ministry of the church and not a ministry in the church, we will never see our discipleship efforts impact the world the way that Jesus envisioned." Amen.

In Rediscovering Discipleship, Gallaty begins with how rabbis were trained during Jesus' time and especially how Jewish culture understood education.  In one of my favorite chapters of the book, he clearly explains the differences between Western…

Bible Memorization

Let's be honest.  Bible memorization is hard.  Kids do it so easily, but as adults we struggle.  It is so encouraging when that verse comes to mind on that rough day.  Or you have a verse to share with a friend as you meet for coffee or lunch? Bible memorization is a good thing.  What matters most is the motivation.  Are we doing it to prove we are better Christians than someone else? Are we doing it to make God love us more?  Or are we doing it out of gratitude and joy for what God has DONE for us?

As a pastoral staff, we are memorizing Colossians 3:1-17 because we want to go deeper in our relationship with Christ.  So, I thought I would share these amazing verses as it might just help me memorize a few more words.

3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.4 When Christ, who…

Promises of God from Hebrews, Part 2

Here are more selected promises of God from Hebrews. I posted 5 of these a week ago.  These were compiled by Kenneth Boa.

Our hope in Christ is an anchor for the soul, firm and secure (6:19). Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them (7:25). Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance (9:15). Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.(11:1). Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (13:8).

Rediscovering Discipleship

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I am part of a launch team for Robby Gallaty's new book, Rediscovering Discipleship. I enjoyed Robby's first book on growing as a disciple.  The book releases at the end of October and I am about halfway through the book.  In his first book, he focuses on developing an intentional plan for "disciples making disciples."  In the first part of this book, he gives a background of discipleship from Jesus through several key figures in church history.  Below are some quotes that stood out to me:
Until disciple-making becomes the ministry of the church and not a ministry in the church, we will never see our discipleship efforts impact the world the way that Jesus envisioned. we are equal in the eyes of God because he loves us based upon the righteousness of Christ, not our good deeds or works. When a rabbi tells a story, he speaks to the heart first and the head second. Traditionally, Western ways of thinking tend to speak to the head first and the heart second. The Bible …

Playing on the Radio

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I'm not sure how much this song is played on the radio.  However, I heard it while on sabbatical and visiting The Village Church in Dallas.  It is by Matt Redman and is called Mercy. I love the words and the reminder of the mercy that Christ gives us.  I pray that you and I would "never lose the wonder of His mercy."




I will kneel in the dust
at the foot of the cross,
where mercy paid for me.
Where the wrath I deserve,
it is gone, it has passed.
Your blood has hidden me.

Mercy, mercy,
as endless as the sea.
I'll sing Your hallelujah
for all eternity.

We will lift up the cup
and the bread we will break,
remembering Your love.
We were fallen from grace,
but You took on our shame
and nailed it to a cross.

Mercy, mercy,
as endless as the sea.
I'll sing Your hallelujah
for all eternity.
[repeat]

May I never lose the wonder,
oh, the wonder of Your mercy.
May I sing Your hallelujah.
Hallelujah, Amen.
[repeat 3x]

May I never lose the wonder,
oh, the wonder of Your mercy.

New Book Friday

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Today's New Book Friday is by Jared Stump.  I first read a devotional by Jared called Power of 21 Days which was about our identity in Christ.  I look forward to reading this new book by him.

You are the Body

“Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it." (1 Corinthians 12:27)

Gospel Party Pictures

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Tonight was our first Gospel Party. We had a great turnout & great weather. Thanks to all the parents who helped run an activity. Here are a few pictures I took. Watch for more at Facebook.com/hesston my

Gospel Party Tonight

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Tonight at Hesston MB (610 W. Randall), we are having our first Gospel Party.  What is a gospel party?  It is a time to celebrate Jesus and what He has done.  The party is open to all children 4th grade and younger and their families.  Anyone in the Hesston area is invited.

The gospel party will include activities and inflatables, a meal provided by the church, music and a story. 





Schedule is:

5:30-6:15 p.m.--Fun on inflatables
6:15-6:45 p.m.-Meal provided by church
6:45-7:15 p.m.-Story
7:15-8:00 p.m.-More fun on inflatables

Hope to see you there!

God is Generous and Loves to Give

God is generous and gives good gifts

15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity? (Matthew 20:15)9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:9-11) 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32) 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Therefore, we are blessed and gifted
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the he…

Promises of God from Hebrews, Part 1

Here are selected promises of God from the first part of Hebrews compiled by Kenneth Boa:
Jesus was made a little lower than the angels and is now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone (2:9).Because Christ himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted (2:18). The word of God is living and active.Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (4:12).We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin (4:15).We can approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (4:16).

What's playing on the radio?

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I used this song as part of a sermon about a month ago.  It is a great reminder of the lists we create for ourselves and others.  I love what God does with our lists.  Enjoy this song by Matthew West.


Write 'em down one by one
Every single mistake that you've ever made
Every single wrong turn you wish you didn't take

Keeping count, you can't let go
In for life behind bars, but you're holding the key
'Cause the list tells your heart that you'll never be free

But love keeps no record of wrong, no, no
Love keeps no record of wrong, no, no
Love keeps no record of wrong, no, no
Listen to me, love keeps no record of wrong, no

So let it go
Let it go

Love tears the list in million little pieces
Cast your sins as far as the East is from the West
Say goodbye to the list

Love tells your heart it's time to start beating
History will not be repeating anymore
Yesterday is closing door

Love keeps no record of wrong, no, no

Let it watch over you
That it doesn't mat…

Happy Wedding Day, Kelsey and Dusty

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This weekend, I am in Tulsa, Oklahoma officiating the wedding of Dusty Riebel & Kelsey Knisley. I have enjoyed getting to know them both better as we did premarital counseling.  Dusty was a youth in my youth group when I was Associate Pastor at Iola First Christian Church.  Here are a few pictures of Dusty to commemorate his big day:


Tulsa, here I come!

Today, Bethany and I are headed to Tulsa, OK for a wedding I will be officiating.  I am excited to be a part of the marriage of Dusty and Kelsey.  It will be good to see people again from Iola where I previously served as associate pastor. 

I am also looking forward to a weekend away with my bride.  During my sabbatical, I had wanted to get away for a weekend with Bethany, but due to a long vacation and other trips, that did not happen. I cannot wait for some date nights and time to talk and enjoy one another without the distractions of work and kids.

What fun things are there to do in Tulsa? Good Restaurants?

You are Blessed

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realmswith every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)

First fuzion service project

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fuzion is our mid-week ministry to 5th/6th  graders in Hesston. Each year we do 3-4 service projects. Tonight was our first one and we did four projects at the church. Here are some pictures:

Jesus Our Friend

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How does Jesus as a friend impact our relationships?  Jessica Thompson in Everyday Grace has some thoughts.  Here are a few chapters from her chapter on friendship:
God doesn't feel obligated to be our friend; it is his joy to be in relationship with us.This obedience is not what makes them friends; it is what characterizes his friends...If we are true believers of Christ, we will obey. His love for us is what engenders a heart of obedience. Being obedient will obviously lead to a better life for us. God has given us rules for living so we can know how to enjoy him and life the most. Relationship with God is the ultimate goal of Christianity. There is one Messiah, and you and I are not him, and we shouldn't expect our friends to be our Messiah either.  Beloved friends of Christ, may we never forget that all of the love and acceptance we look for in each other can be found only in the arms of Christ.

God is Creator

Because God is Creator
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1) This is the book of the generations of Adam. When Godcreated man, he made him in the likeness of God. (Genesis 5:1)   Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. (Isaiah 40:28)
Therefore, we are created in His image and new
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27) I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:14) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a newcreation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

More from The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification

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I am continuing to read The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification by Walter Marshall. It is a slow read.  Here are selected quotes from Chapters 4 and 5.

"faith is not simply a matter of avoiding punishment, where do not have any desire to love and enjoy Christ. Rather, true saving faith means that you come to a deep, heartfelt conviction of how precious Christ is..."

"They know people cannot totally keep Christ's laws, so they say that as long as you resolve to keep Christ's law, that is good enough to save you."

"In order to live a life of holiness, you need God's almighty power."

"The flesh is the nature of man as it is corrupted by the fall of Adam."

"Sanctification is far more than "turning over a new leaf" in the way you live. Sanctification is living out of your new nature in Christ."

"Can you possibly imagine that anyone can prevail against sin if he sees that God is against him, and that he is under God&…

What's Playing on the Radio?

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Today's song is by Chris Tomlin and is called "Greater". I heard it once and immediately loved the words.  Be reminded that "greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world."



From him, through him, and to him are all things
To God be the glory
His word endures from beginning to end
To God be the glory
To God be the glory

Greater is the one who lives in me
Greater is the love of Jesus
Greater than my sin
Greater than the grave
Above all other thrones
Above all other names
Greater, You are greater

He was, and is, and forever will be
To God be the glory
His power in us,
He is strength for the weak
To God be the glory
To God be the glory

Greater is the one who lives in me
Greater is the love of Jesus
Greater than my sin
Greater than the grave
Above all other thrones
Above all other names
Greater, You are greater

Jesus, You reign forever
Jesus, You reign forever
There’s no one like you
Jesus, You reign

Jesus, You reign forever
Jesus, You reign forever
There’…

Promises of God from Philemon

Below are selected promises of God from Philemon compiled by Kenneth Boa.

We have received grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (3). God wants us to grow into a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ (6). Just as we have received God’s love, grace, and forgiveness, he now empowers us to offer the same to others (17-21). The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ is with our spirits (25).

New Book Friday

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Today's new book is not available yet, but since I am part of the book launch team, I have an early copy. Be watching for quotes in the weeks ahead.



You Are Blameless

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, souland body be kept blamelessat the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.24 The one who callsyou is faithful,and he will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)